In the Courts of Three Popes
An American Lawyer and Diplomat in the Last Absolute Monarchy of the West(amazon)
Mary Ann Glendon (View Bio)
Hardcover: Random House, 2024.
Accomplished diplomat, lawyer, and Harvard professor, Mary Ann Glendon provides a rare firsthand account of Vatican politics as Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis each endeavored to lead the Catholic Church into the modern world.
“In my years of service to the Holy See, I was a stranger in a rather strange land—a layperson in a culture dominated by clergy, an American woman in an environment that was largely male and Italian, and a citizen of a constitutional republic in one of the world’s last absolute monarchies.”
Glendon sheds light on some of the most vexing issues in the Catholic Church today, from the work to protect women’s rights internationally, to responding to clergy sexual abuse, to the corruption of the Vatican Bank and Roman Curia. Readers will see a side of popes and prelates rarely seen from Glendon’s account of these three papacies, and they will be inspired by her efforts to share in the Holy See’s work for a better Church and a better world. It is her hope that lay Catholics especially will find her account of the ups and downs of her daily work in the Holy See helpful in their own struggles to be “salt, light and leaven” during this time of turbulence in the Church and society.