Secrets of the Vatican

book.Berry.RenderRender Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church

by Jason Berry

“Catholic investigative reporter Berry has a long track record as a whistle-blower in recent Church scandals. Though there are more detailed and abstruse books about how the Vatican gets and spends its money, including about the Vatican Bank calamities of 20 and 30 years ago, Berry brings questions of Vatican financial impropriety into more recent times. He’s also a shoe-leather reporter rather than a forensic accountant, which means you don’t have to be a CPA to follow the story.”

book.Cornwell.ThiefA Thief in the Night: Life and Death in the Vatican

by John Cornwell

“Many readers know John Cornwell as the author of the controversial Hitler’s Pope, but 26 years ago he wrote this astonishing first-person memoir of his Vatican-approved quest to debunk the rumors that Pope John Paul I had been murdered in 1978 after a papacy of only one month. The rumors were wrong; the truth, including an eye-popping portrait of the Vatican as Cornwell found it, is more interesting.”

book.Follain.CityCity of Secrets: The Truth Behind the Murders at the Vatican

by John Follain

“In 1998, a vice-corporal in the pope’s Swiss Guard shot and killed his commander, his commander’s wife, and then himself, all inside the Guard barracks within Vatican walls. The rumors that swirled after this one ran the gamut from love triangle to international espionage, but British journalist Follain used his stint as Vatican correspondent to get as much of the truth as possible.”

book.Thayas.VaticanThe Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

by John Thavis

A veteran Vatican reporter’s backstage look at the headquarters of Catholicism, including a chapter on the infamous Father Marcial Maciel Degollado. What makes this book stand apart from the others on this list, though, is that it shows us the Vatican in the round, offering portraits not only of a notorious criminal but also of decent, hardworking clergy, unexpected eccentrics, infuriating Church bureaucrats, and the whole cast of characters to be found in one of the world’s most unusual places. In other words, unlike some other Vatican crime stories, this is fortunately not just Church-bashing in disguise.”