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By Piers Paul Read
The Death of a Pope
is a powerful novel by the acclaimed British writer Piers Paul Read.
For more information about the book, visit The Death of a Pope website by clicking here.
Juan Uriarte, a handsome and outspoken Spanish ex-priest, seems to be the model of nonviolence and compassion for the poor and downtrodden. So why is he on trial, accused of terrorist activities? His worldwide Catholic charitable outreach program is suspected of being a front for radicals. The trial is covered by Kate Ramsay, a young British reporter, who sets out to undercover the truth about Uriarte and his work. She travels with him to Africa to see his work first hand but soon finds herself attracted to him.
Meanwhile an international conspiracy is growing, one that reaches into the Vatican itself. When the death of Pope John Paul II brings the conclave that will elect Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, a terrorist plot involving blackmail, subterfuge, and mass murder begins to fall into place... a plot that could spell disaster for the Catholic Church and the world.
Piers Paul Read’s powerful tale combines vivid characters, high drama, love, betrayal, faith, and redemption in a story of intrigue, of church espionage, and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the worldthe Papacy. The Death of a Pope races toward an unexpected and unforgettable conclusion.
In The Death of a Pope, the versatile Piers Paul Read, who has distinguished himself in many genres, returns to what can be called the ecclesiastical thriller. If the mystery looks to the past to explain a crime already committed, the thriller aims to prevent something from happening. When that something is a terrorist act, planned for the Vatican, drama is assured, and Read, writing in the present tense but in multiple viewpoint, takes us from character to character, from city to city, from continent to continent, with everything converging on the Vatican during the conclave following the death of John Paul II. To say more would rob the reader of his pleasure. The Death of a Pope is a great Read in every sense of the term.
The Death of a Pope is a faith-driven theological thriller, narrated by a storyteller of the first order whose unassailable orthodoxy is as refreshing as it is rare among the bedraggled ranks of contemporary novelists.
Joseph Pearce, author The Quest for Shakespeare
Piers Paul Read has managed to combine sheer storytelling power with great learning and insight about the inner workings of the Church to fashion an entertainment of the highest order. If John LeCarre took on Vatican politics, his book of suspense might aspire to be much like this one
Ron Hansen, author Exiles
If you love the Catholic Church, you will probably love this book whether or not you love a good story. If you love a good story, you will probably love this book whether or not you love the Catholic Church. But if you love both the Church and a good story, you will certainly love this book.
Peter Kreeft, author Because God is Real
Piers Paul Read is a best-selling novelist, writer and playright with numeous popular books including Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, Ablaze: The Story of Chernobyl, Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography, The Templars, Monk Dawson, A Patriot in Berlin and Alice in Exile. Read is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Council of the Society of Authors. He has also written a number of television plays, and several of his novels have been filmed for cinema and television. He lives in London.
By Carl Olson
The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s best selling novel, purports to be more than fiction: it claims to be based on fact and scholarly research. Brown wants his readers to believe that he is revealing the long-concealed truth about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and early Christianity, a truth that he says has been suppressed by the malevolent and conspiratorial forces of the Catholic Church. The novel alleges that there has been throughout history a secret group of true followers of a Gnostic Jesus and his wife, Mary Magdalene, the true “Holy Grail”. Almost everything most Christians and non-Christians think they know about Jesus, according to Dan Brown, is completely wrong, the result of Catholic propaganda designed to hide the truth from the world.
But are The Da Vinci Code’s claims fact or just plain fiction? Is the novel well-researched as claimed? What is the truth about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the early Church? Has the Catholic Church distorted the real Jesus? Why is the novel so popular? What about the anti-Catholic, anti-Christian agenda behind the novel?
Best selling author Carl Olson and journalist Sandra Miesel answer these and other important questions. Their painstaking research into The Da Vinci Code and its sources reveals some surprising truths. No one who has read or heard about The Da Vinci Code should miss this provocative and illuminating book.
“The title of this book by Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel says it all. The authors of The Da Vinci Hoax deserve our gratitude for exposing in considerable detail and with a sure touch the fabrications of Dan Brown’s book. Theirs is the definitive debunking.”
--Cardinal Francis George
Archbishop of Chicago
"You'll save yourself precious time and money, and hang on to your common sense, if you skip The Da Vinci Code and go straight to Carl Olson's and Sandra Miesel's wonderful The Da Vinci Hoax. Conspiracy theories are always alluring, but nothing satisfies like the truth -- and Olson and Miesel do a superb job of defending the Catholic faith against one of the strangest pieces of fiction of our time."
--Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver
"Finally! Someone has taken the trouble to counter the absurdities of The Da Vinci Code, and to confront all the anti-Christian and anti-Catholic rhetoric that book has inspired. In writing their own well-informed and well-argued text, Olson and Miesel have done a real service, not just to Christians, but to anyone weary of contemporary fads and foolishness. And unlike the original Code, The Da Vinci Hoax is a delight to read."
Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State University
“In The Da Vinci Hoax, Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel bring their considerable analytical powers to bear on the phenomenally successful novel by Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code is a writhing nest of neo-Gnostic myths, blatant falsehoods, half-truths and absurd suppositions presented as facts--indeed, it is one of the most odious cases of revisionist history that have appeared during the past two centuries.
Olson and Miesel dissect it carefully--break the code of the Code, as it were--revealing not only Brown’s distortions of history but the underlying malice in his ‘fictional’ attack on Christianity. The Da Vinci Hoax is more than a refutation of a single book; it is an antidote to a poisonous genre that is growing in contemporary writing. This is a fascinating read and very good medicine!”
Author, Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
“I’ve painfully watched some usually-sensible university students fall victim to The Da Vinci Code disease. I’ll enjoy having this clearly-written antidote to prescribe.”
Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Editor-in-chief, World Magazine
“Olsen and Miesel have done a superb and meticulous job of dissecting the fraud which is The Da Vinci Code. Not only Christians, but all fair –minded people owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Professor of History, St. Louis University
By Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI continues to astound people. In Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, they were told, the world was getting "God's Rottweiler" as Pope. Now, after Benedict's first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est
or "God is Love", many people are wondering if he isn't really the "Love Pope."
God's Revolution by Benedict XVI (Ignatius Press, 2006), the collection of his World Youth Day talks and other addresses in Cologne, only adds to the amazement. Thoughtful readers will discover in its author far more than they bargained for.
It's August, 2005. The newly elected Benedict XVI returns to his homeland, Germany, for World Youth Day-the spectacular event created by his popular predecessor, Pope John Paul II. All eyes are on the German pope in Cologne. "Will he relate to young people as John Paul II did?"
The zealous loving welcome of more than a million young people provides the answer. Benedict XVI pulls it off-in his own way, with his own style, without missing a beat. His encounters with young people are magical, even mystical. His message—a straightforward presentation of the Christian faith aimed at answering the perennial questions of young people: Who am I? Where am I going? Is there Someone who can help? How can I make a difference in the world?
Benedict XVI's answers to these questions all point to Jesus Christ and his teaching. He urges young people not to think that following Jesus requires abandoning anything of real worth. "Christ takes from you nothing that is beautiful and great," he declares. He dares young people to become "radicals"-to be part of "God's revolution." To commit themselves without reservation to Jesus Christ.
"Only from God does true revolution come," he declares, "the definitive way to change the world." "It is not ideologies that save the world, but only a return to the living God, our Creator, the guarantor of our freedom; the guarantor of what is really good and true," Benedict says.
But God's Revolution also warns against abusing faith in God: "There are many who speak of God: some even preach hatred and perpetuate violence in God's Name. So it is important to discover the true face of God." "In Jesus Christ," the Pope declares, "who allowed his heart to be pierced for us, the true face of God is seen."
God's Revolution isn't only for young people, for Catholics alone or even only for Christians. Benedict XVI's thoughtful and inspiring messages to the Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany are included.
Speaking in a synagogue in Cologne, Benedict urges Jews and Christians to grow closer to one another. He recalls the horrors of the Holocaust and warns against "new signs of anti-Semitism." As he commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation from the Nazi death camps, the Pope's words are especially poignant: as a teenager, Benedict XVI was forced to join the Hitler Youth, against his will and that of his anti-Nazi parents.
Benedict speaks to representatives of Muslims in Germany of the common faith in one God that Christians and Muslims share. He acknowledges how some Muslim leaders have rejected terrorism. Yet he adds: "Those who instigate and plan these attacks evidently wish to poison out relations and destroy trust, making use of all means, including religion, to oppose every attempt to build a peaceful and serene life together."
God's Revolution also addresses Protestant Christians. Coming from the land of the Reformer Martin Luther, Benedict knows Protestant concerns. He presents Catholic teaching in a way that underscores Catholics and Protestants' common Christian commitment. "Together we confess that Jesus Christ is God and Lord," he states, "together we acknowledge him as the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), and we emphasize together that we are members of his Body."
To the German Catholic leaders he urges renewed efforts to present Christ and Christianity to the modern world. While challenging them to respect people's search for the truth, the Pope call on them to be true to the Christian message: "We must teach patience, discernment, realism, but without false compromises, so as not to water down the Gospel!" He asks the bishops to find new ways to address young people, the future of the Catholic Church.
In short, Benedict XVI issues a clarion call for all people to join "God's Revolution."
Some key issues raised by God's Revolution:
- Where is Benedict XVI taking the Catholic Church?
- What is the Pope's view of religion's place in the modern world?
- Youth and the future of the Catholic Church
- Do Catholics think Jesus is the only Savior?
- Catholic-Evangelical Protestant Relations
- Has an "intolerant, dogmatic" Joseph Ratzinger changed into a sympathetic, fair-minded "Benedict XVI", the "Love Pope"?
- Catholic-Jewish Relations
- Christian-Muslim Relations
- Is Christianity a "religion of rules" or a "way of love"?
Learn more about Pope Benedict! Visit the Works of Benedict XVI
By Karen Santorum
Foreword by Mother Teresa
This moving collection of intimate, poignant, and heart-warming letters was written by Karen Santorum to her unborn child, Gabriel Michael. During her pregnancy, Karen wrote letters to her son, never expecting that the letters would someday be published. Though her pregnancy began as normal, Karen ended up experiencing serious difficulties with her pregnancy at the same time that her husband Rick Santorum, the Republican Senator for Pennsylvania, was leading the charge against partial birth abortions in the U.S. Senate.
Letters to Gabriel is the story of Gabriel Michael's short, but meaningful life, and a tribute to the sanctity of life, the deep faith of the Santorums, and strong family values. The intimate bond between mother and child is expressed by Karen with great tenderness and love. This is a deeply moving book that will touch the heart of its readers with the beauty of the gift of life, and inspire them to share it with others.
Karen Garver Santorum graduated from the Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing in 1983, and worked as a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit caring for premature and very sick infants. She graduated from Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1986, and then went on to get her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh Law. Karen is married to former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and is the mother of their seven children.
"May God bless Richard and Karen Santorum, and console them with the knowledge that their son is in Heaven. May Mary, the Mother of Jesus, use these inspiring letters to encourage all expectant mothers to cherish the gift of life they carry, and to love the child within their womb."
- Mother Teresa
"A courageous and deeply moving account. A story filled with hope, faith and courage."
- Charlton Heston
"When the Santorums received a blessing named Gabriel, they suddenly experienced the reality at the heart of a public policy argument about respect for life. This is their story."
- George F. Will
"This moving book quietly and lovingly reminds us why, and for what, we truly grieve: not our own lives, but the loss of others. Highly recommended."
- Gary L. Bauer
"Karen Santorum's incredible book is both powerful and tender. It is a profound reminder that human life is created and loved by God for his own purpose."
- Cal Thomas