John Thavis

Books Kristine Dahl, +1 212 556 5600 Email Kristine Dahl

The Vatican Diaries

World English Viking (Ed. Rick Kot)
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

For more than twenty-five years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

Thavis takes readers from a bell tower high above St. Peter’s to the depths of the basilica and the saint’s burial place, from the politicking surrounding the election of a new pope and the ever-growing sexual abuse scandals around the world to controversies about the Vatican’s stand on contraception, and more.

Perceptive, sharply written, and witty, The Vatican Diaries will appeal not only to Catholics (lapsed as well as devout) but to any readers interested in international diplomacy and the role of religion in an increasingly secularized world.

John Thavis recently retired as the prize-winning Rome bureau chief of Catholic News Service, a position he had held since 1983. In 2007 the Catholic Press Association awarded him the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic press.

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Liz Farrell.

Daisy Meyrick manages the translation rights for The Vatican Diaries


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Prometheus/Bert Bakker
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Editions Jean-Claude Gawsewitch
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Alberto Castelvecchi Editore srl
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Saida de Emergencia
The Vatican Diaries
The Vatican Diaries
The Vatican Diaries

A humane and realistic and (yes) humorous picture of a mortal institution that guides hundreds of millions of mortals along the path from birth to death and beyond. Garrison Keillor
Full Review

Not only provocative, this report is illuminating and fully accessible to members of the faith and doubters alike.
Kirkus Reviews
Full Review

Vatican Diaries is a must-read for anyone interested in the Vatican’s role in the Catholic Church and the world. Thomas J. Reese

The Vatican Diaries by John Thavis provides us with an intriguing and much needed antidote to one of the most common problems affecting many Catholics and non-Catholics who look at the Vatican these days: the assumption of the cold ruthlessness of the "machine". Thavis shows us also the deeply human side of the Vatican, the last Empire and the last, great theater of the sacred in Western Christianity. Massimo Faggioli

In this highly readable memoir of being a journalist at the Vatican, John Thavis follows the conclaves, sex scandals, internal backstabbing and olympian nature of the popes with a sense of comic relief at the caravan passing through his viewfinder. Jason Berry

Kristine Dahl
+1 212 556 5600
Email Kristine Dahl
Translation Rights
Daisy Meyrick
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Daisy Meyrick