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John L. Allen, Jr. about GOD'S BANKERS: "Outstanding"
Funny how a few tweets can sometimes pass along something important. Many of you know John L. Allen Jr. from his CNN and NPR commentary about the Vatican. He was a senior journalist at the National Catholic Reporter for 16 years and is now covering "all things Catholic" as an Associate Editor at the Boston Globe and at Crux. And he is an author, his latest, "The Francis Miracle," coming out Tuesday about Pope Francis.
I cite some of Allen's reporting in the source notes for God's Bankers. Trisha and I met him in 2013 in Rome, in the courtyard of the grand but fraying Hotel Columbus, just a couple of blocks from St. Peters. That was the night that we interviewed Rene Brülhart, who is the subject of Chapter 41, "The Swiss James Bond." In the acknowledgements, I thank Brülhart for having the courage to be "the only high-ranking official in the city-state to meet with me on the record."
But I was never sure how John Allen would react to the book, especially when it came to my presentation on some topics of great historic sensitivity to Catholics, including the debate over Pius XII and the Holocaust.
No matter how you look at it, I am a newcomer to writing about the Vatican. I know from other historical topics I have covered that the veterans and specialists in any given field can occasionally be prickly about a newbie writing anything that is remotely passed off as 'definitive.'
Today, I tweeted John Allen's article in Crux that "the nasty is back" about the insider struggle over financial reforms at the Vatican. I posed a rhetorical question: "Has no there (Vatican) read GOD'S BANKERS?" I literally laughed out loud at Allen's reply that they had read "very word" but that "given the length, there ought to be an indulgence!" But the best part was his last tweet, the one in which he was willing to go on the record about God's Bankers (no small feat given that the book has some in the Vatican hot under the collar):
"Needless to say, the book is outstanding...compliment!"
From John L. Allen, Jr., it is a compliment indeed.