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Faith and Leadership: The Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church [Hardcover]

Michael P. Riccards

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Book Description

April 19 2012
This study is a comprehensive history of the papacy, the oldest elective office in the world, and how it has managed over the centuries the most complex voluntary association of faith. The book argues that in fact through most of its existence, the papacy has adapted managerial models of the secular world and applied them to the Catholic Church. Since its emergence from the Jewish synagogues to a persecuted minority in the Roman Empire to becoming the established religion of the West, the Church and the papacy engaged the world on its own terms. It is only after the Council of Trent did the Church become somewhat more divorced and estranged from the environment around it. This book focused on those changes and on the great popes across the centuries who reformed and altered Catholicism. Special attention is directed to Gregory I, Innocent I, Innocent III, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXVII, Paul VI, and John Paul II. The conclusion is that the persistence of the Catholic Church for so many centuries was due to its ability to preserve the faith, but re-establish its forms and managerial class.

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Riccards’ sweep of papal history is a valuable resource on the factors that have sustained the Papacy for almost 2000 years. I found his integration of critical issues, which have persisted in various expressions over the centuries, is an impressive strength of this work. His style of writing is clear, compelling, and accessible. (James F. Brennan, Provost, The Catholic University of America)

With all my Catholic schooling, from Sisters of St. Joseph to Jesuits, I never received the complete Catholic education Michael Riccards has given me in Faith and Leadership. From little-known facts to a thorough accounting of the life and work of John Paul II, I knew I was reading an accomplished historian with the instincts of a novelist. Forget your Da Vinci Code and read about the real mysteries of Roman Catholic leadership by a master writer. (John A. DeSando, Franklin University)

Riccards weaves the intricate and intriguing story of the Catholic church attempting to adapt to changing time periods throughout history. In this well-written book, he explores the papacy as a management structure. This should be required reading for all those interested in world history, theology, and management studies. (Graydon Tunstall, University of South Florida)

About the Author

Michael P. Riccards is currently the Executive Director of the Hall Institute of Public Policy in New Jersey.

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