A Christian’s Pocket Guide to the Papacy

Chris Castaldo | June 1, 2015

Leonardo De Chirico. A Christian’s Pocket Guide to the Papacy: Its Origin and Role in the 21st Century. Ross-shire, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 2015. 128 pp. $7.99.

The office of the papacy is an enigma to most evangelical Protestants. The spectacle of medieval regalia, papal coronation, gem-studded tiara (several of which are displayed at the Vatican), red leather loafers, and the popemobile tend to provoke curiosity, skepticism, and bewilderment. Add to these visible symbols the pope’s claim to supremacy, monarchial titles (over the Vatican, of which he is a head of state), infallibility, and a standing army, and the portrait gets even more perplexing.

Cutting through the fog of mystery and confusion is Leonardo De Chirico’s new book, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to the Papacy: Its Origin and Role in the 21st Century. De Chirico is ideally suited to write this volume. An Italian historical theologian with specialization in Roman Catholic history and thought, he has spent numerous years teaching in the Eternal City. He sits at the table in ecumenical dialogue with Vatican scholars while simultaneously pastoring a Protestant congregation (which he planted in partnership with Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s City to City initiative). Consequently, we’re getting a treatment that is in some sense “insider,”…

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