The book was prompted by the Vatileaks affair, which lurched to a sort-of conclusion this week with the release of the sentence for Paolo Gabriele, the mole who passed rafters of confidential Vatican documents to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi.
For readers outside Italy, perhaps the most interesting aspect of Romeo's book is his run-down of those prelates he considers papabili, meaning contenders to be the next pope. Here's how he breaks down the field:
- Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan (whom Romeo clearly believes to be at the head of the pack)
- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, president of the Italian bishops' conference
- Archbishop Francesco Moraglia of Venice (not yet a cardinal, but a favorite of the more traditionalist wing of the church)
- Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture (Romeo concedes that Ravasi is an intellectual without pastoral experience and asks whether after Benedict XVI, "Can the church permit itself another professor?")
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
- Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria
- Cardinal Peter Erdö of Budapest, Hungary
- Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France
- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York
- Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo, Brazil
- Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
- Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
(Source: J. L. Allen Jr. in - National Catholic Reporter)