Never an easy task to find a book set in a European microstate written by a local. In the case of the Vatican you can’t really expect to find an author native to the place. I have read many books set in the Vatican, usually fictitious, but a couple of years ago I read a really interesting book written by a French journalist about the hidden sex scandals of the homosexual clergy. The book I read for this challenge Shroud of Secrecy: The Story of Corruption within the Vatican by The Millenari is in the same category with the aforementioned book.
The book is written by a small group of Vatican prelates. They are breaking the code of silence and are too afraid of writing a book like this in their own names. One of the authors, Monsignor Luigi Marinelli, is known to be part of the Millenari, and he has suffered a lot due to the Vatican knowing he broke he code of silence. I applaud him for being the brave man he is. This book was published 20 years ago, and nowadays we have all heard a lot more about what has been going on in the Vatican for ages.
The book itself reveals a lot less than I hoped it would. I understand that The Millenari can’t exactly tell worst stories, because then they would be giving themselves away. There must be a hierarchy of how much dirt you know. Revealing secrets about the highest ranked men would reveal that the man telling the story has a high ranking as well. I therefore preferred the other book I read, In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy by Frederic Martel, because it tells the reader quite the stories.
This book revels different things, naturally bad ones, but it still keeps it fairly distant at most times. Then again, a lot has happened in 20 years, and Shroud of Secrecy might have a lot more information to offer if it was published today. What bothers me most is that there are so many quotes from the Bible in this book. It isn’t a surprise though given the authors. In any case, I am happy to see that some issues of concern have been raised within the church, and not just tucked away in the name of brotherly love.