This book presents a behind-the-scenes perspective on the Vatican's inner workings that challenges popular perceptions, revealing the personal conflicts, authority-undermining scandals, and modern considerations that are challenging the Vatican's daily business. For more than twenty-five years the author has reported on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. He reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life. The author takes readers from a bell tower high above St. Peter's to the depths of the basilica and the Saint's burial place, from the politicking surrounding the election of a new pope and the ever-growing sexual abuse scandals around the world to controversies about the Vatican's stand on contraception and more.