Koehler, John Spies in the Vatican

ISBN 13: 9781605980508

Spies in the Vatican

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9781605980508: Spies in the Vatican
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The shocking history of the Soviet Union’s espionage campaign against the Catholic Church.

Already infamous for the arbitrary, paranoid persecution of its own citizens throughout much of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union―as is revealed in John Koeher’s revelatory, eye-opening exposé―also waged a vicious espionage campaign against the Catholic Church and its followers. From the persecution of local priests to an assassination order against Pope John Paul II, the KGB viewed Catholicism as a threat to stability in Eastern Europe and treated the church as an enemy of the State.

Lifetime journalist and former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer John Koehler has written the definitive book on this startling history. Using never before seen documents and transcripts, including an order against the Pope that was signed by Gorbachev and nine other Politburo members, Koehler paints a vivid picture of the network of spies and double agents who were working to infiltrate the Church’s infrastructure, from the Vatican down to local parishes. But what is most impressive is the overwhelming evidence of the extreme courage of everyday believers who offered shelter and protection to the persecuted, despite the danger of their own arrest or execution.

The KGB’s efforts to purge the Soviet Union of the church’s “conspiratorial influence” would eventually backfire. The shared sense of unity that developed as a result of these attacks, compounded with the myriad of grievances brought on by decades of brutal Soviet rule, would culminate in the birth of the Solidarity movement after a visit by the Pope in the late 1980s.

This unprecedented chronicle of the Soviet Union’s cold war against the Catholic Church is a vital and important contribution to the works of twentieth century history. 16 black-and-white illustrations

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About the Author:

John Koehler is the author of Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police. He has worked as a journalist for nearly forty years with the Associated Press and is a former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer, specializing in counter-espionage and intelligence collection. An adviser to President Reagan from 1985-1989, John is retired and lives in Stamford, Connecticut.

From Publishers Weekly:

Though it's well known that the U.S.S.R. spied on everyone, readers will be amazed by this account of its extensive infiltration of the Catholic Church. A journalist and former army intelligence officer, Koehler (Stasi) explains that the KGB relied on Catholic Eastern European agents, many of whom occupied prominent positions in the church hierarchy, and they listened in as U.S. and European leaders briefed the pope. Koehler mines mostly East German and Polish secret police archives and quotes them, sometimes too liberally. Included is a pitiful but lengthy verbatim 1973 transcript of South Vietnam's foreign minister begging the pope for assistance as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw, but there are also too many tedious discussions of minimally interesting cold war topics. The digressions from spying vary from an interminable account of Pope John Paul II's 1979 Polish visit to juicy details of the KGB-backed 1981 assassination attempt on the anti-communist pope. Koehler's angry book will satisfy readers who remain outraged at Communist perfidy, but they will work hard for the satisfaction unless they skim long sections of verbatim quotes and political analyses. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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9781605981406: Spies in the Vatican: The Soviet Union's Cold War Against the Catholic Church

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ISBN 10:  1605981400 ISBN 13:  9781605981406
Publisher: Pegasus Books, 2011
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