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What is life like in the Vatican? What does the Roman Curia do? The result of seven years' intense research and interviews throughout the world, this benchmark reference provides a comprehensive, authoritative guide to the workings of the Roman Catholic Church. Illustrated with more than 90 colour plates, the book outlines the Church's history, including the Second Vatican Council, provides a chronology of the Popes, and explains Church hierarchy, protocol, vesture and insignia, and the cycle of the liturgical year.