Book Club Channel
Reading Guide for "The Pope Who Quit"
"In this poignant, richly nuanced book, Sweeney gives us our best record yet of the sweet tension between the cloister and the world that, like a liet motif, sings always within those of us who yearn toward both."
—Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours (for Cloister Talks)
"With the subject of myth and symbolism in the Church a la The Da Vinci Code still a hot topic, this digestible contribution to Marian scholarship should appeal to a broad readership."
—Booklist (for Strange Heaven)
"Editor-writer Sweeney gives Bury's 1905 biography of the legendary St. Patrick a greater contemporary context in this meticulously researched and presented work.... Sweeney assembles and rearranges material from Bury's original work and incorporates more of Patrick's own words.... [His] light edits to Bury's text clarify exactly what Patrick did in Ireland."
—Publishers Weekly (for Ireland's Saint: The Essential Biography of St. Patrick)
"It's about time that a Protestant handled the sacred objects of Roman Catholicism - both belief and practice - with respect and care. Jon Sweeney has done just that, giving us a wonderful and enlightening primer on the faith of over one billion of our Christian brothers and sisters. Highly recommended!"
—Tony Jones, author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (for Almost Catholic)
"This attractively presented little book is truly pocket-sized and portable, but full of rich content."
—The Living Church (for The St. Francis Prayer Book)
"Jon Sweeney is a fine, informative writer. He has a way of discussing a variety of religious matters in clear, common sense terms.... Highly recommended."
—Church and Synagogue Library Association
Contact the Author
Jon M. Sweeney is an author, book publisher, and popular speaker with a wide range of interests. The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation was published on February 14, 2012 by Image Books.
For many years, Jon was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SkyLight Paths Publishing in Vermont. Since 2004, he has been the associate publisher at Paraclete Press in Massachusetts.
He is the author of many other books including The Road to Assisi, Cloister Talks, and Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendship of Francis and Clare of Assisi; and two memoirs, Almost Catholic and Born Again and Again, which won an Award of Merit from Christianity Today. In early 2011, Zondervan published Jon's Verily, Verily: The King James Bible—400 Years of Beauty and Influence, which then became the subject of a feature on PBS' "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" television program over Easter weekend. Several of Jon's books have been selections of History Book Club, Book-of-the-Month Club, Crossings Book Club, Literary Guild, and QPB. He is also the author of the popular devotional, The St. Francis Prayer Book, among others. He writes often for the Catholic weekly, America, and blogs regularly on the religion page of The Huffington Post.
He grew up in Wheaton, IL and will be featured in 2012 in the Wheaton volume of Arcadia Publishing's "Legendary Locals" series. Today he is a practicing Catholic but also prays regularly with his wife, who is a rabbi, and they keep a Jewish home. He has three children: a daughter in college, a son in high school, and a baby daughter.
Jon has appeared on PBS television, a variety of radio programs, and was the featured speaker at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on St. Francis's feast day in 2004. He frequently talks with readers via Facebook, Twitter, and in person. If you would like him to speak to your book group, conference, church, or other gathering you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.