On the threshold of a new Papacy, more than a billion faithful Catholics throughout the world are facing division, fragmentation - even schism - in their church. Far from healing these rifts, the Vatican under Pope John Paul II is driving the opposing factions still further apart. So what does the future hold?
John Cornwell, a committed Catholic, assesses the state of the Church throughout the world. He warns that on the death of John Paul II a major schism will occur unless his successor can bridge the gulf between conservatives and progressives.
Women in the Church; the split between teaching and practice on birth control, sexual morals and divorce; the changing face and uncertain future of the priesthood - all are examined in this riveting, unflinching and controversial survey.