The majority of Catholics - even the intellectuals - have scant knowledge of the history of their church. The Catholic has flourished from its inception 2000 years ago through vicissitudes of benign and hostile secular governments(ex. Persecution under Nero and support from Constantine) as well as periods of peace and war. Moreover, the Catholic Church has survived internal dissent and schism (ex. The Orthodox division and Protestant Reformation); it has grown from a handful of disciples of Jesus Christ to over one billion members today. In no small measure the successful evolution of the Catholic Church must be attributed to the leadership of its 265 popes- from the apostle Peter, the immediate successor of Jesus, through the present pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. In the past century the Catholic Church has coped with more wars and social upheaval than any other era in the history of mankind. It's a great documentary and an excellant educational source as well as a collector ithem for the home library.