The Political Papacy: John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Their Influence

Overview

Pope John Paul II was well known as the most visible and politically active pope of all time. His positions, rooted in deep personal integrity, variously pleased and angered citizens both on the right and the left. His inaugural appearance as pope in his native Poland helped spur Solidarity and the fall of the communist bloc. He chided George W. Bush and Western world leaders for excessive capitalist policies, citing their actions as factors in deepening world poverty. He took exception to Latin American ...

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Overview

Pope John Paul II was well known as the most visible and politically active pope of all time. His positions, rooted in deep personal integrity, variously pleased and angered citizens both on the right and the left. His inaugural appearance as pope in his native Poland helped spur Solidarity and the fall of the communist bloc. He chided George W. Bush and Western world leaders for excessive capitalist policies, citing their actions as factors in deepening world poverty. He took exception to Latin American liberation theology, warning its advocates that it allied itself with Marxist principles. His positions on family, sexuality, and reproductive issues have been welcomed by many but viewed as out of step with contemporary realities by others, including many church members. To date, Benedict XVI has demonstrated continuity with the conservative agenda of his mentor and predecessor John Paul II and is quite willing to speak his mind as well.

This compact anthology is the first book to focus on the political legacies of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It brings together articles by scholars, journalists, papal observers, and, most important, the popes themselves to present this legacy from a variety of viewpoints, giving the reader a balanced and well-considered portrait of John Paul II and Benedict XVI's men, as world citizens, as religious leaders, and as political figures. Whether addressing the United Nations, national leaders, bishops, the faithful, or the public at large, these popes have knowingly made pronouncements intended to influence the secular realm and public policy worldwide as well as to guide the one billion members of the Roman Catholic Church. Many welcome their strong moral voices; others resent their attempts to influence social policy as political meddling. Readers may judge whether these popes have prudently advanced their causes or perhaps diminished their influence by such strong public pronouncements of their political positions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594511813
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Chester Gillis, Professor and Chair of Theology at Georgetown University, is author most recently of Catholic Faith in America (December 2002).

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