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Papal hype

by
December 2005–January 2006, no. 277

God’s New Man: The election of Benedict XVI and the legacy of John Paul II by Paul Collins

MUP, $32.95 pb, 233 pp

Papal hype

by
December 2005–January 2006, no. 277

The late pope John Paul II was the greatest celebrity of modern times. Although he was the sovereign of the world’s smallest state, his influence seemed greater than that of any secular ruler. Did he not bring down communism in Poland by sheer spiritual power? Did he not provide a new moral leadership for mankind, speaking simple truths to millions seeking guidance in a confusing world?

Well, no. To understand John Paul’s career in this way is to accept a load of celebrity hype as big as that which surrounds Madonna. The reality of John Paul’s papacy was that it was a period of unprecedented and accelerating decline for the Catholic Church. While appearing to lead the church to new heights of power and influence, he in fact presided over the continuing decay of its institutions and the alienation of ever-increasing numbers of its previously faithful.

Adam Carr reviews ‘God’s New Man: The election of Benedict XVI and the legacy of John Paul II’ by Paul Collins

God’s New Man: The election of Benedict XVI and the legacy of John Paul II

by Paul Collins

MUP, $32.95 pb, 233 pp

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