John Paul II’s Legacy Is More Than Most Realize
Given the spirit of the times, it was inevitable that Pope John Paul II would be judged in broadly ecumenical terms, not by his fidelity to the teachings of the church he headed but by his relationship both to other faiths and to the world at large, and that in those terms he would be judged a failure.
Conventional wisdom, as expressed in the media immediately following his death, did not usually put it quite so crudely, but alongside the mandatory encomia were polite (or not so polite) expressions of puzzlement at the pope’s “contradictions,” which finally came down to saying that, while he showed signs of becoming a good modern liberal, he somehow kept getting dr . . .
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