Friday, April 01, 2005

Pope John Paul II: The Good, The Bad, & The Divine

Members of the largest single religion in the world, Roman Catholicism, are waiting in a vigil for the Pope to die. That in itself is significant. That Pope John Paul II is controversial, loved, hated, and even feared, by many demonstrates one thing anyone can agree on about him--his influence.

I have found interesting his unlikely background prior to being made head of the Catholic Church. Karol Wojtyla grew up a few miles from the concentration camp Treblinka, in Poland, when the Nazis occupied the country during WWII. He lived among Jews, even had a crush on a young woman who was Jewish. Among his biggest accomplishments is considered to be the instigation and hastening of the downfall of Communism in Europe.

A review of the book His Holiness: John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, gives a multi-sided and detailed history of the Pope's life, which at this moment is coming to an end.

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