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The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II -- the Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacyby George Weigel
Synopses & Reviews
“As March gave way to April in the spring of 2005 and the world kept vigil outside the apostolic palace in Rome, the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, then drawing to a poignant end, was already being described as one of the most consequential in two millennia of Christian history.”
With these words, world-renowned author and NBC Vatican analyst George Weigel begins his long-awaited sequel to the international bestsellerWitness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. More than ten years in the making, The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—TheVictory ofFreedom, the Last Years, the Legacytells the dramatic story of the Pope’s battle with communism in light of new and recently disclosed information and brings to a close Weigel’s landmark portrait of a man who not only left an indelible mark on the Catholic Church, but also changed the course of world history.
When he was elected pope in the fall of 1978, few people had ever heard of the charismatic Karol Wojty³a. But in avery short time he would ignite a revolution of conscience in his native Poland that would ultimately lead to the collapse of European communism and death of the Soviet Union. What even fewer people knew was that the KGB, the Polish Secret Police, and the East German Stasi had been waging a dangerous, decades-long war againstWojty³aand the Vatican itself. Weigel, with unprecedented access to many Soviet-era documents, chronicles John Paul’s struggle against the dark forces of communism.
Moreover, Weigel recounts the tumultuous last years of John Paul’s life as he dealt with a crippling illness as well as the “new world disorder” and revelations about corruption within the Catholic Church. Weigel’s thought-provoking biography of John Paul II concludes with a probing and passionate assessment of a man who lived his life as a witness to hope in service to the Christian ideals he embraced.
A sequel to Witness to Hope assesses the final years of Pope John Paul II, offering insight into his deteriorating health and devastating scandals within the Church while revealing a secret war between the Vatican and the Soviet Union.
About the Author
GEORGE WEIGEL, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Catholic Church. The Vatican analyst for NBC News, Weigel is the author of fifteen books, including theNew York TimesbestsellerWitness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Table of Contents
Opening gambits — Defensor civitatis — Confrontation — Victory — The great jubilee of 2000 : up to Jerusalem — The great jubilee of 2000 : into the deep — The turbulence of history : 2001-2002 — Darkening valley : 2003-2004 — The last encyclical : January-April 2005 — From inside — The measure of a pontificate.
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