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The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict…
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The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict in the Reign of John Paul II (vuoden 2004 painos)

– tekijä: John Cornwell (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1275166,907 (3.79)1
Over more than a quarter of a century, John Paul II has firmly set his stamp on the billion-member strong Catholic Church for future generations and he has become one of the most influential political figures in the world. His key role in the downfall of communism in Europe, as well as his apologies for the Catholic Church’s treatment of Jews and to victims of the Inquisition, racism, and religious wars, won him worldwide admiration. Yet his papacy has also been marked by what many perceive as misogyny, homophobia, and ecclesiastical tyranny. Some critics suggest that his perpetuation of the Church’s traditional hierarchical paternalism contributed to pedophiliac behavior in the priesthood and encouraged superiors to sweep the crimes under the carpet. The Pontiff in Winter brings John Paul’s complex, contradictory character into sharp focus. In a bold, highly original work, John Cornwell argues that John Paul’s mystical view of history and conviction that his mission has been divinely established are central to understanding his pontificate. Focusing on the period from the eve of the millennium to the present, Cornwell shows how John Paul’s increasing sense of providential rightness profoundly influenced his reactions to turbulence in the secular world and within the Church, including the 9/11 attacks, the pedophilia scandals in the United States, the clash between Islam and Christianity, the ongoing debates over the Church’s policies regarding women, homosexuals, abortion, AIDS, and other social issues, and much more. A close, trusted observer of the Vatican, Cornwell combines eyewitness reporting with information from the best sources in and outside the pope’s inner circle. Always respectful of John Paul’s prodigious spirit and unrelenting battles for human rights and religious freedom, Cornwell raises serious questions about a system that grants lifetime power to an individual vulnerable to the vicissitudes of aging and illness. The result is a moving, elegiac portrait of John Paul in the winter of his life and a thoughtful, incisive assessment of his legacy to the Church.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:WakeWacko
Teoksen nimi:The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict in the Reign of John Paul II
Kirjailijat:John Cornwell (Tekijä)
Info:Doubleday (2004), 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:Religion - Catholicism

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The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict in the Reign of John Paul II (tekijä: John Cornwell)

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näyttää 5/5
I'm generally sceptical of anyone who is universally adored, and all the more so of anyone who seems to be adored for no particularly good reason other than marketing. And so I am sceptical about JPII, and Cornwell's biography is the right one for me. It's cleanly written, willing to contest the received narrative of JPII as all great things, and it's not excessively long.

Cornwell's critique is fairly straight forward: as pope, John Paul tried to centralize the power of the Church; his response to sex abuse was morally despicable; he was too conservative. Fair enough.

But he often pushes the first point too hard. For whatever reason, rather than just say what is obviously true ("much of the Catholic Church hierarchy is morally bankrupt"), he tries to anchor this immorality in bureaucracy. For Cornwell, the problem is not that a small group of isolated men make horrible decisions, but that there is a small group of isolated men. I wonder what he would have made of an autocratic JPII who made all the decisions Cornwell wish he'd made? To be fair to our author, though, liberals of all stripes fall for this fallacy all the time. After all, you want to believe the best of people. If they consistently do the 'wrong' thing (deny the seriousness of sexual abuse; object to gay marriage; vote Republican), it must be because the system is somehow flawed, and not because people are all too often really, really stupid and unpleasant.

The problem is that Cornwell over-stresses the JPII-was-a-bureaucratic-nightmare-and-also-not-pluralist angle at the expense of the fascinating, disturbing features of the story. JP was the first mass-media pope; people often say he was like Reagan, but a better analogy might be JFK--more myth than substance, morally dubious, but found himself in the right time and place to become a historical figure. Catastrophically for the rest of the world, he, like JFK, was a Cold War man; he couldn't see past the evils of the USSR to the virtues of the welfare state. And his thought (sic) is remarkably silly (Scheler Kant Aquinas? really?), and yet, because he was pope, is taken seriously by many people.

Anyway, a critical biography of a man who deserves to be criticized, but one which perhaps criticizes the wrong things. Very easy to read, though.

One final note: In this book, Cornwell takes back much of what he said in 'Hitler's Pope.' Very responsible of him. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
A funny book. While listing the aspects of the multidimensional disaster that was Pope John Paul II, the book is really a limited hangout.

Gives moronic free passes to the effect of P2, the Vatican Bank corruption, and even pretends that Pope John Paul I died of natural causes.

A limited hangout.... so the author, John Cornwell, is corrupt. There you go. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Extremely well written, it's always a pleasure to read Mr Cornwell. Every Catholic (and -phile) should read this book. It wakes you up to a reality not readily seen; the curtains are well and truly pulled back. The portrait revealed of this most profound world leader may offend those who prefer spin to reality. Yet the sincerity and respectfulness of the writer persists throughout. The book covers the main events of John Paul's life and, of course, the controversies. It is an education and reveals a world that no Catholic can afford not to know. If for no other reason than to read a fascinating character study and a well written book, then read this. ( )
  Sensitive1 | Mar 12, 2012 |
Cambridge scholar George Holmes analyzes the long reign of Pope John Paul II, the former Karol Wojtyla. He discusses the pope's accomplishmnets and his views on controversial issues including birth control and abuses by the clergy. The author seems to be making his case for critizing the centralization of papal power. Though he does show us both the good and the bad affects the policy of this pope has had on the world. We see him as pope and a person. The book is well-written, but does not answer any questions. I am pleased I read a library copy. But I do suggest you read it and make up your own mind. ( )
  hermit | Aug 23, 2007 |
Who but John Cornwell can write about the Catholic church with such credibility and a discerning eye? This is a very important book written by a respected and readable historian. His academic credentials are impeccable but this is not a book for academics. Everyone should read this book to understand how an individual pope can affect the lives of us all, not just Catholics.
1 ääni bhowell | Mar 1, 2007 |
näyttää 5/5
The chief executive of a very peculiar multinational

Had John Paul II died in the attempt on his life in St Peter's Square in 1981, he would have gone down in history as a potentially great pope who was snatched away from us before he could fulfil his potential, the breath of fresh air from Poland who blew through the musty corridors of God's business address on earth for far too short a time. Instead he survived and so we have seen his pontificate reach maturity. In the process perceptions have changed a great deal. History will now judge John Paul II less a great pope than a paradoxical priest, one minute inspiring and far seeing, the next apparently living in a medieval mind-set.
 
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (3)

Over more than a quarter of a century, John Paul II has firmly set his stamp on the billion-member strong Catholic Church for future generations and he has become one of the most influential political figures in the world. His key role in the downfall of communism in Europe, as well as his apologies for the Catholic Church’s treatment of Jews and to victims of the Inquisition, racism, and religious wars, won him worldwide admiration. Yet his papacy has also been marked by what many perceive as misogyny, homophobia, and ecclesiastical tyranny. Some critics suggest that his perpetuation of the Church’s traditional hierarchical paternalism contributed to pedophiliac behavior in the priesthood and encouraged superiors to sweep the crimes under the carpet. The Pontiff in Winter brings John Paul’s complex, contradictory character into sharp focus. In a bold, highly original work, John Cornwell argues that John Paul’s mystical view of history and conviction that his mission has been divinely established are central to understanding his pontificate. Focusing on the period from the eve of the millennium to the present, Cornwell shows how John Paul’s increasing sense of providential rightness profoundly influenced his reactions to turbulence in the secular world and within the Church, including the 9/11 attacks, the pedophilia scandals in the United States, the clash between Islam and Christianity, the ongoing debates over the Church’s policies regarding women, homosexuals, abortion, AIDS, and other social issues, and much more. A close, trusted observer of the Vatican, Cornwell combines eyewitness reporting with information from the best sources in and outside the pope’s inner circle. Always respectful of John Paul’s prodigious spirit and unrelenting battles for human rights and religious freedom, Cornwell raises serious questions about a system that grants lifetime power to an individual vulnerable to the vicissitudes of aging and illness. The result is a moving, elegiac portrait of John Paul in the winter of his life and a thoughtful, incisive assessment of his legacy to the Church.

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