John Paul II's greatest achievements (letter)by John BarichNews Weekly
, May 7, 2005
Peter Westmore has managed to give an accurate account of John Paul II's contribution to world affairs (News Weekly
, April 23, 2005). Little wonder that Jewish leaders have proposed him to be the unprecendented recipient of a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize.
The Pope's semi-official biographer, George Weigel, has assessed John Paul's pontificate to have been the most consequential since the Protestant Reformation. He based this judgement on what he considered the Pope's eight greatest achievements - later increased to ten: the renovation of the papacy, the full implementation of Vatican II, the collapse of communism, the clarification of the moral challenges facing free society, the insertion of ecumenism into the heart of Catholicism, the new dialogue with Judaism, the redefinition of inter-religious dialogue, a fresh approach to the sexual revolution with his theology of the body, the Catechism and what it represents, and the personal inspiration that has changed countless personal lives.
William Oddie, editor of John Paul the Great: Maker of the Post-Conciliar Church
(2003), adds the Pope's powerful support for the new ecclesial movements, a support which, as Ian Ker says, "is firmly in the tradition of the popes who, at critical times in the Church's life, have discerned dramatic new ways in which the Spirit has raised up new charismatic movements for the renewal and propagation of the Christian faith."John Barich,