Italy named a mountain peak for PopeJohnPaulII on what would have been his 85th birthday May 18. At the same time, some 12,285 people have signed an online petition to call the late pope “John Paul the Great,” even as his potential sainthood has been approved for fast-track status by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. John Paul died April 2 at age 84.
Was Thomas Reese, the respected priest-editor of a Jesuit magazine who was often seen on TV during April’s papal transition, the latest casualty in a simmering battle between the Vatican and the U.S. Catholic Church?
Pope Benedict XVI has named the archbishop of San Francisco, William Levada, to the pope’s old job as guardian of the Catholic faith, making Levada the highest-ranking American ever to serve at the Vatican.
The theology of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger played a major part in my book After Our Likeness (1998), which sought to develop a trinitarian, nonhierarchical understanding of the church. He thanked me politely for the copy I sent him and added, “You don’t expect me, of course, to have changed my mind after reading it.”
At a meeting that underlined the high priority he may give to dialogue with non-Catholics—both Christians and the faithful of other religions—Pope Benedict XVI met with more than 30 non-Catholic representatives within a week of his election as Pope John Paul II’s successor.
Do protestants need the papacy? Given the recent fascination with the pontificate of John Paul II and with the election of Benedict XVI, it would seem that the papacy is on the Protestant horizon in a way that would have been unthinkable even a generation ago. This may be the result of savvy marketing, the omnipresence of CNN, the celebrity status of John Paul II or a penchant for the exotic.
Where were you on the day John Paul II died? I won’t soon forget, for I was caught in a looking-glass world of improbable encounters and reactions. A friendly neighbor dropped by to deliver his boy for a play date with our son Andy. “Did you hear the pope is dying?” (Yes, I did.) “Can’t see why such a fuss is being made about him.” (I can.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced in his first sermon that he has a “primary commitment to work without sparing energies for the reconstitution of the full and visible unity of all the followers of Christ,” many expressed surprise.