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Hardcover His Holiness: John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time [Large Print] Book

ISBN: 0786210508

ISBN13: 9780786210503

His Holiness: John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time [Large Print]

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Book Overview

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, the dean of Vatican journalists, tell the amazing story of Pope John Paul II. At once compelling journalism, drama,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Critically objective but respectful

Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi have written an excellent portrait of Karol Woytyla - both the man and the pope. The authors are objective about John Paul II's world vision, triumphs, shortcomings and place in history while being respectful at the same time. "His Holiness" is not for those enthralled by the now deceased Woytyla's charisma who may interpret critically objective discourse as being anti-Catholic. The book fairly chronicles Woytyla's clashes with feminists both inside and outside the Church, his critical view of the values of the richer, "decadent" Western nations, and his attempts to crush all who did not share his viewpoints on Church doctrine. The authors hint that Woytyla may have been reexamining his stance on the role of women and papal infallibility in the last years of his papacy. But the book was published in 1996. In it the authors note: "A principal problem facing John Paul II's papacy continues to be democracy in his own house.... (C)an a pope who championed democratic rights in Poland and all over the world continue to run the Church as an absolute monarchy?" I sincerely wish the authors will return to examine the last nine years of Woytyla's life. I have never agreed on Woytyla's policies on contraception, divorce, the role of women in the Catholic Church, homosexuals and papal infallibility. But there is no question in my mind that the man was brilliant; his achievements were monumental in upholding the dignity of the human being, in fighting for freedom, and in reconciling with the world's other great religions. And his constant, well publicized travels served a critical need. As the authors write: "His very presence in the most desolate parts of the world provided a spark of hope for people in misery. For men and women trapped in the shantytowns and barrios of the Third World, the arrival of John Paul II sometimes offered the first significant testimony to their existence as human beings, the only time in their lives when their wretched living conditions were presented to the court of public opinion in their own countries and around the world." Pope John Paul II "The Great"? Yes, without a doubt. Pope John Paul II "the saint"? I'm not so sure.

Reveals John Paul II as Deus Ex Machina in Foreign Affairs

"The roots of all he felt and did as pope, in terms of both Catholic dogma and geostrategic doctrine were to be found deep in the soil of his native Poland. As a youth, like many of his compatriots, he had steeped himself in the lore of Polish messianism, the idea that Poland was the Christ of the Nations that one day would rise again to point the way for all of humanity." So begins this spellbinding account of Pope John Paul II, and the history of our time. Not since Malachi Martin's "The Keys of This Blood" has there been a book that so meticulously traces and makes clear the global ambitions of the Catholic Papacy. Carl Bernstein's excellent reportage combines with the sometimes irritatingly unctious contributions of Italian journalist Marco Politi to write a book that is filled with so much high-drama and intrigue it is difficult at times to keep in mind that this is not a novel, but real life history being made right before our very eyes. Perhaps the most compelling chapters in the book have to deal with how Karol Woytila as pope, conspired with Ronald Reagan and his Cabinet, which was virtually made up of all Catholics, to assit Poland's Solidarity movement, and hasten the demise of Communism.This book copiously documents how the United States Government, together with organized labor, made common cause with the Vatican to conduct a modern-day Berlin airlift of sorts to keep Soldarity alive during the days of martial law in Poland. This pope's purely political side is brought out for all the world to see. Not since Malichi Martin's book has there emerged a portrait of this pontiff which shows just how cunning, politically motivated, and hegemonistic he really is. John Paul II is portrayed as being a "very important asset" to our government. "And what was in it for the pope," a deputy of Secretary of State Alexander Haig was asked. "Something he probably wanted more than anything else...I think he is a very political man-what this gave him ...was that he felt he had a high-level intimate relationship with the world's most powerful country. He was a player. That's what it gave him."In this book emerges a portrait of a pope that many people haven't seen, or do not believe exists, and that is the portrait of a man on a mission to establish worldwide, what has been established in his native Poland; a world dedicated to the Virgin Mary, governed under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church.A person would only have to review the history of Catholic absolutism in history, especially in the Dark or Middle Ages, and in the period from the 1870's to the Second World War to see how truly frightening this prospect is. This book clearly shows that John Paul II is the Deus Ex Machina in foreign affairs. This book is every bit as compelling as a novel.

Five Stars for the man, not the authors

While I enjoyed this book, I do feel that there is a vague sense of Catholic bashing going on. John Paul II is a remarkable man - a gift to the world in our lifetime, and although you may not agree with everything the man says, deep in your heart you know the man is right - we can be better than we are. The thing to remember is that the Pope is CATHOLIC. He is going to take the highest Catholic stance on matters of faith and morals. If the non-Catholics of the world don't like what he has to say, too bad. The Catholic Church can take it, and it will still be around long after the bashers and hate mongers are gone. Any change in the Church will take place over time, with much thought and prayer. Bernstein and Polito did a relatively well-balanced job in the beginning of the book, but then got into the politics and moral stances of the Church, and it is evident that they have their own opinions on these. I don't care what they think, and I don't think they have any business criticizing a church that (at least one of them) they don't belong to. John Paul II is a wonderful man, perhaps one of the most influential of this last half -century, and the most-gifted Pope the Church has ever had.

Truly remarkable

It is not for me to sit on judgement on the present or any other Pope. Having read this book however, I think that humanity everywhere on earth should be grateful to God the Almighty that we have had such a capable person as Pope for the last 20 years. He has accomplished so much in every continent despite all difficulties, opposition fronm all quarters, and despite ,even, attempts on his life. His courage and faith are really magnificent--he is an inspiration to us all. Ad multos annos, I say

It is a great research and jornalistic work

This is one of the best biographies I have ever read and it is the an incredible work done by authors. They describe in detail all relevant facts about the Pope and, based on these facts, the authors explain his ideas and his influence under the modern church. In this book, the reader will be able to understand many of John Paul II's thoughts and actions that were performed and will be performed by him during his period as a Pope. A book worth reading in order to understand the real man behind the Sant Peters Throne.
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