From the outset, John Paul II had a two-fold mission as pope: to bring the insights and values of the suffering church of the East (especially Poland) to the comfortable churches of the West, and to bring an end to what conservative cardinals and bishops at the time of his election regarded as the postconciliar drift of the church—an implied, if not a pointed, criticism of Pope Paul VI.
John Paul II believed that his election in 1978 was...
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Rev. Richard P. McBrien, the Crowley-O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, is the author of Catholicism and The Church: The Evolution of Catholicism, both published by HarperOne.