home page links quotes statistics mission statement success stories resources Lighter Side Authors! Search Page
Posted December 3, 2010

Book: Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI: An inside look at the end of an era, the beginning of a new one, and the future of the Church

Author: Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM

Sheed and Ward. New York. 20o5. Pp. 212

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

April 2005 marked the end of Pope John Paul II’s papacy and the beginning of the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. As countless pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for, and eventually bid farewell to, the pope they had known for twenty-six years, millions upon millions of Catholics and non-Catholics across the globe waited for the new pope to be named. As the authoritative and official publication of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, From Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI invites readers to savor this pivotal moment in Church history and to go behind the scenes to better understand the life, death, and legacy of John Paul II. In this book, you’ll find fascinating explorations of the inner workings of the conclave that elected the new pope, the mind and ministry of Benedict XVI, and the challenges he and the Church face into the future.

From Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI brings together the writings of Catholic News Service journalists — who spend their lives covering the Catholic Church — with the reflections of seven U.S. cardinals who cast their votes in the papal election, full-colored photos by award-winning photographer Nancy Wiechec, and essential charts and timelines that complement the text. It also features reflections by Sister Mary Ann Walsh — the award-winning editor of the best-selling John Paul II: A light for the world and a frequent commentator throughout the papal transition.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Cardinal Pell outlined challenges facing the church:

The erosion of the faith, particularly in Europe. It is the basic challenge of “belief in God and the centrality of Christ” he said.

Offering clear examples of deep faith, one of the reasons the pope was so effective among young people — “because they saw that he believed,” he said.

The inroads made by the “culture of death” on issues such as abortion, euthanasia and contraception. “There’s nowhere in the Western world where we’re producing enough babiies to keep the population stable,” he said.

Islam, especially the church’s continuing efforts to keep dialogue open in order to strengthen moderate Islamic forces. He said that John Paul refused to be “crusader-in-chief,” and that spirit needs to be continued. “We’re going to have to do everything we can to encourage the moderate Muslims and to sustain them in their struggle for political power,” the cardinal said. A separate concern, he said, was the danger of a significant number of conversions to Islam in traditionally Christian countries of the West.

The great missionary frontiers, especially China. Cardinal Pell predicted that with economic development, the society would open up and present opportunities for evangelization.

Table of Contents:

1. A giant dies

2. Funeral

3. World reaction to death of John Paul II

4. Interregnum

5. A worthy successor

6. Conclave rules

7. Conclave favorites

8. Opening of the conclave

9. “Habemus Papam”

10. “What’s in a name?”

11. Inauguration

12. Who is Benedict?

13. The world reacts to Benedict’s election

14. Reaching out to other religions

15. Pope Benedict’s XVI’s challenges

16. Media coverage of papal transition