Pope John Paul the Great: A Soul for All Seasons
Description: In a March 1996 conversation, Pope John Paul II told George Weigel, almost wistfully, “They try to understand me from the outside, but I can only be understood from inside.” His tone that evening was less critical than it was bemused, even resigned. But whether his regrets involved biographers who treated him as a globe-trotting politician or journalists who parsed his every word and deed in conventional left-right categories, the view from outside, he knew, was not going to get anyone close to the essence of Karol Wojtyła.
Weigel agreed with him then; and now, nine years after his death, in the days before his April 27 canonization, Weigel says he agrees with him even more. John Paul II, who embodied the human drama of the second half of the 20th century in a singular way, and whose witness to the truth of humanity’s noblest aspirations bent the curve of history toward freedom, can only be understood from inside out. Or, if you prefer, soul first. George joins us to discuss it.
distinguished senior fellow at Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies, is the author of the two-volume biography of John Paul II, “Witness to Hope” (1999) and “The End and the Beginning” (2010).