21 September 2005

The future legacy of the current pope

Pope John Paul II is remembered for having played a large role in bringing down communism, though he did not live quite long enough to witness the 25th anniversary of Solidarity, which his own efforts did so much to encourage in his homeland. If the initial months of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy are any indication, he could be remembered for three contributions: (1) building bridges to fellow Christians not in communion with Rome, especially the Orthodox, (2) insisting on the protection of religious freedom, and (3) breaking the hold of post-christian secularism in Europe and elsewhere. If he succeeds in any one of these, he will have earned his place in history.

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