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'The Legacy of Pope John Paul II' ed. Geoffrey Gneuhs

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 Contents - May 2000AD2000 May 2000 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference - Michael Gilchrist
Australian Catholic University student survey - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
How do we know whether a sacrament is valid or not? - Fr Peter Joseph
The priesthood: John Paul II's Holy Thursday Letter sets guidelines - Pope John Paul II
What are the foundations of a good Catholic education? - Dr. John J. Haldane
Understanding the Incarnation - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Books: Francis Thompson: author of 'The Hound of Heaven' - Michael Daniel
How the future John Paul II saved a Jewish girl's life - Zenit News Service
Letters: Women's report: a reply (letter) - Dr Marie McDonald
Letters: Nothing to do? (letter) - Frank Mobbs
Letters: More on Adelaide (letter) - Margret E. Mills
Letters: Women in the Church (letter) - Marie Kennedy
Letters: 'Day of Pardon' (letter) - Paul MacLeod
Letters: Reply to Fr Frank Brennan (letter) - Richard Egan
Letters: God's love (letter) - Justin Ford
Letters: EWTN visit (letter) - Mike Keating
Letters: Mixed marriages (letter) - John Schmidt
Letters: Archbishop Pell defended (letter) - Fr Kevin Ryan
Letters: Year of the Lord (letter) - Fr Chrysostom Alexander
Books: 'Three Inns of Everlasting Happiness' by Fr Fabian Duggan - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Books: 'The Wisdom of Adrian Fortescue' ed. Michael Davies - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: 'The Legacy of Pope John Paul II' ed. Geoffrey Gneuhs - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: 'The Ever-Illuminating Wisdom of St Thomas Aquinas' by Peter Kreeft et al - Tracey Rowland (reviewer)
Reflection: Mary's divine motherhood: central to God's plan of salvation - Sr Mary Augustine Lane OP

THE LEGACY OF POPE JOHN PAUL II: His Contribution to Catholic Thought
Edited by Geoffrey Gneuhs
(Crossroads Publishing Company, 2000, 127pp, RRP $24.95, available through AD Books)

This neat compact series of essays sets out to evaluate Pope John Paul II's contribution to Catholic thought. In doing so, all five contributors leave no doubt in the reader's mind that this contribution has been quite notable.

The first essay is written by Fr Joseph Koterski, who presents us with an overview of Pope John Paul II's writings - his poetry, philosophical treatises, catechetical writings, lessons and encyclicals - as well as a partial, but nevertheless thorough, list of the Holy Father's writings.

In the following two essays both Fr William B. Smith and John F. Crosby explore in detail the Pope's contribution to moral theology.

Fr Smith argues that the "doctrinal-moral patrimony" of John Paul II has surpassed the "scope and volume" of Pius XII, and that John Paul II will have the same influence in the 21st century as Pius XII had in the 20th Century (p.38).

Crosby's essay is devoted to the Pope's methodology in his moral theology writings, particularly focusing on the "Theology of the Body," which he argues is a "corrective to contrasting errors frequent in contemporary thought" where the body is reduced either to a materialistic understanding or rather the neo-Manichean interpretation that reduces the body to a mere instrument.

Russell Hittinger's essay looks at the social writings of Pope John Paul II, with particular focus on the problems of the modern state and the industrial revolution. He endorses the Pope's analysis of these two areas, which he describes as both accurate and consistent.

The last essay, and by far the longest, is written by David Schlinder, editor of the well regarded journal, Communio. Here Schlinder's focus is on the re-orientation of the Church's mission based on the Pope's Christ- centredness of the human person.

From this fundamental premise, Schlinder gives the reader a thorough re-reading of the Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes.

The five essays compacted into this volume serve as an introduction to the Pope's writings, clearly demonstrating their grandeur and enormous likely impact they will have in the 21st century. The book is also an invitation to "take up and read" the numerous encyclicals, apostolic letters and exhortations that have come from the pen of the Holy Father.

Anthony Cappello is a Melbourne Catholic writer.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 13 No 4 (May 2000), p. 17

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