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Challenges facing John Paul II's successor Benedict XVI

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 Contents - May 2005AD2000 May 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Challenges facing John Paul II's successor Benedict XVI - Michael Gilchrist
'Santo Subito': the impact of John Paul II - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Year of Eucharist: Religious education: Catholic youth have their say - Shannon Donahoo
Catholic beliefs and practices: the challenge ahead for Australia - Michael Gilchrist
The Da Vinci Code and the itching ears syndrome - John Young
UK survey: why church pews are emptying
St Patrick's Church, Soho Square, a spiritual oasis in London - Tess Livingstone
Bioethics: IVF and embryonic stem cell research: the social and ethical issues - Kerrie Allen
Letters: Appeal to the young - Justin Lynch
Letters: God's Champion - Robert Garrett
Letters: Theology at ACU - Henk Verhoeven
Letters: Overseas priests - Jenny Bruty
Letters: Priest shortage - Jeff Harvie
Letters: Heroic virtue - Bob Denahy
Letters: Catholic education - Geoff Storey
Letters: Private revelations - Anne Boyce
Letters: Sex before marriage - Dr Arnold Jago
Letters: Society of St Pius X - Stephen McInerney
Letters: Ecclesial unity - Meg Fennell
Letters: Correcting pastoral blunders - Kevin McManus
Letters: Catholic hymns - Dolores Lightbody
Letters: Latin Mass Times in Hobart - Kevin Tighe
Letters: Corpus Christi Procession in Brisbane - Josie Mangano
Books: Sacred and Secular Scriptures / The Catholic Revival in English Literature - David Birch (reviewer)
Books: A GENTLE JESUIT: Philip Caraman SJ, by June Rockett - George Russo (reviewer)
Books: Remembering Pope John Paul II
Reflection: Pope John Paul II and the redemptive power of suffering - Fr Paul Stuart

As the present issue of AD2000 goes to press, a conclave of the Church's eligible elector cardinals (those under 80) has been underway to choose a successor to Pope John Paul II.

An analysis of the new Pope Benedict XVI and the challenges facing him will be provided in the following month's issue. Meanwhile, consideration is given on the following pages to the considerable legacy of Pope John Paul II.

From the extraordinary coverage given to the death of a larger-than- life Pope and his funeral, it is evident that this successor will have exceptionally big shoes to fill in terms of spiritual and intellectual qualities, a powerful and charismatic personality, remarkable life experiences and facility in many languages.

Apart from this daunting challenge, an even greater one could be to oversee the effective implementation of John Paul II's vision for the Church.

This was set down in an amazing succession of encyclicals, apostolic letters and numerous other documents and addresses covering virtually every aspect of Catholic belief and practice examined in the light of the Church's Tradition and the teachings of Vatican II.

Relatively little of this treasure trove of inspired teachings has impacted on the Church's grassroots - parishes, schools, universities, theology institutes, religious orders and bureaucracies.

Even if a new Pope cannot match John Paul II's prolific teaching output, Catholics will be indebted to him if he can prevail on all the world's bishops to implement his predecessor's spiritual blueprint.

  • Michael Gilchrist: Editor (email -

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 4 (May 2005), p. 2

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