Pope John Paul II
Connecting to CanadiansBook - 2005
John Paul was the most travelled Pope in the history of the Papacy. This defined his tenure as Holy Father. His three Papal visits to Canada - a 12-day cross-country odyssey in 1984, followed by briefer visits in 1987 and 2002 - fortified an already strong bond with Canadian Catholics. Before he became pope, John Paul also made two other trips to Canada, in 1969 as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla at the invitation of the Canadian -Polish Congress, and in 1976.This book covers the pastoral odyssey that took him across the country, from Newfoundland to BC, where he visited the touchstones of Roman Catholicism in Canada. He preached to hundreds of thousands at outdoor masses and reached millions more through television coverage. His messages focused on faith and hope, justice and peace. Parade routes were festooned with white and gold banners, and flags bearing the tiara and crossed keys -the symbols of the papacy. He wanted to visit Fort Simpson, NWT, but the trip was cancelled due to fog. In 1987, after an exhausting tour of the US, the Pope flew to Ft Simpson and presented his view that the 5,000-strong audience, mostly Denes who had travelled for days to see him, were entitled to self-government.His final visit to Canada, for World Youth Day in 2002, saw him awaited by more than half a million youth in Toronto. Showing signs of the Parkinson's that had diminished his one-robust physique, the Pope nonetheless attended to a heavy schedule over seven days. At his address to a crowd of 800,000 in fields in north Toronto, people were overwhelmed at the Pope's impassioned message of a world that needs healing and beauty. He charged the young people there to carry out this will of God.In addition to coverage of the visits to Canada, the book also provides background biographical information about the Pope-his youth, education, his progress through the Church hierarchy and his election as Pope. At 58, he was the youngest Pope to be elected in over 400 years. The book also touches on his role as statesman and influencer of world events.The book does not shy away from some controversy. The Pope took a very conservative stand on issues. He viewed Western consumerism as a corruption of Eastern European countries, even though they had been subjected to the excesses of totalitarianism. He was slow to acknowledge and deal with sex abuse in the Church.But his supporters will argue that his good works far outweigh his shortcomings. He was the third-longest serving Pope. He was inarguably one of the most important religious figures of the past century. He was the voice of peace and appeasement and rights. He was mightily revered.
Publisher: Mississauga, Ont. : J. Wiley & Sons Canada, 2005.
Characteristics: 116 p. :,col. ill. ;,25 cm.
Alternative Title: Connecting to Canadians