Keeper of the Keys

Wilton Wynn, Author Random House (NY) $18.95 (278p) ISBN 978-0-394-55762-5
Former Time magazine Rome bureau chief and a member of the Vatican press corps from 1962 until his recent retirement, Wynn here tells the compelling story of his involvement with ``three who changed the church.'' Data presented on historic and contemporary events illuminate the extremely different characters of three of the most recent pontiffs and their effects on the religious and laity around the world. The author recalls hearty, practical John XXIII, instigator of reforms that symbolized hopes for unity and international peace. When ``the people's pope'' died in 1963 after only five years as the Vicar of Christ, he left a burden too heavy, according to critics, for gentle, esthetic Paul VI. The 15 years of Paul's papacy were darkened by international crises so grave that he occasionally despaired of fulfilling promises dictated by Vatican II. Yet, notes Wynn, the record proves that Paul, in his quiet way, accomplished more than he generally is credited for. With the election of the Polish pope John Paul II in 1978, hopes for further progress in Vatican policies arose again. The attractive, witty, vigorous pontiff was universally welcomed until he refused to change rules on matters of faith and morals. Equally resented and admired, John Paul II, concludes the author, stands like the Rock, St. Peter, on whom the church was built. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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