John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father

Peggy Noonan, Author Viking Books $24.95 (238p) ISBN 978-0-670-03748-3
Noonan's warm remembrance of the man she calls her spiritual father is a refreshing addition to the growing collection of biographies of and memoirs about the late Pope John Paul II. What makes this volume so inviting is Noonan's chatty manner of writing about John Paul and the very personal way he affected her life. She is willing to be transparent here, especially in the chapters where she imparts elements of her faith story, explaining how she moved toward ""serious Catholicism"" and ""deepened belief"" during John Paul's reign and how she came to see him as her spiritual father. Although Noonan writes glowingly of her subject, she does not duck criticism of his lengthy pontificate. For one, she suggests he could have taken stronger action against the banal way the Catholic liturgy has come to be celebrated in the West. She particularly laments John Paul's inadequate response to the church's ""great shame"" of clergy sexual abuse, and seizes the opportunity to lambaste the church's cardinals and bishops as well. Noonan recaps what she told the American bishops at a meeting in September 2003, but sadly wonders whether they truly understood the magnitude of the problem. Noonan's and John Paul's fans will appreciate her take on the late pope and the delightful way in which she weaves his legacy into her own walk of faith.
Reviewed on: 11/28/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-9418-4
Paperback - 238 pages - 978-0-14-303794-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305829-8
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-59413-156-1
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-59722-129-0
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