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Columnist contrasts popularity of John Paul II with image of Benedict XVI

January 21, 2011

Francis X. Rocca, a Religious News Service correspondent, writes in the Wall Street Journal that Pope Benedict XVI does not have the same personal popularity as his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. As he lists the reasons, he seems to be saying that Pope Benedict keeps asserting the claims of the Catholic faith, in ways that an ever-more-secularized world does not welcome. Then comes this interesting passage:

By contrast, Benedict's campaign to reverse the tide of secularism in Europe strikes most observers as quixotic. Of course, the fall of the Soviet Union hardly seemed a realistic goal when John Paul assumed the papal throne in 1978, and Benedict is one who thinks in centuries.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jan. 22, 2011 1:16 PM ET USA

    As someone who was a bit put off by Bl. John Paul II kissing the tarmac at every airport, I am, and hardly alone, much more comfortable in the presence of the "Litle" Pope. I also read a lot more of his written work, and never open a book without learning a lot. Has the author of this article bothered to look at the crowds at the Holy Father's pastoral visits? Perhaps the reason the world loves him less is that he resonates in their consciences, an unpopular prospect.

  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Jan. 22, 2011 7:36 AM ET USA

    The "little pope", Benedict, is a giant and Church history will some day affirm that; who cares what the secular press prints about our Popes? They don't hold Jesus Christ in high regard, do they?