.- Referring to the new book by Pope John Paul II, âMemory and Identity,â Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco of Madrid said this week the Pontiff proves himself an âexceptional European in his reflections and memoriesâ. John Paul II is âa first-class European,â the cardinal said, with rich experience that few politicians and top officials of public life âcan equal.â
The book, which was released simultaneously in Italy, Germany and Brazil, closes out a trilogy that began with âGift and Mystery,â in which the Pope wrote about his 50 years as a priest, and was followed by âGet Up, Letâs Go,â which he wrote to mark the 25th anniversary of his episcopal ordination.
Cardinal Rouco maintained that in the book, which is a summary of philosophical and theological conversations between the Pope and two Polish philosophers, JÃ³zef Tischner and Krzysztof Michalski, about the dictatorships that characterized the twentieth century, John Paul II directly addresses a series of issues in same way in which âhe has related with the outside world.â
The cardinal pointed out that in âMemory and Identity,â âitâs the Popeâ who is reflecting, but itâs also âa Pole,â âa first-class European,â almost unmatched by other âmen of culture or politics,â and mainly, âitâs a citizen of the world.â
Although the Pope doesnât cease to be Bishop of Rome in writing this book, âMemory and Identityâ should be considered a âparticular workâ of John Paul II, said Cardinal Rouco, as opposed to his âmagisterialâ ones. According to the cardinal, with these types of publications, the Holy Father has established a ânew formulaâ for âcommunicating with the Church and with humanity.â
The âNew Evangelizationâ is âthe inspiration behind the entire book,â the cardinal added, arguing that in no other document does the Pope âalign himself so closely with the Evangelii Nutiandiâ of Paul VI.
The book is now in stores, and in addition to the first versions in Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish, it is expected to be published in 40 different languages.