The Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls revealed Wednesday during the Frankfurt Book Fair the latest title from Pope John Paul II, "Memory and Identity: Conversations Between Millenniums.”
The book, according to Navarro-Valls, is based on the transcribed and translated conversations of the Pontiff with two Polish philosopher friends, Krzysztof Michalski, a political philosopher at the Institute of Human Science in Vienna, Austria; and the late Rev. Jozef Tishner, during the summer of 1993 at his summer residence, Castelgandolfo.
The book's question-and-answer format takes a look at Europe over the last 100 years, seeking to identify the "roots of evil" such as the rise of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. It also tackles major issues such as the relationship between church and state.
During the book's presentation, which will be published by the Italian Publisher Rizzoli in early 2005, the Vatican spokesman released one of the book's chapters.
In it, the Pope analyzes the ideologies of Nazism and Communism that dominated Europe for years. He also discussed his definitions of freedom and democracy with references to Aristotle and Catholic teachings.
"We were totally swallowed up in a great eruption of evil," the Pope says in the book.
He also says that "the Lord God allowed Nazism 12 years of existence and after 12 years the system collapsed. Evidently this was the limit imposed by Divine Providence upon that sort of folly."
The Pope's last mass circulation book, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," sold 20 million copies in three dozen languages after it was published in 1994. It was the first papal book to be sold to a mass market, addressing issues from abortion to anti-Semitism.
As with previous titles, all the Pope's royalties from "Memory and Idenity" will go to charity.