Washington D.C., Sep 14, 2010 / 10:21 am
More than a decade after writing “Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II,” noted Catholic author George Weigel is releasing a second book on the late Pope, continuing the story where he left off. “The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II – The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy” goes on sale today. In an interview with CNA, Weigel recently reflected on the legacy of the beloved Pope that is chronicled in his latest book.
“At my last meal with John Paul II, which was on December 15, 2004, I promised the pope that, if he didn't bury me first, I'd finish what I started in the matter of his biography,” Weigel explained. “'The End and the Beginning' is the fulfillment of that promise: it's both the completion of the story, and an amplification of 'Witness to Hope.'”
“The End and the Beginning” starts with a prologue summarizing the story told in “Witness to Hope,” which ends in 1999. Then, said Weigel, it revisits John Paul's 40-year struggle against communism, taking into account documents that had previously been considered classified and top secret.
“It's now widely recognized that John Paul II was the pivotal figure in the collapse of European communism—a proposal I was sometimes ridiculed for making when I first broached it in 1992,” Weigel pointed out. Now that opinions have changed, he continued, he felt that it was important to revisit that part of John Paul II's life with reference to the newly-available evidence.