The pope who skied has crisscrossed the globe for the past quarter century. He was the first pope to visit a mosque and a synagogue. He has been credited with a key role in the downfall of the Soviet Union. But critics of the Holy See call john Paul II a "fifth century pope" profoundly conservative in ways that have held back women, mishandled birth controls and gays, and has sustained a culture that led to the shocking priest sex abuse scandal.
Tonight, On Point: John Paul II, and the power of one pope.
John Allen, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter
Garry Wills, author of "Why I am Catholic"
Kenneth Woodward, religion editor Newsweek magazine
This program aired on October 15, 2003.