The Life of Pope John Paul II

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photoTonight, the Vatican's St. Peter's square is a vision of lit candles held by worshippers standing shoulder to shoulder. They are singing and praying for Pope John Paul II, whose health has deteriorated rapidly over the last 24 hours.

There is little talk of a miraculous recovery as Vatican officials have called the Pope's death imminent. The Pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, broke down in front of reporters today, saying "this is an image that I haven't seen before in these 26 years."

But against the expectation of the death of John Paul II, there is an extraordinary life to remember and tremendous challenges ahead for the Roman Catholic Church, its laity, and its leadership.

Hear about the fate of Pope John Paul II and the challenges ahead for the Catholic Church.


Charlie Sennott, Europe bureau chief for the Boston Globe

Stephen Pope, Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College

William Reiser, Professor of Religious Studies at the College of Holy Cross

Francis Oakley, President emeritus of Williams College

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst

This program aired on April 1, 2005.


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