The Pope's True Revolution

John Paul II's legacy is more profound than mere Catholic conservatism

This may be what you think: John Paul II was the conservative Pope. His pontificate was marked by a resurgent Roman Catholic traditionalism, setting the church against liberalizing forces of all kinds. John Paul II is remembered above all for shoring up structures of the past.

This is wrong. John Paul II boldly presided over the maturing of political and theological revolutions in Catholicism. Perhaps despite himself, he was a Pope of change, accomplishing two radical shifts--one in the church's attitude toward war and the other in its relationship to the Jewish people. Taken together, those represent the most significant change...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!