John Paul II's Life and Legacy

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Today, Catholics and others from all over the world are mourning the death of Pope John Paul II. The man who led the church for 26 years died Saturday evening after years of illness. His body now lies in state in St. Peter’s Square where more than a million people — from world leaders to the humblest of pilgrims — are expected to gather to pay their respects.

Today on the Connection we reflect on the life of John Paul II. His Papacy was not without controversy. Here in the United States, he will be remembered both as a tireless defender of human rights, and as a deeply conservative thinker whose opinions on social issues and whose failure to address the clergy sexual abuse scandal left many American Catholics feeling estranged from their Church.


Lisa Sowle Cahill, Professor of Theology at Boston College

Lawrence Cunningham, Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame

Jeff Israely, Rome Bureau Chief for Time Magazine

and Father Renato Lafranchi, with the Comboni Missionaries in San Paolo, Brazil.