Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Popes Who Shook History

Professor Eamon Duffy (author of Stripping of the Altars and Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge) has started an interesting series for BBC Radio 4 called Ten Popes Who Shook the World - and he starts with St Peter. You can hear it here.

He'll be looking at St Leo the Great, St Gregory the Great, St Gregory VII, Innocent III, Paul III (an interesting choice), Bl Pius IX, Pius XII, Bl John XXIII and John Paul II. It will be particularly interesting to hear his analysis of more recent pontiffs. The write-up on Pius XII poses the promising question: 'struggling to remain impartial, Pius failed, in the eyes of many, to speak out strongly enough against the Holocaust. But has history judged him fairly?' However, the description of the John Paul II programme mentions the usual criticism of 'inflexible theological and moral positions,' which Duffy mentioned in his Saints and Sinners book.

The first programme, however, is encouraging, especially considering the BBC's track record of papal coverage...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This talk is brilliant. Thanks for providing the link and please continue to link us with the rest.

9:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good...

6:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with Popes That Shook The World is that the world can be shaken to good or ill effect.
Hopefully the series will not be the soundbite version....Pius X11 (Nazi slander), Pio Nono (the liberal who recocognised the Confederate States of America), John Paul XX111 (the man who let in fresh air).
Point is that the liberal wing (hopefully there still is one) and the traditionalist wing have their own favourites. Within the Church the battle rages about their legacy as much as within "secular" history.

2:24 am  

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