This biography of Paul VI, who was Pope from 1963 to 1978, draws conclusions about his contribution to the modern papacy. Unlike his predecessor, John XXIII, there are few anecdotes about Paul. There is consequently no "industry" surrounding him. And yet, the author argues, he was probably a richer and deeper personality, and his pontificate was of more decisive importance for the future of the Church. There had, he suggests, been unreasonable liberal optimism at the death of John XXIII. Paul was bound to disappoint, given these expectations. As it was, he consolidated the post-Vatican II Church with a mixture of openness and fidelity.
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