From the bestselling author of Witness to Hope comes an inside account of the election of Pope Benedict XVI and an unflinching view of the Catholic Church at the dawn of a new era.
After 25 years of John Paul II's guidance, the Catholic Church is entering a new age, with its bedrock traditions intact but pressing questions of its vitality to address in a rapidly changing world. Beginning with a portrait of John Paul's last months, God's Choice will then offer an account of the complex conclave process that produced Benedict XVI as the next pope. Drawing on Weigel's unprecedented access during the post-John Paul II intrerregnum, readers will be offered an inside view of the issues and personalities that shaped the conclave's deliberations.
Weigel will also survey the current state of the Church around the world: the remarkable vitality of Catholicism in Africa; the new center of the world's Catholic population -- Latin America; the collapse of Catholic faith and practice in much of western Europe, contrasted with its strength in Poland and other parts of the post-communist world; the continuing struggles of Catholicism in Asia; the vibrancy of some aspects of Catholic life in the United States, even as the Church in America struggles to overcome its recent experience of scandal. God's Choice will paint a personal portrait of the new pope and analyze the crucial issues facing world Catholicism in the first decades of the 21st century. It will be a major reference point for anyone seeking to understand the Catholic future, and the larger human future the Church will help to shape.