Monday, February 27, 2017

Book review: The Hidden Pope: The Untold Story of a Lifelong Friendship That Is Changing the Relationship Between Catholics and Jews

This is a touching and interesting story about a close friendship between the Jurek Kluger and John Paul II.  How close?  Close enough that he was the first person to whom that newly minted Pope granted the first Papal audience, baptized his daughter as married her 16 years later.  We follow the story from their childhood to 1997 (this book was published in 1998).   Jurek happens to be Jewish. Having a close friend who is Jewish had a tremendous influence on John Paul II, and he used his friends as sounding board as well as a secret negotiator for helping him establish the formal relationship between Vatican and Israel.  The book helped me understand the complexities of this lengthy process known only to the insiders. It made me love and respect John Paul II even more. 

There are two things about the book that I did not like (but not enough to change my overall opinion).  The photos in the Kindle edition of the book are terrible (the faces are often just black blobs).  I also did not think the title described the book well, I would have called it "True Friends".  This is an interesting and important book.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

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