I AM DELIGHTED to offer a word of *introduction to Antoine Nachef's new volume, Mary's Pope: John Paul II, Mary, and the Church since Vatican II. This new book follows his previous study on the thought of Pope John Paul II, The Mystery of the Trinity in the Theological Thought of Pope John Paul II.
Unfortunately, the Pope's thought is all too often caricatured along narrow ideological lines. In both of his volumes, Nachef does his readers a great service in elucidating the richness, breadth, and profundity of the thought of our Holy Father whose writings will continue to enrich the Church far into the distant future.
In the present volume, Nachef shows how, in the thought of Pope John Paul II, Mary is indissolubly linked to Christ and His mysteries, planned for all eternity in the hidden counsels of the Triune God. Nachef strives to show us not only the content of the Pope's thought about Mary but also its sources, its compelling coherence, and its power to inspire true devotion to Mary.
Over ten years ago, I had the honor to offer the annual spiritual reflections to the Holy Father and his household. Aware of the Holy Father's deep love for Mary, I chose to speak on Mary standing at the foot of the Cross. Nachef's latest volume richly highlights how very deeply Pope John Paul II grasps the Marian dimension of the mystery of salvation.
It is my hope and prayer that a wide audience will carefully read and appreciate Nachef's new work, especially during this great Year of jubilee.
James Cardinal Hickey
Archdiocese of Washington
January 3, 2000