The Institutef for Human Ecology at The Catholic University of America welcomed New York Times bestselling author Paul Kengor to the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C., earlier this month to speak about his new book, A Pope and A President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century.
The talk, which took place Oct. 19 at the Saint John Paul II Shrine across the street from the University, included a synopsis of Kengor’s book and a book signing.
During his talk, Kengor explained the many parallels between the lives of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, beginning with their early years when they both lost their fathers one week apart and continuing through their careers. They both survived near-deadly assassination attempts in the spring of 1981.
Following those near-death experiences, Kengor explains, the two men developed a spiritual friendship that drove them to work together to confront the evils of Soviet communism.
Joseph Capizzi is the executive director of the Institute for Human Ecology. He said the instute was “happy to welcome Dr. Kengor’s insights into the close relationship between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan.
“Their opposition to Communism and support of freedom were critical components of their service to the world,” he said. “Kengor demonstrated why they are rightly considered among the most important figures of the twentieth century.”
Kengor, a professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of the college’s Center for Vision & Values, is the author of more than a dozen books on Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, communism, conservatism, and progressivism. A video of his talk can be viewed below.