For my money, Newsweek beat the pants off of Time with its pope package.
The second-run newsweekly dragged Ken Woodward out of mothballs to file the lead story, which begins with reporting on the ground from St. Peter’s Square at the moment of the pope’s death and then moves on to the long sweep of his papacy: the fight against Communism, the grand ecumenical gestures, the trips around the globe to try to sow the seeds that would change cultures, the slow but persistent drive to bring some uniformity to Catholic worship and theology.
Other pieces of the package include:
• An article by the incomparable Melinda Henneberger (allowed to write on religion for the print issue for once) on how JPII didn’t always make nice with his American audience.
• Andrew Nagorski on his experience covering the pope (near as I can figure, the article on the web has a different lede and different title from the same piece in the print magazine — odd).
• George Weigel on his experience as the pope’s quasi-official biographer.
• Nagorski again on the coming papal conclave.
Now, I can’t actually link to all of the Time package, because of that website’s Khrushchevian firewall, but the web monkeys have posted a few excerpts. We have James Carroll explaining that JPII’s true legacy will be pacifism and ecumenism; a short item on the order of events to elect the new pope; a short bit by Nancy Gibbs; and an extract from reporter David Van Biema’s longer, rather plodding treatment of the pope’s life and legacy.