Crossing the Threshold is a very interesting treatise from the Holy See written in the form of an interview, where the Pope explains his views of various Christian beliefs - including his belief in God, his views of non-Christian and non-Catholic faiths, and Mariology. His views appear to negate the claims put forth by anti-Catholics and tend to look to the new millennium with hope instead of fear.
An important message in this book is reiterated strongly by JPII's pontificate: Be not afraid. Great advice from probably the greatest Pope we've had in a long time.
As a non-Catholic Christian, I was happy to find that I agree with most of this book. (Apart from the "Mother of God" chapter.) I was impressed by the intelligence, simplicity, and balance with which Pope John-Paul presented his ideas. It seemed to me that the pope must be aware of the ideas of great Christian thinkers like Lewis, Chesterton, and Pascal, and shares the same ability to express deep truths in terms that are easy to understand.
Some Buddhists, like Thich Nhat Hanh, have complained about the Pope's view of other religions. Thich actually rebuked the Pope for misunderstanding Christianity by calling Jesus "the only mediator between God and man!" Non-Christians should realize that, in this case, the Pope is only quoting Scripture. And as he also noted, Christianity "rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions." My own research is into what the Pope calls "semina Verbi," seeds of truth, in pre-Christian cultures, (especially Asian) and I thought his approach was fair. Of course he talks about many issues in this book: the fall of communism, abortion, the status of women, salvation, the existence of God. . . and does not go into any in great detail. It is an excellent book to read for an overall understanding of Catholic Christianity and the thinking of one very thoughtful Catholic in particular.
author, Jesus and the Religions of Man