Zope is written in Python. Bruce Eckel said he thought it would run slower than Apache but that it ran noticably faster.
Zope 3 is a radical change from Zope 2. This is one evidence that the designers are more concerned about what is best for you today than the claim that everything in Zope is backward compatible.
Zope can serve as an object oriented database or/and as a means of web development or as a platform for communication.
Zope has maturity. But it has new real competition in Twisted and more to come in the Chandler project.
Python is so far ahead of all of the MS languages, Java, C++, and Lisp in ease of use that you can be sure that when you learn python that you have learned something that will have maximum usefulness for years to come.
The Zope vs Twisted decision is not so clear.