Friday, April 01, 2005

Pope John Paul was a world shaper

There are few men living who shaped the world more than Pope John Paul. And his relentless work to open up Communist nations to democracy should be remembered and thanked. I've read that the Polish Solidarity movement would have died stillborn were it not for Pope John Paul. That's amazing. He had more influence in shaping nations and empires than those Popes of the first millenium that would ride out in person to battle the armies of rival kingdoms.And he did it with his words, not with force.

Let's hope the next Pope devotes as much energy to freedom and democracy around the world as Pope John Paul has done.

And my prediction: an African Pope is next.


Glenn Brown said...

Personally, I think you are about 5 years early in your prediction. The Nigerian Cardinal seems to be the obvious choice but my guess is they will pick some grand old man who will be too old and too tired to make any waves while they catch their breath and then he will be appointed.

Anonymous said...

His role in Solidarity and Poland was important and not to ignore, but from what I've read, the Catholics fighting for justice in Central America in the early 1980's did not feel the Pope gave them the same respect, most likely because they were left-leaning. The Pope's anti-communism trumped his fight for humanitarianism and justice in that case.

He also either stalled or reversed many of the progressive changes coming from the 1968 Vatican II reforms. The decline of the Church in North America can be directly tied to that conservatism on his part. Globally, the Church appears to have done well, but not here.

He also endorsed what was a very marginal Catholic sect and is now very prominent, a odd mysticism that practically deified the poor and sick and canonized those who help the poor and sick. But to ask why are people poor and sick, or to work strongly to keep people from becoming poor or sick, sort of fell by the wayside with this Pope. Many Catholics who looked at the Church as an agent for social and economic change were on the fence with this Pope.

My point being: the question, will the next Pope be from the Third World? while an exciting question to ponder, is really not the critical point as to figuring what kind of direction the Church will take with the next Pope.