By the time I wake up in the morning after this post, there’s a good chance that I will see that John Paul II has died.
When Ronald Reagan died last year, he got a lot of credit for the downfall of communism in Europe (or in the “world” as we think of it). And I don’t deny that’s true, but if there was one man that had the most to do with it, it wasn’t Reagan. It was either Gorbachev or Pope John Paul II.
It wasn’t on accident that a Pole was named Pope in 1978 after the brief tenure of John Paul I. It was in Poland, after all, where things started to fall apart in the Eastern bloc. The Church and its agents were certainly not mere bystanders.
And because of this, the suspicion that Eastern bloc intelligence services were behind the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 has been confirmed. The East German stasi, and, therefore, probably the KGB were the puppet masters.
I don’t agree with the church on abortion; I don’t agree with the church on homosexuality; and I don’t agree with their reaction to the abuse scandals. But as someone pointed out during the 2004 election, there are those one or two things that the Catholic church agrees with Bush on, and then there are the other 35 issues that they agree with Kerry and the Democrats on.
If the church is going to survive into the 22nd century, it will need to apply the teachings of Jesus and not those of the Old Testament or of Paul to those three issues. But these problems are mainly issues in America anyway. Catholic countries in Europe with established churches ironically seem to have a better secular vision.
Yup, those problems are America-centric; just like the notion that Ronald Reagan alone vanquished communism, despite the heroic efforts of many, many others and the continued existence of communist regimes throughout the world.