Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Rick Moran

Bio

April 26, 2014 - 10:56 am
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

The pope who had as much to do with defeating Communism as President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher will be canonized by the Catholic Church on Sunday as millions of the faithful look on. John Paul II’s towering moral authority and the spiritual hold he had on the peoples of Eastern Europe were decisive factors in weakening Moscow’s grip behind the Iron Curtain.

Two million people are expected to descend on Rome for the ceremony — 1,700 buses, 60 flights and a half-dozen special trains for pilgrims from John Paul’s native Poland alone. The outpouring of love and affection will match what ordinary people felt about this man while he was alive. He became the most-traveled and most-watched pope in history. And people responded to his gentle good humor, sharp, penetrating intellect, and common sense by taking him into their hearts.

Anticipating his death, I wrote this back in 2005:

Abraham Lincoln, when asked what were his plans to win the war, was quoted as saying “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”

I thought of this quote when pondering what to write about the imminent death of Pope John Paul II. Was Lincoln correct? Are we condemned to simply ride the whirlwind of history, thrown here and there by capricious forces beyond our control? Or do men command this whirlwind through the force of their own personality and wisdom of their decisions?

For me personally, these are the questions that make reading history worthwhile. So when we reflect on the extraordinary life of Karol Wojtyla, a good and holy man, it is impossible to separate him from the times he lived in.

Oh, and what times they were! To have this man, this Pope elected to the Papacy at a time when two of the 20th Century’s most determined foes of tyranny and passionate advocates for liberty – Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – also came to power in their respective countries would have seemed to the Greeks as nothing less than proof that fate ruled the affairs of men.

John Paul’s alliance with the Anglo-Americans was never set down on paper and coordination was superficial at best. But where Reagan and Thatcher’s hard-headed actions to defeat Soviet Communism stopped, the Pope’s moral authority took root and turned the tide toward people power by giving legitimacy to the aspirations for freedom so longed for by so many in that captive part of the world.

In short, Pope John Paul II gave a final answer to Josef Stalin’s contemptuous question when conflict with the Catholic Church in Russia seemed unavoidable. “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Stalin asked. This Pope could have told him he not only had the heavenly host of angels on his side but the millions of hearts and minds of people that yearned to breathe free, ready to march at his command.

Also being canonized along with John Paul is John XXIII, perhaps the most consequential pope of the last few centuries. His call for a church-wide conclave — the Second Vatican Council — ended up revolutionizing the liturgy by allowing the mass to be said in the vernacular. There was also an historic push for ecumenicism as Rome reached out to heal the wounds of the schism with the Orthodox church and initiated dialogue with Protestant sects.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"A...30100". Haven't we Christians all "grown up" by now so that we can agree to dis-agree on various points? One denomination does NOT "fit all". I also see this with my Jewish friends who peacefully reside side-by-side with neighbors who attend vastly different Synagogues. Unlike the various "brands" of Islam who are still killing each other & like to kill Christians & Jews whenever possible. Most Christians & Jews are living in the 21st century, not the 15th, please join us!!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I'm not Catholic, so I can't speak to the process of canonization (although can someone tell me, is the requirement of two demonstrable miracles out?), but JPII was one hell of a consequential man and this pleases me.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
It really does not take much to get the sects throwing rocks at each other. No wonder we lose elections to the likes of President Empty Suit. John Paul II was one of the greatest human being who ever lived along with his partners, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, for exactly the same reason. The honor would have meant something to him, and since he was key in freeing a half a billion people from tyranny and evil, and since he took a bullet for it, that's enough. Be happy for the guy, and marvel that the worlds oldest bureaucracy occasionally still gets it right.

As to John XXIII, he is one of the most consequential Popes in history, and the changes he wrought were so massive that his canonization is essentially a means of saying we "tested these a few decades and they are now dogma, and not just policy". It's an internal Catholic thing. Also he was by all accounts a really nice, decent man, and acted in a manner that did much to end some of the autocracy of the Church. Essentially, he set the stage for the church to be able to stand up for freedom more effectively.

Ditching the anti-Semitic stuff and embracing the clear historical fact that Jesus was executed by the Romans in a manner reserved exclusively to enemies if the state was nice too (yeah the guys on either side...not thieves, unless they stole from the state, and Roman magistrates, always wash their hands after a trial). I know it was a historical inconvenience for Constantine that Rome executed the official deity of the Empire, but the decision to lay it off on the Jews has caused a lot of issues.

The Church has gotten a lot wrong and a lot right, but it's pretty useful to remember that when you say "Western Civilization" the Church was pretty well it for more than a thousand years. People who live in houses with stained glass foundations shouldn't throw stones (or vote Democrat).
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"making popes into saints — a relatively new phenomenon"

Odd, considering that the first dozen or so popes were all canonized, and shortly after their deaths.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read these postings and I'm saddened. These times of blessing these two men as Saints should be joyful and as blessed as they are. ALL of us are sinners, ALL of us are wrong, too. And yet, ALL of us are blessed. Rejoice in our commonality and not in our differences.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
These two men, Popes John XXIII and John Paul, are the reason I am still a Catholic today. A poor one, admittedly, but a Catholic nonetheless. It's quite a blessing for me to have lived during both of their reigns. I'm sure there have been greater leaders of the Church in it's 2000 year history, but I can't think of any I could compare with these two. The power of their reasoning, the strength of their courage, and too, their gentleness and kindness will be remembered. This will be a good day for Roman Catholics and for the world at large.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've got news for them - I've been saint Mark for almost 50 years now.

All Christians (true Christians) are saints. We don't often act like it, but that's what God calls us. If HE calls us that, how little is man's opinion about it worth?


13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
My uncle thought he was St. Jerome.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
A happy day for Catholics and freedom loving people around the world. A humble and manly presence we can all emulate.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Keep in mind that it is GOD who makes a person a saint. I expect there have been earthly miracles signalling this fact to those of us here on earth
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Matthew 16:19
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope & pray that all in physical attendance have a safe journey & stay in Italy. We live in dangerous times & those who would deliberately seek to harm a large group of Christians are certainly aware of this large gathering. I wish a blessed day to all my Roman Catholic friends!!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Galatians 1:8-9, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

The gospel the Roman Catholic church preaches is different than the writers of the New Testament preached. Take the Eucharist for example. In the Eucharist it is claimed that the priest brings Jesus down, sacrifices Him at the altar, and the people take of the actual body and blood of Christ. This is contrary to Scripture.

Hebrews 7:27, "Unlike the other high priests, He (Jesus) does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself."

Romans 6:9, "For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him."

Romans 10:6-9, But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is to bring Christ down) "or, 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation from judgement is not complicated.

http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since you come here to preach I hope you don't mind my clarifying some of your misconceptions. Hebrews 7:27 points to the fact that the sacrifice of Christ is eternal. Because of His divinity that sacrifice occurs outside time affecting all who died before and after His dying on the Cross. "Keep doing this in memory of Me" He commanded us (Luke 22:19) if you were correct He should have said "Don't bother doing this again because I'm done with it tomorrow once and for all" Romans 6:9 again points at the eternal sacrifice, His triumph over death. Chris is not "killed again" in Holy Mass but we enter into the eternal moment of the Crucifixion so that all generations of mankind past, present, and future can be reunited in Him (Colossians 1:20) As for your quote of Romans 10, St. Paul is quoting Proverbs 30:4 and that was understood by Christians from the beginning to mean that after the Cross we can now get near Christ and be one with Him in Communion fulfilling what He sternly commanded us: "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."

Ask yourself WHERE can you find that food for eternal life. I know beyond any doubt because of twenty centuries of Church witness that Christians have that food in the Eucharist. The Scriptures that came from the same Church agree and validate that doctrine. Of course the selective and partial quoting of Scripture as blanket statements separated from the main body can confuse people into believing anything. That is why there are 30,000+ "Bible based" Christian sects these days. I will be happy to explain this to you in a non contentious way if you want to know the truth, just ask the admin for my e-mail. Someone said that we should start living in the 21st century and not the 15th (well said) that means that perhaps you may want to examine what has been constant since the Cross, the Church that conquered mighty Rome through Christ's word. Review the Catechism of the Catholic Church so you know well what you are attacking instead of attacking something that never existed but as a straw man in someone's idea of Christianity. Peace, brother!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"A...30100". Haven't we Christians all "grown up" by now so that we can agree to dis-agree on various points? One denomination does NOT "fit all". I also see this with my Jewish friends who peacefully reside side-by-side with neighbors who attend vastly different Synagogues. Unlike the various "brands" of Islam who are still killing each other & like to kill Christians & Jews whenever possible. Most Christians & Jews are living in the 21st century, not the 15th, please join us!!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can agree to disagree, but if you are disagreeing with God, don't expect Him to overlook your refusing to hear what He has plainly said.

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
This must be some new and iconoclast use of the word "plainly" with which I had been previously unfamiliar...
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're not sure what the meaning of "is" is, I take it?




13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In the Eucharist it is claimed that the priest brings Jesus down, sacrifices Him at the altar, and the people take of the actual body and blood of Christ"

This is simply untrue.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
You may want to share with us the reasoning that led you to that conclusion. For example 2+2=5 it is simply untrue. You may choose NOT to believe in the Eucharist but at the very least inform yourself thoroughly of the reasons why others believe in something so outrageous as the Eternal Sacrifice of the Mass. I agree that is a very hard to believe concept and I reached the point of believing it only through careful examination of the doctrine. I invite you to do the same.

You (and others) can start here: http://tinyurl.com/k96j6t9
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yikes!!! Not true????

This is exactly Roman Catholic official doctrine! Have you never read the Council of Trent?

It is specifically called an "unbloody sacrifice".

13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thou hast seen a man wise in his own eyes, More hope of a fool than of him! Proverbs 26:12
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
If this is what you believe, then sign your name to it.
(Written from the City of St. Francis)
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All