Tuesday, November 13, 2012

POPE JOHN PAUL II"22 YEARS OF ACTIVISM"

In a luxe stroke for the papacy, in 1998 pontiff John Paul II made a visit to Cuba, taking the opportunity to feed a request of Fidel Castro for the release of hundreds of political prisoners. John Paul's collection for the release of these "prisoners of conscience" also insisted that these prisoners, once released, must non be exiled from the country. In the end, Cuba decided to pardon a way out of political prisoners that exceeded 200, even offering clemency to a horde of people non on the pope's list(The Christian Century, 223-4).

Indeed, though Pope John Paul II's tolerance for dictatorial rule has been low, his gustation for communism is not without substance. The Pope has acknowledged some similarities amongst communist thought and Christian ideology, namely the elimination of pauperization and the early Christian concern for the communal ownership of property. In fact, Pope John Paul II has drawn upon this reliance frequently as a reminder(as he gave in Mexico in 1990) that though the fall of communism was a cause for celebration, it did not signify the triumph of capitalism. The Pope told his crowd in Pancho Villa, Mexico that his unfavorable judgment of communism was not based in its economic shortcomings, save because it clearly "violated or jeopardized the dignity of the person"


Actually, Pope John Paul II's concerns intimately Western-style democracy have been made clear over the decades.
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The Pope has recognized that capitalism can lend itself to ultra-competitiveness, which may in turn create a class of people who be "listlessly unconcerned with human life and human attachments having to do with respect for the elderly, a love for one's family, the capacity to take satisfaction from Christian perspectives"(Buckley, Jr., 174).

Ultimately, what some have considered an intense fixation with contraception may have hurt the Pope's political prowess. Typically, the headlines of the world direction more intently upon Pope Paul's abortion diatribes than upon his pleas for human rights or international cooperation. The contraception issue may have proved the Pope's- and the Roman Catholic Church's- undoing. "There is a case to be made," writes The Economist, "that by insisting on papal authority so flatly in this narrow instance[contraception], he has weakened it in wider-ranging ways"(1995, 24).


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