Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A Critique of Pope John Paul II.

Is offered by New Sisyphus. He makes some interesting points and some I think do fall short.

The Pope was often found criticizing American style capitalism.

However, this Pope took that stereotype and made a cottage industry of it. In almost all his major pronouncements, Europe and its cynical secularism are mentioned only obliquely, if at all, while not-so-subtle code words for American-style capitalism feature prominently as oppressors of the world’s poor and downtrodden.
Source: New Sisyphus: The Right and the Pope's Legacy: Willful Blindness
I have been thinking about all of this a lot lately.

Much of the Pope's writings I take to be condemnations of unbridled pursuit of self-indulgence. A liberal society does not regulate against that though this does not mean it to be a good thing. Our society is slowly letting loose from its Rock and in doing so will bring on the worst of the Euro-leftism without the safety net. Neither the right nor the left dominates for too long and neither can come up with a unifying vision. I believe the right's vision to be correct. Freedom only works in the atmosphere of a generous and moral society. Our society is losing its morality and we are becoming a nation of self-indulgent pleasure seekers. We ignore the poor and downtrodden in pursuit of our own self-satisfaction.

This is not a condemnation of capitalism it is a condemnation of immorality and selfishness. I am not as concerned about the Pope's criticisms of capitalism, I believe they were aimed at unbridled materialism and self-indulgence.

The run-up to the Iraq War saw the Pope and his Church not only stake out a radically anti-American position, but the Pope himself treated known genocidal maniac and butcher “Vice President” Tariq Azziz as an honored guest and provided a platform for this most Christian of Saddam’s henchmen to criticize the President of our country as a blood-thirsty madman. Let us not avert our eyes: this Pope said a Holy Mass with and prayed with Azziz as a political gesture to embarrass and harm the United States of America and its President.

As the Leftists are keen to point out—ever-addicted as always to charging hypocrisy—this part of the Pope’s legacy is strangely absent from conservative commentary on his death. In fact, if one were to only read the conservative papers, magazines and websites one would be hard-pressed to find anything mentioning the Pope’s strident anti-Americanism in this regard. This is unfortunate, as the Church is, singularly, the most important pan-Western institution; to surrender it to knee-jerk and unthinking anti-Americanism in the name of a misplaced sense of decorum or loyalty is both tactically and strategically unwise. Friendly criticism would not hurt and is not disrespectful.
Source: New Sisyphus: The Right and the Pope's Legacy: Willful Blindness

This criticism may hit a bullseye. I do not see the specifics here and I wish he New Sisyphus was more specific here. Which Gulf War? Were it the first Gulf War then yes I have a major problem here. I do know the close cooperation between The Vatican and The Whitehouse disappeared after the cold war ended and in fact it is reported The Vatican's first major public break with the Whitehouse was the first Gulf War.

If New Sisyphus is referring to the first war then this is a major problem because at this time the Pope still has his full faculties. If it was in the runup to the second Gulf War than the Pope was used by anti-American clergy in The Vatican and by Saddam Hussein. Iraq was a just war, terrible things were being done to its citizenry in order for Saddam and his cronies to retain power.

The last critique New Sisyphus makes is
The second elephant is the Pope’s and his Church’s wholly inadequate, debasing and insulting reaction to the plague of pedophile priest scandals that have wracked the American church.
Source: New Sisyphus: The Right and the Pope's Legacy: Willful Blindness
Again when this was breaking we have an aging Pope who is very noticeably slipping to death. Recall he was afflicted with Parkinson's disease.

What do we need to see from the next Pope? We need to see him stand up forthrightly against the murderous regimes of the world. We need to see him reign in the "lavender mafia" and to stop the covering up of the Church's sins against its members. We need to see the Pope stand up resolutely for a morality that shakes wealthy people out of their easy chairs.

Why the Catholic Church is so intent on antagonizing the only religious country left in the Western World is one of the great mysteries of the age, but we suspect is has more than a little to do with the Church’s latent anti-Americanism.
Source: New Sisyphus: The Right and the Pope's Legacy: Willful Blindness
This is a wonder. The only religion doing well in Europe is Islam
Haci Karacaer was rather provocative. He hammered home that Europe has its roots in Islam. "Europe does not have Judeo-Christian roots. We gave them to you!" When they talked about religious education things got even more heated. "André, try to keep up with the facts. Demographics tell you that a school board can't continue to proselytize. I'll go as far as to say that the Christian identity of these schools doesn't mean a damn thing."
Source: Dhimmi Watch: Holland: A Muslim Politician Drops His Mask HT LGF
Europe has to come up with an answer to this threat and it must come from a religious institution as secularists are too caught up with self-indulgent pleasure seeking. The primary candidate for this is The Vatican and the Catholic Church.

The danger is The Vatican will be chasing fanciful demons across the Atlantic and totally miss the danger right in their own neighborhood.

We will we see the return of Andalusia or will we see a Lepanto?