Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Mark Steyn on Pope John Paul

Mark Steyn describes "Why progressive Westerners never understood John Paul II," in the Telegraph Online. Progressives deride the Pope as authoritarian and inflexible. They can't acknowledge that the Authority to which the Pope adheres is a doctrine full of "eternal truths no one can change even if one wanted to."

Steyn pinpoints the source of the Pope's conservatism:
John Paul's papacy was founded on what he called - in the title of his encyclical - Veritatis Splendor, and when you seek to find consensus between truth and lies you tarnish that splendour.

In contrast to the practitioners of Realpolitik in the 70's and 80's, who promoted appeasement and accommodation, Steyn views the Pope as a Champion of speaking truth with spiritual power:
When a free man enjoying the blessings of a free society promotes an equivalence between real democracy and a sham, he's colluding in the great lie being perpetrated by the prison state. Too many Western politicians of a generation ago - Schmidt, Trudeau, Mitterrand - failed to see what John Paul saw so clearly. It requires tremendous will to cling to the splendour of truth when the default mode of the era is to blur and evade.

This legacy left by Pope John Paul may lead many non-Catholics to admire and revere his memory as much as his faithful followers. And well it might.

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