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View Diary: New Information Emerges on Pope John Paul II (308 comments)

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  •  If I may I would like to offer some comments that (10+ / 0-)

    may clarify this is issue a bit. First Karol Wojtyla was not an obscure bishop in a poor country. He was the Price Archbishop of Krakow and the top Catholic prelate in Gdansk the industrial heartland of Poland. Second because of the Polish thing he was widely known in Chicago, which has a huge Polish population and was politically very well connected in the US in the 1970s. He was an observer at Vatican II and a critic. As for Opus De his political connections with American congressman and the polish american political organizations would be more important.

    The Religious Right in this country is a protestant thing. It conflicts with the social teaching of the catholic church ay every level. Read what JPII and Benny the 16th have to say about capitalism and trade unions and feeding the poor. Paul Ryan's budget proposals are denounced in Rome by theologians conservative and liberal as are Republicans thinking on climate change and immigration. The only room for agreement between the two are on abortion and education funding.

    I read Yallop's book and I want to be convinced. But there is a lot of stuff about secret masonic orders and Italian banking scandals fro it to be more than just CT. I would welcome more research into this because the death of John Paul I and the circumstances surrounding it stink to high heaven. John Paul I was a holy man who believed that church teachings needed to be more pastoral, more focused on the lives of regular folks. And he knew from the example of his own family the toll taken by the churches teaching on birth control. He would have been a quieter gentler John XXIII. He would have supported and built upon Vatican II. The Roman Catholic church would be very different.

    Growing up in Chicago you see the Catholic Church get a lot of media attention. Chicago is a Catholic town. Chicago is also an immigrant town and most immigrants to Chicago are Catholic. John Paul II was a known quantity and when he visited he was welcomed as an old friend. Not that I was a supporter but many people in Chicago knew him before he was an bishop. And they loved him even when they disagreed with him. But to conflate even conservative catholicism with the religious right is a mistake.

    •  On the world stage, Wojtyla was an obsure (12+ / 0-)

      churchmen and Poland was an impoverished nation, certainly too poor to provide a prelate with the resources for travel to the Pacific rim, multiple tours of Europe and U.S.

      During the Communist occupation, the Communist Party had final say over who would become a bishop. The Church proposed names which were rejected or accepted. Wojtyla became metropolitan archbishop of Krakow after six other names were rejected because, according to the Polish journalist Kwitney, the head of the Communist Party wanted Wojtyla precisely because of his reputation of "going along to get along."

      Wojtyla was only one of hundreds of prelates in attendance at the Second Vatican Council and none of the histories written about the council say he played any notable role.

      The Religious Right in this country is not a "protestant thing." No group of protestants could have gotten, earlier this year, legislation introduced in both the House and Senate, a congressional hearing, many states attorneys general filing suit on their behalf and three of the four GOP candidates back the bishops' position on something as banal and acceptable to the U.S. population as contraceptives being covered by health insurance.

      Forget all the "pretty" words. Pope Benedict invited Ettore Gotti Tedeschi to co-author his encyclical Caritas in Veritate concerning financial ethics. When as president of the Vatican Bank Gotti Tedeschi tried to implement the pope's own words in the Vatican, he was brutally ousted.

      Does it matter that the bishops write a critique of Ryan's budget proposals when they compare Obama to Hitler and Stalin and call him a despot among other names? (See my diary:

      •  Well first of all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, G2geek

        Wojtyla was appointed bishop by a cardinal who worked with the Soviet authorities Cardinal Wyszyński. It was and is common practice in Europe to give the government power of approval over appointments. This tradition dates back to the Dark Ages and cause many bloody disputes and wars. But as I indicated before he had a lot of powerful friends and allies in America, especially in the Polish American community. They were quite generous and in fact funded his extensive travels. But to write off Poland as weak and insignificant in Eastern Europe is to fundamentally misunderstand the history of the 20th century. Poland was a breadbasket for Eastern Europe as well as a heavy industry powerhouse. The Gdansk shipyards built much of the Soviet navy and was one of the largest producers of steel in the world. Poland's border with Germany was a constant source of worry to the leadership of the Soviet Union after WWII. Poland has been hotly disputed territory since the 1500s and for good reason.

        And yes there is a  difference between the bishops criticizing Ryan's budget proposal and a single bishop calling Obama a Nazi. I did not say that the church was right, just more complicated than you seem to understand. Just because some conservative lay Catholics cooperate with the Religious Right does not mean that the Religious Right is run be the Catholic church. For one thing the Church believes that most of those in the religious right should become catholic. Second the church does not recognize many of the rights enshrined in the constitution and would prepare to write one for us. Like they did in Ireland in the 1930s.

        The President is trying to force Roman Catholic institutions to do things they do not want to do. Like many times in history the argument is "Is the Church subject to secular control?" And the churches answer is no. like when priests refused to sign an oath of loyalty to the French government during the French Revolution. The church is looking out for what they see as their own interests. Like when they made an agreement with Hitler to keep quiet as long as they could run their own schools and continue to receive taxpayer subsides.

        •  Your command of history is wide (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and accurate.  I don't agree, however, with all your conclusions.    It's not just some Catholic secular leaders in our country cooperating with the religious right.  A number of the Bishops have pushed the exact same agenda.  The Church does not run the religious right, but they are on a parallel track heading in the same direction, cooperating with each other when necessary.   (Of course, the religious right does not consider Catholics as Christians, and Catholic leadership maintains that only members of the Catholic faith in good standing will have eternal life. But each group serves a purpose presently for the other.)

          Yes, priests resisted the government in France, as some did in Germany and in most worn torn countries.  Priests end up on the winning and losing sides of political conflicts, and on the side of the people and others on the side of power.  But more often than not, the Church sides with a right wing type of power.

          "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

          by Going the Distance on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:14:50 PM PDT

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      •  The only reason protestant evangelicals (6+ / 0-)

        Wouldn't have lobbyists putting up a bill against the ACA contraception provisions is that they don't run hospitals or universities that employ/serve the public at large.

        The religous right in this country is most definitely a Southern/rural thing, it is based in states traditionally hostile to Catholicism. The fact that the Catholic Bishops have so much influence in Congress is that they have formed alliances with evangelical antiabortion groups and the Fox News crowd.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:57:53 PM PDT

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        •  And now both (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, G2geek, KenBee

          Catholics and Southern Baptists believe God Commands they vote for a Mormon to be POTUS just because God has to hate the half-black guy. My God, that's some seriously twisted-up theological porridge from notable child abusers, polygamists and wife-beaters!

          •  prez candidate santorum catholic (1+ / 0-)
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            just sayin...

            From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

            by KenBee on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:34:02 PM PDT

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            •  Well, sure they (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Alice in Florida

              tried to go for the gold. Deal is, Santorum didn't make it to the finals. Nor did Bachmann or anyone else from the mainstream theocratic wannabes. Apart from Paul and Gingrich the R field was a fine collection of religio wingnuts vying for the title of Most Likely To Abolish The Constitution.

              Mitt bought the nomination as just another punch in his Mormon ticket to Planetary Godhood, so the rest of the ostensibly Christian contenders have to swallow their revulsion and trust him to make good on their shared goal to abolish the US of A and institute the Holy Mammon Empire [rhymes with Mormon, but more specific].

              And to me, the creepiest part of it is that Mitt - while as sleazy-slick and full of lies as any politician ever - is probably the sanest of the bunch.

        •  I guess you never heard of Utah? (1+ / 0-)
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          The fundy right has joined the Catholic right big time on many issues and they've buried the hatchet on old rivalries just like they did with the Israeli far right and conservative Mormons. They're all of a piece now, joined at the hip to defeat liberals of all pursuasions.

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:44:47 PM PDT

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    •  Regarding the religious right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You are absolutely correct that the Religous right arises from protestant evangelical sects that have traditionally been quite hostile to the Catholic church, except that they are now more and more often joining forces to fight abortion, birth control and marriage equality. While it's wrong to say the Bishops are part of the religous right, they have become close allies in recent years.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:58:42 AM PDT

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      •  That's incorrect (11+ / 0-)

        If you're old enough to remember, evangelicals had little interest in political activism before Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. It was the Catholic neocons, let by Paul Weyrich, who hired Falwell, chose the name the "Moral Majority" and set down his agenda and methods.

        Also, if you're old enough to remember, evangelicals had little interest in abortion and birth control (marriage equality wasn't even a subject back then) before the organization of the Religious Right.

        You're correct that there was a mutual animosity between Catholics and evangelicals before the 1970s. The creation of "issues" such as abortion were carefully selected and engineered to bring both Catholic and Protestant conservatives into a single voting bloc.

        The bishops are not only members, but are the leaders of the Religious Right since they expound the chosen "issue(s)" of each election year e.g. "Religious Freedom" in 2012.

        •  Evangelicals had little interest in politics (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP, G2geek

          untill they understood that Jimmy Carter was a liberal. They were late to the antiabortion movement in part because they believed that evangelicals should stay out of politics and concentrate on preparing for the Lord return. Why did Paul Weyrich recruit jerry Falwell. Because he could not find any priest to head the movement. The Catholic hierarchy in America at the time was more attuned to the reforms and values of Vatican II. Protestants did not want to be told they could not use birth control. Evangelicals focus was on American politics, Catholics more concerned globally.

          Reagan appealed to blue collar workers Catholic and Protestant alike. But he never really embraced either side. People like Weyrich (a lay Catholic) were only interested in furthering a conservative revolutionary movement. I think you fail to understand that over the past 35 years the political and social attitudes of the bishops has swung further right. But when the religious right was created the leadership of the Catholic church was pretty liberal, at laest in Catholic terms.

          The entry of Catholic bishops into American electoral politics is a very bad thing. But it is also a very new thing. And I think you will find that it is driving many catholics from the church. If the bishops are not careful they will find that American Catholicism has turned into French Catholicism where less than 5% consider themselves catholic.

          •  Weyrich recruited Falwell because the neocons (7+ / 0-)

            needed conservative Protestants to vote Republican. There were never enough Catholics to carry a national election.

            Catholic bishops appointed by Roncalli and Montini were politically active but in the cause of labor, civil rights, anti-nuclear and for peace especially in Latin America during the Reagan administration. JPII changed the U.S. episcopate from liberal to tea party.

            •  As a former Catholic it saddens me to see what (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SeaTurtle, G2geek, cacamp, KenBee

              has happened to the Catholic Church. In Chicago there was a cardinal named Joseph Bernardine. He was tolerant open and kind. He also faced the beginning of the child abuse scandal head on. He pursued a policy of openness and asked for forgiveness for the Church. He also instituted a policy that any priest accused of abuse be turned over to the authorities. Instead of denying the problem he worked with groups like SNAP. And he was over ruled by Rome. They stopped him cold in his tracks. He was also the president of the US Conference of Bishops when they publicly denounced Reagan's nuclear weapons policy.

              Of course after he died he was replaced by an arch conservative Francis George who has made a mockery of Bernardine's legacy.

        •  Exactly! (7+ / 0-)

          The BBC's estimable documentarian Adam Curtis wrote on his blog about how and why Weyrich ginned up the religious right on his blog. There's video at the link as well.

          One of the leaders of the New Right was a man called Paul Weyrich, and in the wake of the student revolts of 1968 he infiltrated the meetings of left-wing grassroots organisations. He was astonished by the amount of planning and tactics that he saw and he realised that the conservative movement in America was completely unaware of all this. The right, he said, were still trapped by the belief that people would simply vote for them because they were right.

          So the New Right set out to organise a new grassroots movement that could counter the left's success. They had all sorts of discussions and during one of them Weyrich pointed out that there were millions of Americans who were socially and culturally very conservative but who never voted. They were the religious fundamentalists and the evangelicals - a vast segment of the population who believed that they should never get involved in politics.

          Weyrich realised that if you could activate the fundamentalists and the evangelicals then the New Right could create an incredibly powerful force

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:41:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the trick is to spot today's young Weyriches... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotlizard, cotterperson

            ... and do whatever it takes to neutralize them and prevent them becoming tomorrow's grownup and dangerous Weyriches.

            Think of how different the world would be today if someone had managed to get the original Paul Weyrich stoned on pot and turned him into a hippy, or persuaded him to join the Hare Krishnas instead, or ... (fill in the blanks: add your own scenarios here).

            For that matter think of how different the world would be today if someone had managed to get to Newt Gingrich when he was young, and persuade him to take enough LSD to dissolve his narcissistic ego before it metastasized into a national tumor.

            Early intervention works!  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:00:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  evangelicals had little interest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in politics from the '20's to the 80's. Prior to that they were a major force. They weren't created out of whole cloth by the catholics, or Reagan, or Wayrich.

          Try to shout at the right buildings for a few months.

          by nickrud on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:50:26 PM PDT

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          •  this disease runs in waves. (0+ / 0-)

            The rabid religious right is a national affliction that apparently comes and goes in waves.  

            We may be nearing the end of the current wave, or it may be that there are further steps needed to take before it recedes again and goes back to its dormant phase.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 09:01:45 PM PDT

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        •  I think you have it backwards (0+ / 0-)

          If it was a Catholic who joined forces with Fallwell to create the religous right it must have been because he understood that he needed Baptists, not Catholics, to  be the foot soldiers of the movement.

          And the movement would have gone nowhere if there hadn't been an audience for it. The religous right was based on the "Southern Strategy" and the antiabortion movement found a receptive audience on white southerners afraid of being out-reproduced by black people.

          The Bishops alliance with the religous right is mostly recent.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 01:15:14 PM PDT

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      •  Yes allies, but only as long as suits the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hillbilly Dem

        Catholic church. They could just as easily change sides when it suits them.

    •  Conservative Catholicism often enough teams up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      … with the evangelical Right and the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) when it comes to politics.

      Happened (and is still happening) in Hawaii in a very blatant way regarding same-sex marriage.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 04:59:20 AM PDT

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