April 07, 2005

Hold the Hosannas: The Record of Pope John Paul II

The Progressive

As the mainstream media, as one, has broken into a weeklong chorus of hosannas about Pope John Paul II, a little perspective is in order.

Pope John Paul II was a mixed bag.

On the plus side, he supported Solidarity, the trade union movement in Poland that helped bring down the Soviet empire.

He spoke out against the excesses of capitalism. He condemned the inequality between the industrialized countries and the developing world. He called for "just wages." And he recognized the limits of the free market. In his 1991 Encyclical Letter "Centesimus Annus," he said the "market [must] be appropriately controlled by the forces of society and by the State, so as to guarantee that the basic needs of the whole of society are satisfied." ...

The pope also totally mismanaged the sexual abuse scandal that so besmirched the church in the United States, reacting haltingly to the mountains of charges against pedophile priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 7, 2005 09:17 AM