April 08, 2005

Modern-day apostle Voice of conscience for world

The B.C. Catholic Newspaper


VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope John Paul II, who died April 2 at age 84, was a voice of conscience for the world and a modern-day apostle for his Church.

To both roles he brought a philosopher’s intellect, a pilgrim’s spiritual intensity, and an actor’s flair for the dramatic. That combination made him one of the most forceful moral leaders of the modern age.

As head of the Church for more than 26 years, he held a hard line on doctrinal issues and drew sharp limits on dissent, in particular regarding abortion, birth control, and other contested Church teachings on human life. ...

His reaction to the mushrooming clerical sex abuse scandal in the United States in 2001-02 underscored his governing style: He suffered deeply, prayed at length, and made brief but forceful statements emphasizing the gravity of such a sin by priests. He convened a Vatican-U.S. summit to address the problem, but let his Vatican advisers and U.S. Church leaders work out the answers. In the end, he approved changes that made it easier to defrock abusive priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 8, 2005 04:45 AM