Friday, April 08, 2005

The Pope Was Great Because He Held The Line

John Paul II, love him or otherwise, has earned a place in history, if not a place as a saint by the Catholic Church's canons.

But there is one thing that made him great. He knew what was right, he believed in it, and he held the line on it.

The left judged John Paul II for failing to see their twisted vision of the world. He did not liberalize sexual practices. He did not endorse the gay lifestyle. He did not favor abortion or stem cell research that came from aborted embryos. He did not favor women priests. He didn't do these things not just because he disagreed with them (which he did), but because he believed that it would be an abuse of his office before God to do so.

It was not up to John Paul II to liberalize certain practices. The teachings of the Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole forbade much of what the liberal culture value, and so, to a very significant degree, his hands were tied. And John Paul knew that if he let go of the moral and ethical standard even just a little, he would be allowing humanist secularism to triumph over the Law of God. he would be bowing to the pressure of a bitter and noisy few over the proven standards of God.

John Paul did not waiver. He did not leave his post. And while that may make the Catholic Church seem stiff and arcane to the cutting edge left, it provided confirmation and support for the beliefs and standards held by many in the world. But it is not the place of the left, who generally avoid the Church (and by that I mean the greater community of Christians, which includes the Catholic Church), to stick their nose in to re/deform it. It is a place of transformation for and of the individuals who wish to step inside the door with open hearts.

And John Paul's refusal to bow to worldly pressure maintained the separation between secularism and the Church. The two are incompatible. The secular left seeks to abolish the Church by gradually doing away with its institutions, both biblically essential and simply traditional. John Paul realized that the Church is not about welcoming in strange ideas, but about worshiping the God who created it and the individuals whom the Church exists to serve.

And holding the line was the bravest thing he could do in this age. Well done.

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