St. John Paul II: The 20th Century’s Greatest Dissident

 “I plead with you – never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”

- Pope John Paul II

Solzhenitsyn. Havel. Bonhoeffer. Kolakowski. These names are forever lionized in the pantheon of noble dissidents. And rightfully so. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn catalogued the heinous abuses of the Soviet labor camp experience in his greatest work, The Gulag Archipelago. Vaclav Havel endured isolation and harassment as an outspoken playwright who penned the razor-sharp analysis of life under oppressive Czech Communist stooges in his essay The Power of the Powerless.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer helped found a Protestant Confessing Church objecting to the Nazification of his former denomination. He then went on to write his seminal work, The Cost of Discipleship, which objected to “cheap grace” in the face of times demanding suffering for Christian truth. And Leszek Kolakowski championed and brilliantly articulated why Marxism was philosophically robust and defensible, only to realize that this simply was not true. In writing his magisterial intellectual indictment of the Communist enterprise, The Main Currents of Marxism, he upheld his intellectual honesty and moral center which led his overseers to strip him of his titles, deprive him of his livelihood and threaten his safety. Consequently, he became the exiled intellectual godfather of the Solidarity movement which first fissured and cracked the edifice of Soviet Communism. How on earth could anyone expect to stand equally in the company of such courageous men? And where would you find them?

Let me say the last place I anticipated finding such a man was the theater. But there he was. In August, 1941, young Karol Wojtyla found himself nearly one year into the Nazi’s brutal occupation of Poland. In this short span of time, Wojtyla was forced to quit his University studies, witness his professors and priests sent to concentration camps, work tirelessly in a limestone quarry and chemical plant and, finally, endure the untimely death of his father. And yet in the increasingly hellish killing fields of Nazi racial hygiene, Wojtyla would not opt for fearful passivity. He would become part of a reassembled underground university. He would become a member of “The Living Rosary” serving as a leader of fifteen men charged to live the life of incessant prayer and selfless devotion modeled after St. John of the Cross. And, finally, Karol Wojtyla would act.

The clandestine Rhapsodic Theater was formed by Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk. At the end of relentless workdays, a small group of bone-tired, underfed Polish men gathered for twice-weekly demanding rehearsals (at times by candlelight). With the inconvenience of ubiquitous danger, ever-shifting locations and constantly refashioned rehearsal times, the men nonetheless found themselves exhilarated by partaking in the production of robust plays and poems thick with Polish history, culture and inextricably bound to the region’s deep Catholicism. But the select group knew that there could be a fearsome cost to their “illegal activity”. Nazi “justice” was swift and ruthless especially when it suspected any forms of intellectual or cultural activity. Yet, in spite of this fear, the wickedness of their Nazi overseers and the possible extermination of Polish faith and culture meant that Kotlarczyk and Wojtyla’s charge was more vital than ever. This was among the most important forms of resistance against the Nazis: Cultural Resistance. As George Weigel so eloquently frames in his papal biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope,

“The word of truth, publicly, indeed almost liturgically, proclaimed was the antidote the Rhapsodic Theater sought to apply to the violent lies of the Occupation. The tools for fighting evil included speaking truth to power.”

“The young actors of the Rhapsodic Theater ‘certainly’ thought of themselves as involved in a resistance movement…And their purpose was equally clear: ‘to save our culture from the Occupation’ and to help restore the nation’s soul, which was a precondition to its political resurrection.”

“Karol Wojtyla deliberately chose the power of resistance through culture, through the power of the word, in the conviction that the ‘word’ (and in Christian terms, the Word) is that on which the world turns.”

 

In front of small, nervous, but enthusiastic gatherings, the Rhapsodic Theater would perform seven productions twenty-two times after over one hundred rehearsals. Karol Wojtyla was a dissident engaged in cultural resistance. And this would not be the last time.

After six bloody years, World War II would end. But Poland’s suffering would continue. Nazi oppression would be exchanged for Communist oppression. The declared enemies of Soviet Communism were similar to the declared enemies of National Socialism. And while ideological reasons and semantics abounded, anything that threatened the regime’s power was neutralized. The foremost enemy to the Communist state was the Catholic Church. It was during this time that Karol Wojtyla pursued the priesthood in an underground seminary.

Karol Wojtyla’s next act of cultural resistance was to rebut the Communist program in the lives of his parishioners. The Communists worked tirelessly from on high to eradicate religion, break down the family and undermine individual dignity while establishing “Holy Mother State” in its place. Wojtyla saw what was being attempted and sought to counter the State at each point. Catechesis, as Weigel describes, on “the existence of God and the spiritual character of the human person” led parishioners, young and old, through a thoughtful, faithful consideration of the doctrine of the Christian faith. Exploration of the liturgy and its music provided a deeper connection to God and the sacrament of the Eucharist. Lectures on marriage, sexuality and family life reinforced the indispensable, basic unit of society endowed by God and never to be jettisoned in the name of the State or ideology. This tireless priest went on vacation excursions with youth, getting to know them personally and engaging them in intellectual and spiritual discussions to show the relevance of faith to everyday concerns. He wrote and shared essays, poems & plays which encased morals of deep spiritual and cultural import. Finally, Wojtyla endlessly emphasized and modeled the practice of the Faith. Prayer, Mass attendance, Confession, simply communing with fellow believers as the Body of Christ – listening, growing, supporting and loving each other as Christ loves us. He sought to reinforce the dignity of each individual, the unique vocational call given to each of us while reinforcing the accountability that comes with these gifts. In words that embodied Wojtyla’s philosophy, Weigel quotes,

“The duty of the priest is to live with his people, everywhere they are, to be with them in everything but sin.”

“The greatest choice posed to the human person in the modern world is the choice ‘between sanctity and the loss of [one's] humanity’”.

Nearly twenty years would pass. By 1964, Joseph Stalin was dead for over ten years and yet puppets of Soviet Communism would still have an iron grip on Poland. This was the year Karol Wojtyla was called to serve as Archbishop of Krakow. Wojtyla had clearly made an impression on his parishioners, his superiors and his Communist oppressors. His appointment as a guardian of the faithful was met with mixed reaction. The iconic Polish Cardinal Wyszynski tipped his hand of concerned skepticism when asked his impressions of Wojtyla,

“He is a poet.”

Even the Communists felt that his age, his intellectual and cultural abstractions proved him to be a naive dreamer and likely easily manipulated to greater Communist ends. Perhaps, they wondered, he could even be a tool to achieve the ultimate demise of Polish Catholicism. According to the Communists, his intellectual discussions, literary interests, call to greater holiness and vocation and his connection to the youth were all irrelevant eccentricities when considered in the context of true power. As Weigel articulates,

“‘Cultural resistance’ made no sense to [the Communists]. In the orthodox Marxist jargon, ideas were ‘superstructure,’ ephemera, not the stuff of real power. Let the boyish [Archbishop] preach sermons about the ‘supernatural episcopal responsibility for the people of God’…Let him urge college students to think about their lives vocationally and go to confession regularly. All of this was opium…”

Weigel even tells the tale of a prison warden at Gdansk visiting an imprisoned Abbott from a local Krakow monastery to pompously declare Wojtyla’s selection as “very good news”. Months later, the same warden would wail, “Wojtyla has swindled us!”.

 

In October, 1978, Karol Wojtyla became the Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II. At the age of 59, the relatively youthful pope would return to his native Poland – his bleeding homeland still dominated and ravaged by the Communists. His cultural resistance would be called upon once again. With a kiss of the ground, the Pope would begin his message to his flock: Be not afraid. Remember your right “to [form] your own culture and civilization”. The measure of man is not his utility to the state, but his dignity before God. “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Remember that your suffering is transformative, like the cross of Christ. Do not give up. “Build your lives with the Gospel”. At the final Mass in the Krakow Commons, Pope John Paul II (from Weigel’s book) would implore,

 

“You must be strong, dear brothers and sisters…You must be strong with the strength of faith…Today more than in any other age you need this strength. You must be strong with the strength of hope, hope that brings the perfect joy of life and does not allow us to grieve the Holy Spirit. 

You must be strong with love, which is stronger than death…and helps us to set up the great dialogue with man and the world rooted in the dialogue with God Himself, with the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, the dialogue of salvation…

When we are strong with the Spirit of God, we are also strong with the faith in man…There is therefore no need to fear…

So…I beg you: never lose your trust, do not be defeated, do not be discouraged…I beg you: have trust, and…always seek spiritual power from Him from whom countless generations of our fathers and mothers have found it. Never detach yourselves from Him. Never lose your spiritual freedom…”

The trip to Poland began with a pope kissing the ground. It proceeded with massive public gatherings chanting, “We want God!”. And it ended with a Mass hosting two to three million men and women. In a state where God was “illegal”, God was demanded. And the Spirit of the Lord would come…and leave the wreckage of Communism in its wake.

Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, was a dissident. And his weapon of choice was cultural resistance. Even at the peak of his influence as pope he was still a man dissenting from the prevailing philosophy of the world. But regardless of who he was dissenting from, his message was the same. To the violent racial bigotry of National Socialism, the power-hungry machinations of Communism, the dignity-violating utilitarianism of secular fundamentalism and the cynical debasement of hyperconsumerism, Pope John Paul II answered simply: Offer Prayer, Mass, Confession, Communion. Have Faith, Hope, Charity. Preserve Dignity, Integrity, Respect. In two words: Jesus Christ.

The twentieth century was stricken by the most destructive philosophies ever devised my man. And we owe endless debts of gratitude to Solzhenitsyn, Havel, Bonhoeffer, Kolakowski and countless unnamed others. Indeed. But if you will indulge me for one day, I would like to nominate Pope John Paul II, soon to be Pope St. John Paul II, as the 20th century’s greatest dissident. May God bless all dissidents and make us worthy of their infinite sacrifice.

 

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  • jenny

    God bless all of us !!! Pope JP2 helped with the communism break down…..

  • Yonah

    As I remember his wagging finger over kneeled liberationist priests, “dissident” does not work for me. A greater problem is that Catholic apologists are not generally gifted with the capacity to tolerate dissidents to their own positions. I note how many Catholic bloggers post and close comments…I get the sense they laugh about whatever frustration they engender in others over such practices. I merely ask what is the point of claiming to be a dissident who can’t tolerate dissidents?

    • PrimateZero

      Couldn’t agree more. My favorite is the nut over at God and the Machine who post some of the most ridiculous nonsense but makes sure his comments are closed so no one can point out his flawed reasoning.

      • Yonah

        I’ll have to check that out. Thanks

  • PrimateZero

    Oh yes, Pope John Paul the second….. hard on communism but soft on pedophilia.

    • Primate

      You are very poor and sad (

      • PrimateZero

        In what way?

  • 90Lew90

    Supping my Polish beer on this fine sunny day, I happened upon the main-page of Patheos. An image of a decrepit-looking John Paul II caught my eye, then was replaced by an image of the Bible and a headline about how to misuse it. Irony. I clicked back to JPII and when I read the title on that story my jaw actually dropped. “The 20th Century’s Greatest Dissident.” I had to read this.

    The first, rather offensive incongruity occurs in the very first paragraph, where Karol Wojtyla is placed undeservingly with true dissident heroes such as Solzenitsyn and Havel. A quote from Solzenitsyn seems appropriate here: “Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.” And for that matter, another: “The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.”

    The former pope’s “dissidence” was of a very different flavour to that of these men. His opposition to communism was admirable, but had little to do with his being Polish (although this fact about him was waved around endlessly as being part of his motivation) and everything to do with his ideological, ultra-conservative Catholicism. Communism was a direct threat not only to democracy but to the Christian religion itself. This is well-understood. What is less appreciated is that communism posed such a threat to Christianity because it is basically Christianity without God. The early Christians lived in what would today be recognised not only as a cult but a cult that was basically communist. This will not have escaped the former pope’s notice. The way of life prescribed by Paul (as well as to be found in the sayings attributed to Jesus) is communistic. Shun wealth and personal gain, be as sheep in a flock, give up possessions, etc. Yes, communism was a menace to democracy, but it was to the Catholic church a very particular and quite different kind of menace. It attempted to occupy ground and a formula the Catholic church sees as its own. It was this that John Paul II fought against.

    The incongruity of this piece continued apace, studiedly ignoring that this man was never in any real danger from the Nazis, being as Hitler was, a “good” Catholic. The obsequious silence of the Holy See on Nazism is well documented. There are also many documented cases of active collusion with the Nazis by elements in the church. We should note the stark contrast in the church’s attitude to Nazism and fascism with that of its attitude to communism and it should give us pause. Had Pius XII been as vociferous in his condemnation of Nazism as JPII was of communism, what might have been? Unremarked in this piece is that the Polish intelligentsia during World War II was significantly Jewish; a people at real, present and obvious risk for merely existing, never mind being brave enough to contribute to intellectual resistance. This omission is quite startling.

    What can we say about the true legacy of this “dissident”.
    Perhaps here is a good place to start with the fact that his papacy was
    remarkable for the number of apologies he dished out. The Nazi hatred of Jews
    did not come from nowhere. The ground had been prepared by Christian dominance for centuries. John Paul II apologized to the Jews for their treatment at the hands of Catholics down the ages. And yet – and yet – on his spree of
    fast-tracking figures to sainthood, he canonised Pius IX, a man who called Jews
    “dogs”, and who condemned in his most notorious publication, the Syllabus of
    Errors, “progress, liberalism and modern civilization”. What a hero. What a
    saint. Pius IX was also the pope who declared popes to be infallible, a
    doctrine John Paul took up with gusto. The incongruity here is that in making
    all these remarkable apologies – to Muslims for the Crusades (ordered by
    popes), to the Jews, to Galileo, (half-heartedly) to Darwin, etc., etc., while
    simultaneously upholding the doctrine of infallibility, the logic of the John
    Paul’s thinking was that these past popes were both right and wrong at the same
    time. I suppose cognitive dissonance is a marked psychological trait in the
    religious. One of those “joyful mysteries” perhaps.

    There were a good number of things that the pope should have
    apologised for but didn’t. The fastest canonisation ever in the history of the
    church was of Mother Teresa, whom he championed wholeheartedly. This woman, a triumph of PR, had a magnificent ability to make money simply vanish. Millions – puff! Perhaps this was the “miracle” she performed; the prerequisite for consideration for sainthood. What was less miraculous and little mentioned about her was that she oversaw not a network of haven’s for the poor children of Calcutta and beyond, but an horrific regime of neglect borne of “faith” which included neglecting utterly to hire trained staff or to train the staff she had to
    either treat sick children properly or to use the vastly expensive, specialist
    equipment which the gullible donated readily to her organisation. There is
    documentary evidence of children at her orphanages soiled and chained to their
    beds. Her ethos, it seems, was that suffering is good for the soul because when
    one suffers one shares in the Passion of Christ.

    More incongruity in this as an aside, because while allowing (one might say inflicting) this suffering on children, Mother Teresa went on record declaring that she had “no faith”. It is worth quoting her diary here (source Serena Sartari, ‘The Night of Silence’ from Inside the Vatican, November 2007; also Hitchens, ‘Teresa, Bright and Dark’; see also Bruce Johnston’s piece at telegraph.co.uk ‘Mother Teresa’s Diary Reveals Her Crisis of Faith’): “I
    feel that God does not want me, that God is not God and that he does not really
    exist,” she wrote. “Heaven means nothing” and “I am told God loves me –and yet
    the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing
    touches my soul … I have no Faith.” One must wonder about the psychology of
    such a person who did nothing to combat poverty but embraced it and used it and
    who, while allowing and indulging in the suffering of the helpless, was
    nonetheless prepared to seek and receive some of the most expensive medical
    care available in the world in the US when struck by an ailment. But to John
    Paul? She was a saint. (See also Hitchens, ‘The Missionary Position: Mother
    Teresa in Theory and Practice’ for an in-depth examination of this dreadful
    woman. Hitchens was, incidentally, invited to the Vatican to act as devil’s
    advocate – ‘advocatus diaboli’ against her
    canonisation. This was another troublesome role John Paul dispensed with.)

    The myth of Mother Teresa aside, the one person she beat for fastest-to-sainthood post under John Paul was Monsignor Jose Maria Escriva de
    Balageur, founder of Opus Dei and close friend and supporter of the brutal
    fascist dictator General Franco in Spain, under whose regime new-borns were stolen from their parents, who were told they were dead, and given to supporters of the regime, who were almost always Catholic. He also beatified Cardinal
    Aloysius Stepinac, the leading Croatian cleric who welcomed the Nazi and
    fascist Ustashi takeover of Croatia during World War II. Stepinac openly
    associated with high-ranking Nazis and supported the Croatian fascists who
    killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Romanys. What a hero! What a
    saint.

    Padre Pio was another of John Paul’s kinda guys. Like Mother Teresa, a triumph of PR. Like Mother Teresa, in reality, rather a more murky character. Order forms for rather more caustic soda than one could imagine needing for hygiene were discovered to have been in his possession, which should raise eyebrows about his “stigmata” – the wounds of Christ. He claimed to have telepathically turned back an American bomber set to destroy San Giovanni during World War II. He claimed to have wrestled the Devil himself. And he was a womaniser.

    Finally, and worst of all, is John Paul’s active involvement and enabling of child abuse. He gave sanctuary at the Vatican (whose status as a city-state remains a diabolical failure of international law) to Cardinal Bernard Law. Law was personally responsible for enabling paedophile priests, of whose offences he was fully aware, to repeatedly abuse hundreds of children by moving them to new places to prey. On children, that is. Boston diocese went bust, you may remember, and Law was able to escape justice because John Paul plucked him out of the US.

    One of the most notorious, vicious and sadistic of Catholic priestly abusers was Father Marciel Maciel. For years, John Paul ignored complaints about Maciel, who was a serial abuser of both children and young seminarians. Eight former members of the Legion of Christ sought to bring a Canon Law case against him for his sexual abuse which was quashed by John Paul. In fact, John Paul declared this monster to be “an efficacious guide to youth.” (See: ‘Vows of Silence’; San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 2003.)

    As the child abuse tragedy began to unfold, John Paul first tried
    to say it was an “American problem”. Then as the scale of it emerged, all
    manner of things were blamed, from the “culture” of the 1970s to homosexuals to
    anything but the stand-out point that enforcing celibacy and denying and
    creating guilt about human sexuality will produce desperately maladjusted
    people, then putting a load of them in sole charge and in positions of power
    over vulnerable little boys, is going to create a perfect storm of conditions
    for rampant child abuse. As happened. John Paul, with his henchman Ratzinger,
    was having none of what to any human mind is patently obvious.

    It is pretty amazing that a man who may have condemned millions of his followers to the risk of a certain death by declaring condoms anathema, who opposed in-vitro fertalization as meddling in God’s will and not allowed, who, despite the poverty and misery that over-population brings about, not to mention the strain on our planet, condemned birth control and actually encouraged people in the most over-populated areas to have lots and lots of children, who condemned homosexuality itself (not just “acts”) as “disordered”, who cosied up to fascists and beatified friends of fascists, who offended on the basis of strict adherence to doctrine what is right to any rational mind, suddenly turns around and asks for “understanding” of his own henchmen when they are found to be indulging, on an almost industrial scale in perhaps the one crime considered worse than murder: the rape and abuse of children.

    I could go on about how John Paul rolled back the Vatican II reforms. I could go on about how he squashed ‘liberation theology’ in Latin American (too close to communism – again – those fascist dictators were preferable to him), I could go on about his connections with both Saddm Hussein and Bashar al-Assad. I could wheel out a litany of shame that would fill a book on this man, but I think for now and for this forum I’ve said enough.

    I suspect that this post will not remain here. If it does, then full credit and respect to Tod Worner and the blog host. If you have read this far, thank you for your time. I’ve only referenced sources for the more shocking details here, if anyone would like references for any point, reply and I will provide them. Suffice it to say, I am not making this up. I only read this piece because of its headline, and then its first paragraph blew me away. And taken as a whole, personally, I find it repugnant to see this man named as the “greatest” anything, never mind “dissident” when he was simply and arch-conservative. And to see his name mentioned in the same breath as Solzenitsyn? Sorry, but I had to respond.

    • radiofreerome

      Solzhenitsyn was no better.

      • 90Lew90

        Excuse me?

        • radiofreerome

          Solzhenitsyn was a ferocious anti-semite who blamed the abuses of the Soviet system on the Jews. He also endorsed Putin and condemned liberal democracy.

          • 90Lew90

            No, he was not a “ferocious anti-Semite”. A reading of his essays puts paid to that idea. And yes, he endorsed Putin at a time when everyone was endorsing Putin, that being before he started acting like a megalomaniac. He saw Putin as having restored some reason for the Russian people to be proud of Russia.

            But come on! Did you read that litany of shame I just produced on John Paul II? Give me a break.

          • Curio

            Does Solzhenitsyn’s “ideological, ultra-conservative” Christianity not bother you?

          • 90Lew90

            If you would refer me to the source of your quote I’ll respond. Was this something he declared of himself? Somehow I don’t think so.

    • RPlavo .

      Excellent Lew, and don’t forget that JPII had visions of grandeur, when in public he held center stage, alone

    • Sylvia’s husband

      90Lew90 – thank you for taking the time to write. Your comments are among the most insightful, well-written and informative that I have ever read on any board at any site. Your comments outshine and tower over the article that prompted your contribution. Thank you.

      • 90Lew90

        Thanks, you’re welcome.

    • pagansister

      Thank you for posting this information. I had heard bits and pieces thru the years on JP2 and some of what you mentioned on Mother Teresa. How, knowing what is not secret cause this man to be made a Saint? Mother Teresa was no Saint either. If the treatment of children was what was described, IMO that was child abuse. JP2 must have known some of that, but then he did ignore that children were being abused by priests. Appreciate you taking the time to let more folks know the person(s) that some think deserved Sainthood.

    • Ryan

      I read the first half of the article then had to quit because I couldn’t stand the bias. I scrolled down and expected to see the typical congratulatory and uncritical, “Amens”. I don’t know you or your comments, but this comment was better than the article itself. Thank you for giving me a little hope in humanity.

    • Michael Gizzi

      A comment that deserves to be the actual article, and on the front page of Patheos. Well done.

      • 90Lew90

        Thanks.

    • http://batman-news.com ADG

      I have seldom seen such a load of mean-spirited misinformed bigotry. You are a truly sad individual.

      • 90Lew90

        Sad how? Misinformed how? Did you ever think that perhaps you’re the one who’s been misinformed? I mean, I can forgive that, given the endless, torrent of seemingly mandatory, gushing piety we’re usually fed about these people. Everything I’ve said in the above is documented and substantiated. All of it. Suck it up.

        • http://batman-news.com ADG

          Sad in that someone would spend so much time accumulating every bit of slander and innuendo about Catholic figures and so much effort propagating this as fact. Just to give a couple of examples of egregious misinformation, the claim that Padre Pio was a “womanizer” was thoroughly examined during his lifetime and found baseless. Presenting Hitler as a “good” Catholic is beyond nonsense when he had not practiced the faith in many decades and had publicly disavowed the Church. It’s not worth my while to respond to every piece of rubbish in turn.
          But believe what you want.

          • 90Lew90

            It didn’t take that much effort and importantly, it is not “slander” (slander is falsehood), and nor is it “innuendo” (which is insinuation) because I didn’t make any hints here, I gave bald facts.

            Padre Pio was twice accused of sexual misconduct with women and then reinstated. Where before have we heard of allegations being made about patterns of sexual misconduct by priests, where the priests were then “reinstated” or “moved elsewhere” or whatever. The claims being brushed under the carpet? And what about his “stigmata” and all that caustic soda?

            To quote Hitler: “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

            –Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

            It’s not “worth your while to respond to every piece of rubbish in turn”? No, my friend, it most certainly is not. Because everything I have posted above is in the public domain. It is all a matter of recorded history.

            “Believe what you want.” Chortle. Yeah, back at you. I have a feeling that if you thought you could respond you would have done so. The honourable thing for you to do would be to examine your “soul” or whatever you want to call it (conscience perhaps?) in allowing yourself to be associated with such an utterly, utterly repugnant institution.

          • PrimateZero

            Your good…real good. I wouldn’t count on ADG to respond.

          • http://batman-news.com ADG

            Yeah, I’ll respond –
            It’s a truly weird logic that if an remotely similar accusation was elsewhere covered up, then the one under reference must be true. By that reasoning the Clintons must have murdered Vincent Foster and Obama obviously must have been born in Kenya. Most of the “facts” in the original comment have about as much basis in reality.

            “Caustic soda”? There was an investigation into a purchase of 4 grams of carbolic acid, a very different compound, but it was shown to have had a legitimate use at the monastery. In any event, the tissue damage by an acid (or caustic) would have been very different from the stigmata. But Pio did not make it a practice to display his wounds and almost always kept his hands wrapped.

            Hitler certainly misused Christianity for his own political purposes. But according to biographers, he was only reluctantly confirmed in 1904 and never again attended Mass or received Sacraments after he left home in 1909. So he was hardly a “good Catholic” as you claim.

            I’ll refrain from any personal attacks,as that would not be Christian. Instead I’m going to pray for you tonight Lew.

          • 90Lew90

            Not remotely similar to rumours about Obama and Clinton. Not even a little bit. Perhaps the founder of the Catholic university hospital in Rome can put it better about Pio then me, in saying that he was ““an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people’s credulity” (“Pio” 2008).

            What of the fact that the supposed “wounds of Christ” appeared on Pio’s hands, when crucified people were nailed at the wrist, because the hand would not support the body’s weight? What of the fact that they came and went, and changed shape, and when medically examined, were found to be merely superficial with no subcutaneous trauma. Are you seriously asking us to swallow that he almost always wore fingerless gloves out of some sort of modesty? If that’s what it was it was out of character.

            What of his claim to be able to perform bi-location (to be in two places at one time)? Interesting, isn’t it, that his two supposed “miracles” were healings (one for beatification, one for canonisation), not the miraculous stigmata. Not the bi-location. Someone at the Vatican must also have smelled a rat.

            I congratulate you on correcting me on my confusing caustic with carbolic. Anyone interested in the context of the carbolic Pio ordered, insisting on secrecy and with very interesting timing, can read about it here: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/padre_pio_wonderworker_or_charlatan/

            The article is fully referenced because of course, we wouldn’t want it to be suggested that we were sceptical merely for the sake of taking a pop at a Catholic. (FYI, I was raised catholic in Ireland. I’m quite well acquainted with catholic mumbo-jumbo.)

            I raised Hitler’s 1922 speech in order to demonstrate how readily he was able to take up “as a Christian” ground against the Jews which had been well-laid by the church. As noted above, John Paul II acknowledged this. Hitler was raised catholic. As soon as he came to power, he signed a concordat (basically a treaty, since the Vatican is supposed to be a state, whereby the church works out which privileges it will be afforded for political and economic penetration with the other state signatory) with the church.

            Article 16 of the Reichskonkordat had some benefits for Hitler. It was a two-way street. It contained the following pledge for new bishops: “In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavour to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it.” In other words, ‘gas away’.

            Anyone interested in the Reichskonkordat (interestingly, the only fascist concordat still in place, Italy, Spain and Portugal having scrapped those made by their own fascists) and concordats in general can read about them here: http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?org_id=858&kb_header_id=752 This site is run by a campaigning group which seeks to hold the church to account for its anti-democratic activities and interference in the affairs of sovereign states.

            Your point about Hitler not being a “good catholic” might stick if he diverged much in his policies from that of many historical popes.

            Anyway, I fixed it for you. Carbolic, not caustic. Is there anything else you’d like clarification on?

            I must ask. If this were not a church we’re talking about, with so much muck sticking to it; if this were, say, a company running an international network of schools (the analogy isn’t a bad one). What would you think? Would your loyalty to this organisation still be such that, despite the overpowering stench, you’d still be able to just hold your nose and pretend the shit is really chocolate? Would you? How do you mute your conscience when the basket is passed around each week?

  • Dave Parrish

    Sorry ya all, Only God makes Saints, not humanistic councils…..

    I was made a Saint, the Moment I placed my Faith, in to the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus. I believed that I needed to die,for the sins I had done here on earth, and placed my Dead Estate into the Lord’s hands, believing upon His Death in my Place!! at that moment of Submission and Surrender to God, in believing upon His Son Finished work, in my place, for me, I was given the Holy Spirit, right then and there, and Born anew in the Spirit. Done, Saved by Grace, through Faith, the gift of God, a Free Gift, Paid for Completely for All by Jesus!!

    (Only Him, not an co-redemptress)

    No Human decides to become a Saint or is called a Saint by some committee of men dressed in colorful robes… These guys are NOT SAVED, sinners, destined for Hell, walking around, acting like THEY have it together!!

    You all are BEING DECEIVED!! All you have to do is truly go before GOD, not a Priest or a Pope, and ask God to show you your utter sinfulness and then you, have to decide to BE save in Believing upon the Gospel of Christ, not this False Roman Catholic Deception. You all need to study how Evil this System is.

    You all have placed you faith upon a Man made system (as all other denomination are also!!), and are being Deceived by Satan to not believe on Christ awesome work of Grace to you, but on the ideas of these “so called Great men” who dare to call themselves HOLY, but never Preach the True Gospel nor ever declare that one must be Born Again to see and Enter the Kingdom of God!!

    I am actually Loving you in declaring this truth, Said and Done, now go repent, turn, change you mind away from this DECEPTION THAT IS TAKING YOU TO HELL AND OPEN UP YOUR BIBLE AND ASK GOD HIMSELF TO REVEAL DIRECTLY TO YOU THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR UTTER SINFULNESS AND THE CALL OF HIS GRACE TO YOU IN JESUS, FOR YOUR TO BELIEVE UPON TO BE TRULY SAVED!!

    MAY YOU SEE YOURSELF IN UTTER NEED OF GOD’S GRACE, AND TO BE TRULY BORN ANEW IN HIS SPIRIT. HOW TO SEE YA ALL IN HEAVEN, FOR YOU ALL CAN CALL UPON HIM RIGHT NOW TO BE TRULY SAVED!!

    Oh by the way, was raised in this evil system. By the Grace of God saved from it and from it evil pedophiles. How can you lift up this John Paul who covered up this evil and let these pedophiles not be arrested and thrown in jail, but moved them somewhere else where they did it again?? This guy, JP if he was not Born anew of God’s Spirit, which I DOUBT, then if not Born Again, went to HELL and that’s where you all will be going too, if you don’t repent and Believe truly upon Jesus Christ and Him crucified and surrender and submit into His Amazing Grace to you, to BE SAVED!!

    Rev 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

    Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

    Rev 18:5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

    I fear you not, so if you want to try to prove that this is wrong, form the Holy Bible, then sure,

    E-mail me: Hisheart2yours@aol.com

    Love sometimes has to Be Tough yet Full of Grace

    Dave Parrish

    • 90Lew90

      You don’t sell it very well. And anyway, He can’t get me. I’ve got an iron chariot.

      “And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.” Judges 1:19


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