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John Paul II


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I'm going to start a new series. One where we examine lives of some of the most influential people we have seen on this planet. I encourage if there is a person you would like to see me make a topic of, PM me and I will try to use them as a topic in the future. Our first discussion will center on Pope John Paul II.

 

Positives, negatives, a full disucssion of this life.

 

 

 

 

 

Let's be mature and have a great opening discussion.

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I give him a lot of credit for being a moderate reformer. His willingness to open up the church was really good. Im never a big fan of organized religion and even less a fan of idealized figures. Ive never thought of the Pope as being able to influence too much world politics in this day and age. So I stepped back when people treated him almost like a God like figure. But I understand and appreciate that to a lot of people, he is the personification of their faith and that he was very important and influential to individuals all over the world. I guess I cant hold him in high esteem because he was head of the Vatican and the Vatican is as very large business with banks and investments. Almost like a large corporation.

 

 

PS-I dont think Ive met you before Johnny Reb, but from the few early threads Ive read, you seemed adept at fostering good discussion. Look forward to it.

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Guest Juanky

He was really the symbol of what a person should be, no matter what the faith. He lived his life to the fullest, even skiing up until sometime in the 90's. He was above everything a good person, even visiting the person who shot him in jail to forgive him.

 

I think one of his biggest impacts is something that has been mentioned alot in the passed few days - his influence on the youth of the world. Most young people don't take religion to seriously for one reason or another, but he helped bring faith to alot of young lives that might have had none.

 

He also visited alot of nations that either hadn't seen the Pope, were very Catholic and wanted to see their spiritual leader, or needed some kind of help at the time. It's no secret he was a very well traveled pope, drawing huge crowds wherever he went. Whether it be thousands upon thousands in Central Park, four million in the Phillipines, or anywhere else, he brought people to faith wherever he went.

 

The new pope most definetly has his work cut out for him.

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The work that John Paul II did to help bring about the end of Communism alone makes him one of the most important figures of the last quarter of the 20th century. Add in the other stuff and his legacy rises even more. One could maybe argue that he made the biggest contribution to the ending of Communism, to the falling of the wall. He gave the people themselves hope, he gave them encouragement. That alone makes him one of the most influential and important figures of the late 20th century.

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I remember when he became Pope, it was so radically different from anything we had known before. He was youthful (even though most would not consider 58 to be youthful,) energetic, and eager to reach out to the youth. Beside trying to reach the masses, he really concentrated on reaching out to the youth, a group that so easily stray from the religion of their parents. He revived the beliefs in so many, and tried instilling a strong foundation for Catholics around the world.

 

What amazed me was his continued appeal to young Catholics, even in his declining years. I understood why his appeal was so great in his ealier years, but it never seemed to diminish with time. Maybe it was because he understood how to use modern media as a mainstay in communicating his message. And he could do it in so many laguages, easily conversing in 28, while reading and writing in even more.

 

He was an unusual leader, at ease with both world leaders and the simplest people in his flock. He treated presidents and 4 year olds with equal respect.

 

Finally admitting the dark past the Church has had with other religions was a big step. He believed that people of religion, no matter what their faith, were keys to instilling peace in this world. Being able to ease the divide between religions, and tolerence among all of them, is a major step in easing the tensions religiously based differences have contributed to around the world.

 

Large reforms that many were looking for from the Pope were never to occur. He make it clear that the conservative rules of the Church would not be altered, something that was anticipated by modern communities especially in the west. He acknowledged that his views might not be liked, but they would be clear. The lack of reforms has led to crises within the Church, especially in places such as the US. Numbers of priest are on a quick decline, with many parrishes not even having full-time priests. Constant sex scandels that were also not addressed by John Paul II.

 

It will be interesting to see what direction a new Pope will lead the Church, especially with John Paul II hand picking 97% of the Cardinals responsible for electing a new Pontiff. Will any of them be able to bring the same type of energy to the Vatican? Will he be a visionary in changing some of the standards in order to save the Church in modern society, or will he try to reinstill the more conservative standards?

 

We may get our first indication as the new Pope is introduced, simply by hearing the name he has chosen. Will it be John Paul III, attempting to continue where John Paul II left off, or will it be a new name for a new direction.

 

John Paul II earned a place of repect in the hearts and minds of so many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He has forever made himself a part of history.

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I agree with cgator. The pope was a uniter that spread a message of peace and human rights across the globe for catholics and non-catholics. He helped end not only communism in eastern europe, but also criticized dictators such as baby doc and pinochet. He was critical of all who violated human rights and was a defender of freedom. He was anti-communist, but also spoke about the dangers of the excesses of capitalism. As a human being and public figure he will be missed. As the leader of the catholic faith his followers will miss his leadership and charisma. Its going to be tough to fill his shoes. When we lost John Paul II, we lost the last of the great 20th century heroes that stood for humanity and freedom.

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His role as the most traveled pope was really his biggest contribution.

 

I remember Boris Yeltzin once saying that the biggest mistake the Soviets made was allowing a papal visit and underestimating the effect it would have on the Russian people.

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I don't have anything to add other than I think it's spelled "Yeltsin" and, good to see Johnny Reb and Fish Fillet. :cool

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I must say I am slightly disappointed in this discussion. Let me just say that while John Paul II did a lot of good things in this world, he also was very negligent in the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and while being very firm on his traditionalist issues of abortion and birth control, you wonder just how many of the youth that idolized him did so in only words and not actions.

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John Paul II was without a doubt, one of the greatest men to live in the 20th century. He survived Fascism and Communism, and brought about the fall of the latter. His ability to stand up to the tyrants of the world was unparalleled.

 

However, he stood too firm on many issues in the Catholic Church, and alienated many with his stances. It seemed to me like the U.S. Catholics cared less and less about the Vatican's opinions the longer his papacy went on.

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several things...

 

first of all, commenting on the catholic church as a large corporation...i went to a catholic high school, on of the things i learned.. The Catholic Church is the richest corporation in the entire world

 

secondly, whether you are catholic or not, or even christian or not (like i said i went to a catholic school, yet im not catholic and i'm half jewish) let us not take away all the great things he has done by bringing this world together, you don't need to believe in the pope to believe in him as a person, and thats the biggest difference.

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...he also was very negligent in the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church

 

This is probably as much a function of a pope's relative isolation by syncophant lap-dog yes-men underlings as it is his actual position.

 

That being said, if there were some (a lot) of the church equivalent of splashy show trials and excommunications, there would have been some uproar, but the church wouldn't have been accused of being "soft" on this issue.

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