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What is the best thing the pope has done for society?

Schweddy

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I am not a Catholic, and not not understand what the Pope is all about.

I am interested in learning what he has done for society and what his function truely is.
 
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pwo

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I am not catholic either, but I have heard from others that the best thing that JP II did was attract young people. He got a lot of young people to his appearances. So, that's always a good thing.

I am not sure what he has done for society and I am not sure if he has to do anything for society, except be the figurehead for catholisism.
 

Dark Gypsy Curse

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Thats a good question because I am not Catholic either. I have heard that he understood many people's religions and cultures which made him open minded. He also spoke many languages. He was an intelligent person (so far I have heard)
 

Toby

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I am not a catholic either... most of the news has focused on his opposition to communism... is that the biggest thing he has done?
 

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I posted this elsewhere on the forum, but it seems appropriate here. This is written by a learned scholar with great insight. I found his perspective interesting:

The Price of Infallibility
By THOMAS CAHILL

ITH the news media awash in encomiums to the indisputable greatness of Pope John Paul II, isn't it time to ask to which tradition he belonged? Partisans unfamiliar with Christian history may judge this a strange question. Why, they may answer, he belonged to the Catholic tradition, of course. But there is no single Catholic tradition; there are rather Catholic traditions, which range from the voluntary poverty of St. Francis of Assisi to the boundless greed of the Avignon popes, from the genial tolerance for diversity of Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century to the egomaniacal self-importance of Pope Pius IX in the 19th century, from the secrecy and plotting of Opus Dei to the openness and humane service of the Community of Sant'Egidio. Over its 2,000-year history, Roman Catholicism has provided a fertile field for an immense variety of papal traditions.

Despite his choice of name, John Paul II shared little with his immediate predecessors. John Paul I lasted slightly more than a month, but in that time we were treated to a typical Italian of moderating tendencies, one who had even, before his election, congratulated the parents of the world's first test-tube baby - not a gesture that resonated with the church's fundamentalists, who still insist on holding the line against anything that smacks of tampering with nature, an intellectual construct far removed from what ordinary people mean by that word.

Paul VI, though painfully cautious, allowed the appointment of bishops (and especially archbishops and cardinals) who were the opposite of yes men, outspoken champions of the poor and oppressed and truly representative of the parts of the world they came from, like Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, who tried so hard at the end of his life to find common ground within a church rent by division. In contrast, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston rebuked the dying Cardinal Bernardin for this effort because, as Cardinal Law insisted, the church knows the truth and is therefore exempt from anything as undignified as dialogue. Cardinal Law, who had to resign after revelations that he had repeatedly allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to remain in the ministry while failing to inform either law enforcement officials or parishioners, must stand as the characteristic representative of John Paul II, protective of the church but often dismissive of the moral requirement to protect and cherish human beings.

John Paul II has been almost the polar opposite of John XXIII, who dragged Catholicism to confront 20th-century realities after the regressive policies of Pius IX, who imposed the peculiar doctrine of papal infallibility on the First Vatican Council in 1870, and after the reign of terror inflicted by Pius X on Catholic theologians in the opening decades of the 20th century. Unfortunately, this pope was much closer to the traditions of Pius IX and Pius X than to his namesakes. Instead of mitigating the absurdities of Vatican I's novel declaration of papal infallibility, a declaration that stemmed almost wholly from Pius IX's paranoia about the evils ranged against him in the modern world, John Paul II tried to further it. In seeking to impose conformity of thought, he summoned prominent theologians like Hans Kung, Edward Schillebeeckx and Leonardo Boff to star chamber inquiries and had his grand inquisitor, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, issue condemnations of their work.

But John Paul II's most lasting legacy to Catholicism will come from the episcopal appointments he made. In order to have been named a bishop, a priest must have been seen to be absolutely opposed to masturbation, premarital sex, birth control (including condoms used to prevent the spread of AIDS), abortion, divorce, homosexual relations, married priests, female priests and any hint of Marxism. It is nearly impossible to find men who subscribe wholeheartedly to this entire catalogue of certitudes; as a result the ranks of the episcopate are filled with mindless sycophants and intellectual incompetents. The good priests have been passed over; and not a few, in their growing frustration as the pontificate of John Paul II stretched on, left the priesthood to seek fulfillment elsewhere.

The situation is dire. Anyone can walk into a Catholic church on a Sunday and see pews, once filled to bursting, now sparsely populated with gray heads. And there is no other solution for the church but to begin again, as if it were the church of the catacombs, an oddball minority sect in a world of casual cruelty and unbending empire that gathered adherents because it was so unlike the surrounding society.

Back then, the church called itself by the Greek word ekklesia, the word the Athenians used for their wide open assembly, the world's first participatory democracy. (The Apostle Peter, to whom the Vatican awards the title of first pope, was one of many leaders in the primitive church, as far from an absolute monarch as could be, a man whose most salient characteristic was his frequent and humble confession that he was wrong.) In using ekklesia to describe their church, the early Christians meant to emphasize that their society within a society acted not out of political power but only out of the power of love, love for all as equal children of God. But they went much further than the Athenians, for they permitted no restrictions on participation: no citizens and noncitizens, no Greeks and non-Greeks, no patriarchs and submissive females. For, as St. Paul put it repeatedly, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; for all are one in Christ Jesus."

Sadly, John Paul II represented a different tradition, one of aggressive papalism. Whereas John XXIII endeavored simply to show the validity of church teaching rather than to issue condemnations, John Paul II was an enthusiastic condemner. Yes, he will surely be remembered as one of the few great political figures of our age, a man of physical and moral courage more responsible than any other for bringing down the oppressive, antihuman Communism of Eastern Europe. But he was not a great religious figure. How could he be? He may, in time to come, be credited with destroying his church.


Thomas Cahill is the author of "How the Irish Saved Civilization," "Pope John XXIII" and, most recently, "Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter."
 
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That the Pope, the chairman of the biggest, baddest real estate empire in the world, in his will leaves no property behind begs the question... Who's really in control of this juggernaut?
 

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Some friends here will tell you God.. and I prefer to think of it as the original organized crime syndicate. Defrauding a billion people out of money. They have killed millions of people who challenged their authority. They hold back room power over heads of state. They receive preferential treatment by government. They kiss the hand of their leader. They have "soldiers" who shake down the masses (no pun intended) and they "Kick up" their money so the Don / Capo di Capi - can live in palatial splendor. Sounds like the Mafia to me!
 
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Oh... we all know about the Church's stellar record in ethical matters.

Call me gullible, but John Paul seemed to me like a good, perhaps humble, man. Not the "capo di capi" type if you know what I mean. That's why I wonder who the real boss is.

Does anybody here think it's possible that John Paul might have actually believed all the stuff he was preaching?
 

shuamort

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I'll give points that JP2 reiterated in 1996 what Pope Pius XII said in Humani generis: "The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, insofar as it inquiries into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter."
 

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JP 2 was the front man... good PR value... for the syndicate.

An old Italian saying, which in a favorite of the Mob types.. loosely translated: "You use a fork, so you don't get your hands dirty"

Go to Brooklyn and they will talk about John Gotti like he was a Saint!
 

Billo_Really

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Found the marriage between Phylosophy and Science.
 
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superskippy

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Do you mean historically what does he do? Or now what does he do? Because in history at tiems Popes have been the most powerful people on the face of the planet.
 

Reverend Ed

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The Pope was consistant... and his staunch anticommunism helped bring down the Iron Curtain. Those who insist that Reagan was God's gift to the demise of Soviet policy often forget JPII and his contribution to the cause.

I must admit in spite of giving props to the recently deceased Pontiff, no group of idealists has killed more people for their cause than the followers of Catholicism. I'm not a big fan of organized religion anyway, and I question the real motives of a belief system wherein its leader sleeps on a feather bed in opulent spendor while the majority of Catholics are sleeping tonight hungry on a dirt floor. If you believe otherwise, visit Latin America and see how the average (poor) Catholic survives and get back to me.

:waiting:
 

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The best thing any pope does, IMO, is be the Vicar of Christ on Earth.
 

ElGringo17

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The pope doesn't do anything for peoplel other than make a bunch of them happy.....which by the way is quite a good thing....
 
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