En dybt reaktionær gammel mand er død
... og skal man tro aviserne, er det intet mindre end en helt, en sand forkæmper for menneskeheden, vi har mistet.
Mon dog? Et andet synspunkt præsenteres i dagens Guardian under overskriften The Pope has blood on his hands:
John Paul II became Pope in 1978, just as the emancipatory 60s were declining into the long political night of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. As the economic downturn of the early 70s began to bite, the western world made a decisive shift to the right, and the transformation of an obscure Polish bishop from Karol Wojtyla to John Paul II was part of this wider transition. The Catholic church had lived through its own brand of flower power in the 60s, known as the Second Vatican Council; and the time was now ripe to rein in leftist monks, clap-happy nuns and Latin American Catholic Marxists. All of this had been set in train by a pope - John XIII - whom the Catholic conservatives regarded as at best wacky and at worst a Soviet agent.Læs videre i selve artiklen. Paven var til sidst en stakkels gammel mand, der hang fast så godt han kunne, men dette ændrer ikke noget ved, at han (og, formentlig, institutionen som sådan) var et reaktionært og forstenet levn fra fortiden, hvis indstilling til mange ting i bedste fald var ligegyldig, i værste skadelig.
What was needed for this task was someone well-trained in the techniques of the cold war. As a prelate from Poland, Wojtyla hailed from what was probably the most reactionary national outpost of the Catholic church, full of maudlin Mary-worship, nationalist fervour and ferocious anti-communism. Years of dealing with the Polish communists had turned him and his fellow Polish bishops into consummate political operators. In fact, it turned the Polish church into a set-up that was, at times, not easy to distinguish from the Stalinist bureaucracy. Both institutions were closed, dogmatic, censorious and hierarchical, awash with myth and personality cults. It was just that, like many alter egos, they also happened to be deadly enemies, locked in lethal combat over the soul of the Polish people ...