Mon 1st Sep 2014 | Last updated: Mon 1st Sep 2014 at 06:31am

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

It’s symbolic that St John Paul II has been canonised at a time when the freedom of central Europe is threatened

The Polish saint was not only a remarkable spiritual leader but an outstanding political figure

By on Tuesday, 29 April 2014

People in Wadowice, Poland, St John Paul II's hometown, celebrate his canonisation (CNS)

People in Wadowice, Poland, St John Paul II's hometown, celebrate his canonisation (CNS)

I had the privilege to be in Krakow, Poland, on the day St John Paul II was canonised. Poland has every right to be proud of ‘its’ pope.

St John Paul II was not only a remarkable spiritual leader during his 27-year papacy but an outstanding political figure. He knew repression while training under the Nazi occupation and later as priest and bishop under the oppression of the Communist regime. He carried out his duties bravely and without fear, based on his belief despite prosecution.

His election as pope was an enormous blow to the Communist regime. It fostered the Polish insurgence against the regime and led to it being considerably weakened in the Soviet Union’s most important satellite.

Clear politics, courage and high ethical standards of St John Paul II, US President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Kohl led to the fall of the brutal Soviet system, ended the Cold War and opened the way to freedom for central Europe.

He was firm on religious and human principles. His open-mindedness led him to greatly improve dialogue with Protestant and orthodox Christians and other religions.

His belief made St John Paul II a powerful character, but personally kind, humble, courageous and extremely open-minded. He excited the world and was one of the greatest personalities of the 20th-21st centuries. It was probably unintentional, but highly symbolic, that he was canonised on April 27, 2014, at a time when the freedom of central Europe is under threat once more.

Blog courtesy of Geopolitical Information Service

COMMENT POLICY

The Catholic Herald comment guidelines
At The Catholic Herald we want our articles to provoke spirited and lively debate. We also want to ensure the discussions hosted on our website are carried out in civil terms.

All commenters are therefore politely asked to ensure that their posts respond directly to points raised in the particular article or by fellow contributors, and that all responses are respectful.

We implement a strict moderation policy and reserve the right to delete comments that we believe contravene our guidelines. Here are a few key things to bear in mind when com
menting…

Do not make personal attacks on writers or fellow commenters – respond only to their arguments.
Comments that are deemed offensive, aggressive or off topic will be deleted.
Unsubstantiated claims and accusations about individuals or organisations will be deleted.
Keep comments concise. Comments of great length may be deleted.
We try to vet every comment, however if you would like to alert us to a particular posting please use the ‘Report’ button.

Thank you for your co-operation,
The Catholic Herald editorial team