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Tuesday, April 05, 2005
The Pope's Legacy
The Center for American Progress and Richard Cohen's WaPo piece together form the mixed legacy that we should remember about Pope John Paul II:

The Good:
Poverty: "a tireless champion of closing the gap between rich and poor". "joined forces with the political activist and front man of the Irish band U2, Bono, for Jubilee 2000, a campaign for debt relief in Africa" and got the debts of 23 countries cancelled.
Religious Tolerance: first pope in Rome's synagogue; first pope ever in a Mosque. Formally apologized in 1998 for failure of Catholics to help Holocaust victims. Called anti-Semitism "a sin against God and man"
Proponent of Peace: Spoke out against war. Sought "a serene and resolute commitment to shared human values"
Communism: Madeline Albright said: "If there's one single person who can be credited with change in Central and Eastern Europe, it's the pope."

The Bad:
Contraception: Failed to change, and in fact reiterated, the church's stance against use of condoms. A change could have helped Africa's AIDS problem.
Conservatism in the Church: Failure to allow women or married men to be priests probably fueled the pedophilia scandal.
posted by CB @ 1:19 PM  
  • At 3:46 PM, Blogger JBS said…

    Don't forget the one (along with contraception/AIDS) i count against him:

    The sex abuse in American churches. None of us can be so stupid as to feel that some American priests are particularly perverted. It is likely a global problem helped on by silence, shame and piety. The Pope should have done more to speak out and take a clear position about cover-ups and what have you.

    If we blame Bush for Abu Graib (and I for sure do) we would have to spread a little blame for the sex abuse on the Pope.

    Although I do not want to be misunderstood because the points CB makes about peace and life and poverty are truly wonderful and lasting legacies of someone who will laways be remembered.

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