04 April 2005
Was the Pope really that great?

I know this probably isn’t the time and that I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this (as I have before) but am I the only person alive who thinks the Pope wasn’t that great?  I am not saying he was that bad - certainly not - he appears to have believed in God which in my view is a good thing for senior clergy to believe in - but I really can’t go along with all this tosh about him bringing down the Soviet Empire (see here and here).

I find myself asking the question: what did he actually do?  OK, so Popes don’t actually do that much at all, but they say a lot.  So, what did he say?  Well, I was 12 when he was elected and throughout the period of his papacy I’ve been a pretty keen student of current affairs and to tell you the truth I can’t remember a single thing he ever said apart from some perfectly decent words about sufferers from Downs Syndrome. 

Maybe I’d missed something and being a protestant atheist that’s not entirely impossible. So, while channel-surfing earlier today I was interested to stumble on a BBC biog.  Maybe, they’d have something.  Well, they certainly made the same old claim but there was precious little evidence to back it up.  Oh, something about “renewing this land [ie Poland]” but not much. 

“Mr Gorbachev, tear down these walls…”  it was not.

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  1. “protestant atheist”

    Eh? That’s a new one on me.

    Posted by Seamus on 09 April 2005 at 07:58pm

  2. I broadly agree with you Patrick but I reckon the old boy was actually quite effective as a symbolic focus for opposition to the Polish communist state, though of course the heavy lifting was done by the Gipper, Gorby, Mrs T. and so on. He was a minor player. But a player nonetheless.

    Posted by Johnathan on 11 April 2005 at 07:02pm

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