The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Pope Who Would Be King: The Legacy of John Paul II

In the pursuit of perpetual peace among humankind, in the 14th Century the poet Dante deli Alighieri (who also wrote The Divine Comedy), outlined a world-wide political system under the rule of a single Romish Caesar, a king whose bureaucratic power and moral influence would balance the world away from the politics of war and toward those of peace. Almost a thousand years before Dante, the peace of Rome (pax Romana) and the apostle’s church had split (Council of Niccea), dividing the known world along the fault lines of conflict between East and West. In the split of the old into the new reality–Rome and Constantinople, Roman bishop and Eastern Orthodox--new discoveries and new inventions (of lands, ideas, sciences, technologies (printing), religions [Islam] and commerce), further divisions in the people, nations, and interests of the entire world created more disunity, barbarity, severity between and among all humanity. Dante’s solution built on the foundations of old ideas, such as the good, wise, kind, enlightened philosopher kings of Plato’s republic, who could rule sternly if necessary. Dante gave an updated vision to the many utopia solutions of a single source of peace, cooperation and unity among all men and women. The void in the world peace has been always fixed around a lack of a focused idea or common purpose. Searching for of peace in any form, between all factions of politics, economics, social structures, an cultures, has been the burden of humanity.
In the age of great voyages, revolutions, violence and reforms since Dante 700 years ago, the greatest conflict became the unavoidable struggle between the civilizations of East and West. The East was dominated by absolute dictatorship and moral and economic poverty: The West moving that way, and struggling to remain free and prosperous. In our own time, the conflict gathered momentum when Europe found an easy route by sea far to its east into the lands of Asia. The greatest danger to humanity in this struggle still is the potential for an apocalyptic nuclear holocaust, the immediate threat of extinction that drove the Cold War. The world was doomed (and still is) unless humankind overthrew the use of greed and fear to rule. Our future demands that we close the gap between our understanding, and find common purpose in the survival of the entire planet. Life on earth (and anywhere it might go) must be based on the principle of universal personal liberty and freedom, of hope, faith, trust, and selflessness: On the commitments of everyone to help everyone else in dire need.
When the Soviet Union seemed poised to win by sheer weight of steel, powder and plutonium, Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II. The mysteries of the previous pope’s short reign and sudden death confused the world and probably the College of Cardinals. A church that through two millennia has revealed only a fraction of a fraction of its wealth, secrets, and power, perhaps stood on the cliff of more danger than realized. John Paul II ended up a solution to their internal political problems as well as the Church’s external problem of relevance in the world of the 1970s drifting more secular, more atheist, more material and selfish.
Little did anyone expect the meek, humble and wise priest from Poland to so influence world history, in such a profound and important way. So what can we say about the legacy of John Paul II?
John Paul II witnessed two forms of ideology that ruled and destroyed others with the same methods and basic philosophy. Both Nazism and Bolshevism (the Leninist-Stalinist form of Marxist Communism) were political, economic, and social systems that were governed by the few, for their greed, over the many, playing on mass fear. In Poland, the Pope-to-be had lived under the threat of imprisonment, persecution, and assassination. For decades, he endured himself and inspired his flock to maintain the unbeatable elements of individual love, courage, hope, and above all, faith in the future of freedom.
As the Pope, John Paul II preached these things and lived by the example: One person, small or great, can indeed change others, and change history, if humbled before the power of their beliefs, practicing tolerance, seeking truth, admitting fault, and living and working together for justice; acting not selfishly, but for the greater good. These are the true things that form the free-will of all. As the moral voice of these natures of human liberty, John Paul, in the framework of the “earthly,” spiritual king, helped conquer Bolshevism and restore human hope and faith by exposing the lies of greed and fear in the bright sunny light of the truth. By nature, it was wisdom and position that made him legend.

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