Author Topic: Premier Gorbachev: Fall of the Soviet Union impossible without Pope John Paul II  (Read 908 times)

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Offline Xavier

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Some people here attack and criticize the recent Popes. But, even many secularist historians are becoming increasingly aware that the solidarity movement in Poland led and spearheaded by Pope John Paul II was certainly a primary reason for Communism's ultimate downfall in much of Eastern Europe, as well as in the erstwhile Soviet Union bloc. We may not agree with Gorbachev on everything, but this is his analysis? Thoughts?

Pope John Paul II firmly opposed both Communism and the unjust war in Iraq, sending emissaries to try and stop it. How much happier would the world have been if we had listened to the Pope. He was a pro-life champion and among the world's foremost opponents of abortion-killing.

In the world today, just foolishly condemning non-Christians, as some people seem to want, is not right and is not going to avail anything. True, there is the danger of indifference in dialogue; but still one has to dialogue in a reasonable and friendly way even with non-Christians. Even St. Paul, when dialoguing in Athens, began with what those there already accepted.

Gorbachev's interview on: https://www.rferl.org/a/1058353.html

See also: https://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/03/pope.gorbachev/

RFE/RL: Mikhail Sergeevich, let's go a little bit deeper into history. When Pope John Paul II supported Solidarnost and in fact began to undermine the position in Poland of [Polish Communist Party leader General Wojciech] Jaruzelski, how did the Soviet leadership react to the Catholic Church and to the pope himself?

Gorbachev: Now we will say that the pope was simply an extraordinary man. And one of the most extraordinary qualities of the pope was that he was a devoted servant of the Church of Christ. And, finally, as the head of state of the Vatican, he did a lot, using his opportunities along these lines, he did a lot to prepare for the end of the Cold War, for the coming together of peoples. He did a lot to remove people from the danger of a nuclear conflict. He was a man who used his high position -- I'll speak bluntly -- in the best possible way. He was [a man] who did not put political calculation at the center, but who made his judgments about the world, about situations, about nature, about the environment, based on the right to life, to a worthy life for people and on the responsibility of those people for what is gong on in the world. I think that there has never been such an outstanding defender of the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden in various cases and in various situations, either historically speaking or in terms of ongoing conflicts. He was a humanist. Really. A Humanist with a capital H, maybe the first humanist in world history.

I had the opportunity to communicate with him after 1989; in fact our contacts continued practically right up to the very end. Quite recently there was a short exchange of messages about several topics. Last summer I wrote a letter to him and to [U.S. President] George Bush saying that what is happening in Iraq after the declared end of the war there could turn into a general religious conflict. After all, one side is an Islamic people and the other side is a coalition of mainly Christian countries. And this is very bad, very dangerous, and it might not only destabilize the situation in the region -- it might create a reaction around the world and that this needs to be taken into consideration. The pope, by the way, responded to this and I was told that the next time President Bush met with him, he very firmly and decisively demanded the immediate withdrawal of forces from Iraq and that the Iraqis be allowed to arrange their own affairs.

Of course, he wanted, speaking honestly, to move forward during his lifetime along the path of mutual understanding and better cooperation and dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, but this was not to be. I think that he worried about this for nothing. Such a thing cannot happen quickly. The problems have been 700 years in the making -- can it be possible in the space of weeks, months, or even years to resolve them all? No ... For 700 years, they quarreled and they are still quarreling. In 100 years, everything will be worked out.

(Interview conducted on 3 April)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 02:25:09 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for the adoration ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

Offline Xavier

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Article by Fr. Raymond De Souza in the Catholic Herald entitled, "How Communism corrupted the Russian soul" https://catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/11/11/how-communism-corrupted-the-russian-soul/

The spiritual significance of the October Revolution – which actually took place in November 1917 according to our calendar – has largely been viewed by Catholics through the lens of that year’s apparitions at Fatima. Fatima, in turn, read through the life of St John Paul II, has led to a Catholic view that the challenge of 20th-century communism was a time of great persecution but also great heroism, leading to the ultimate triumph of Christian humanism.

The view from Russia itself would be rather different. Consider that, for John Paul II, the aftermath of the Great War meant the return of Poland to independence, and a rebirth of Polish freedom, subsequently to be tested. For his fellow Slav, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the end of World War I meant the end of Russian freedom. Both of course are true. In last week’s issue, Jonathan Luxmoore gave some of the highlights of the Catholic heroism in which Poles played a prominent part. However, the Fatima/John Paul lens does shift attention away from one of the principal religious dramas of our time – the October Revolution’s execution of Orthodoxy.

The persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church – the largest by far of the patriarchates in the Orthodox Church – was brutal and total. The figures are staggering. More than 100,000 Russian Orthodox priests were killed, some by crucifixion on their own churches. A Church that had over 300 bishops in 1917 was reduced to a mere handful by World War II. So fierce was the totalitarian atheism of Lenin and Stalin that the possibility of an underground “church of the catacombs” was practically foreclosed. A regime prepared to kill millions of its own for ideological purposes left no ground upon which resisters could stand, or under which they could hide.

The Russian Orthodox Church was effectively liquidated, and was on the verge of being eliminated. Then, in one of history’s great surprises, a reprieve came with Hitler’s invasion of Russia. Stalin, deciding to marshal all national energies against the Nazi threat, reconstituted the Russian Orthodox Church, but now as a branch of the communist state. Russian Orthodoxy would live, but only as a corrupted government bureau.

Thus in 1946, the state-run Patriarchate of Moscow acceded to the suppression and looting of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, making Ukrainian Catholics the largest illegal Christian community on earth. It was a historic betrayal of a loyal Christian community by its ostensible fellow Christians.

The illegal synod (sobor) of 1946 was a sign of things to come. Anyone who aspired to leadership in the Russian Orthodox Church – especially clergy who were to study abroad – had to be part of the KGB, the secret police. At the very least, several generations of Russian Orthodox leadership were forced to be passive collaborators with the regime. The Russian Orthodox Church, with its millennium-long tradition, was destroyed and replaced ... Even today, the Patriarchate of Moscow cannot renounce its participation in the 1946 sobor of suppression in Ukraine.

The great dream of Catholic-Orthodox reunion is one casualty of the October Revolution. While formal relations between Rome and Constantinople are exceptionally warm, Russia remains the demographic centre of Orthodoxy. There can be no move towards greater unity without movement in Moscow.

St John Paul spoke of the Church breathing with “both lungs” in reference to west and east, Latin and Greek, Rome and Constantinople, Catholic and Orthodox. The eastern lung had been severely punctured in 1917, and the Christian Church will not be fully herself until that near-mortal wound is healed. That healing will be the work of generations.

In Ukraine and Poland and elsewhere in the evil empire, Soviet totalitarian atheism could be resisted in part as an act of national resistance; there was an occupying power imposing foreign ideas. Russians never had that recourse; their tyrants were their own. While the massacre of Russian bodies was vast, the corruption of the Russian soul was profound. That is what began in October 1917. It still remains to be overcome.

Fr Raymond J de Souza is a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario,and editor-in-chief of convivium.ca

This article first appeared in the November 10 2017 issue of the Catholic Herald. To read the magazine in full, from anywhere in the world, go here"
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 03:10:48 AM by Xavier »
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for the adoration ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

Offline Alpo2

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Have you ever considered posting your own thoughts instead of copypasting every random article you encounter on internet?

Offline biro

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The RCC Pope is Roman Catholic. The Russians are mostly Orthodox.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

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Offline biro

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The Russians aren't Communists anymore.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

"Some people only feel good when they are praising the Lord." - Coptic bishop

Mark 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Offline hecma925

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The Russians aren't Communists anymore.

Some are.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Asteriktos

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Leading contributors to the fall of the Soviet Union:

30% - Rocky IV
18% - Rock and roll music
14% - Blue jeans
12% - Hollywood
11% - Ronald Reagan
9% - Pope John Paul II
6% - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
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Offline Iconodule

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100% - WOLVERINES!!!!
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Offline biro

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Tee hee :)
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

"Some people only feel good when they are praising the Lord." - Coptic bishop

Mark 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Offline isxodnik

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Catholic and anti-Soviet - brothers forever ))
kill commie for mommy

Offline Luke

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I still remember former President Reagan taking credit because of "containment."  ::)

Offline Vanhyo

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Considering how the popes initially lobbied for the communist to overthrow of the tsar (regime change) so they can substitute the orthodox church with its own(maybe kill them altogether and replace them with subjects to the pope), i would say this praiseful exaggeration of reality, still doesn't make up for it.

Offline Iconodule

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“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Alpha60

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I feel like the downfall of the USSR vs. its reform into a Union of non-socialist Soviet Republics, was regrettable.  Pan-slavism could have been preserved, Christian hegemony over Central Asia would have been maintained, and the larger state might have been able to continue really exciting projects like Buran/Energia (which was really an evolutionary improvement on the American space shuttle; the combination of the incredibly powerful Energia combined cycle booster rockets and the removal of the main engines from the orbiter would have the combined effect of increasing payload and reducing orbiter maintenance costs, radically, while prolonging the life of the orbiters, since once of the two main sources of structural strain, the main engines, was removed, to the Energia launch platform).  And Buran could take off and land under automatic control, something we were never able to do with the Space Shuttle.  That would have been useful if a heat shield was damaged, had an orbiter been evacuated under the post-Columbia disaster procedures; depending on the nature of the damage, if an orbital repair were impossible, a remote-controlled landing could have been attempted.

So if Pope John Paul II prevented that, well, I suppose we can add that to the list of grievances I have with Rome.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 02:30:01 PM by Alpha60 »

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

Offline hecma925

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Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline Eamonomae

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Jack Chick is an amazing historian.

My favorite thing about this comic, called “Mama’s Girls,” where this strip comes from, is that Jack Chick claims that the Vatican created Islam.





« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 12:31:57 AM by Eamonomae »
Lord have mercy

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Pope John Paul II was a very Good Man and a Holly Man ~ God Love Him ~ a man the Church can be proud of ```


Shot, almost killed by the turk ~ went to see the one who tried to kill him and I think forgave him ```

People Love John Paul ~ he was ~ Is a Great Man ```
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 09:46:11 PM by Sethrak »
Իմաստութիւն Հոր Յիսուս՝ տո՝ւր մեզ իաստուփին՝ զբարիս խորհել եւ խոսել եւ գործել առաջի Քո յամենայն ժամ : եւ ի չար խորհրդոց ի բանից եւ ի գործոց   փրկեա  զմեզ՝ ամէն:
Jesus, Wisdom of the Father, give us wisdom, to think, speak and do what is Good before you at all times. And save us from evil thoughts, words and deed, amen.