[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]The pope’s hypocrisiesThis is in reference to the article “Pope lived a life of new hope” (April 7). The writer, Han Hong-soon, fails to mention Pope John Paul II’s multitude of hypocrisies. He writes, for instance, that “the pope was deeply interested in many issues such as human rights.” Why, then, did the Pope welcome the murderous tyrant Tariq Aziz to the Vatican?
He also writes that “the pope championed religious freedom.” If that is the case, why did he push for the criminalization of abortion, rather than stress his own personal objections while allowing people of different religions to do what he viewed as a mistake?
The same goes for his opposition to contraceptives, a position that has deeply harmed the fight against AIDS in developing countries.
The writer continues, "The Pope believed that the structure of sin in our world [is] created by a desire for power."
Yet the Pope consolidated his own power in the Vatican and squelched internal debate.
Mr. Han concluded that “the pope believed that the Catholic Church should communicate and cooperate with all people to build a society with justice and peace.”
Apparently, the pope’s definition of all people did not include homosexuals, who he said partake in an “ideology of evil.”
Yes, the Pope was instrumental in the fall of communism. But let’s take an honest look at his record, rather than succumb to hagiography.
by Ethan R. Epstein