“You’re confusing a modern man with an American liberal. An American liberal isn’t necessarily a modern man.” The words date from 1983, spoken by the Jewish-born archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, to a New York Times reporter. They might better serve as an enchiridion for appreciating Pope John Paul II’s relationship to the century in which he was born and bore witness.
In all the ways that we typically understand “modern,” the humble priest from Krakow cut an unlikely modern figure. Notwithstanding his learning and his early experience with Nazism, he languished under the communist shadow in what many in the West regarded as the most backwards branch of the Catholic Church...READ MORE