John Paul II: Reclaiming the Culture Print
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 03 April 2007 07:53

Last night, I was discussing early modern Church history with a friend of mine, a leading historian of 20th century Poland. We talked about how the Catholic church, in the late 16th and 17th centuries, reclaimed large parts of Europe that had become Protestant.


I was vividly reminded of that conversation when I came across this quote this morning. It seems a most appropriate way to remember John Paul the Great.

From an interview with Gian Franco Svidercoschi, a Vaticanist and co-editor of the book 'Swiadectwo' [Witness] by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Pope John Paul's long time secretary. In the Polish English language magazine Sunday Catholic Weekly (published in Czestochowa)

 

Question: - Did the efforts of John Paul II stop the process of secularisation and the Church managed to regain her right to act in politics and culture?

Svidercoschi:

"In his book Cardinal Dziwisz wrote a beautiful sentence, ''The Pope regained the territory which the Church and Christians had lost throughout centuries. He regained the squares that the left-wing party had occupied; he regained the intelligentsia that had been under the influence of the secularised culture; he regained the youth that stopped to be ashamed of confessing faith and that aimed at their sanctification.' Thus John Paul II regained the Church's right to be present in society, naturally not to rule over it but to give it moral help."