Skip to comments.New Pope Book Says Communism Was 'Necessary Evil'(Pope calls COMMUNISM as ""EVIL"" as NAZISM)
Posted on 10/07/2004 7:40:19 AM PDT by carlo3b
New Pope Book Says Communism Was 'Necessary Evil'
Oct 7, 6:23 AM (ET)
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Communism was a "necessary evil" that God allowed to happen in the 20th century in order to create opportunities for good after its demise, Pope John Paul says in his new book.
"Memory and Identity," which is due to be published early next year, is the ailing 84-year-old pontiff's latest and perhaps last book intended for a mass circulation audience. All of his previous books have been international bestsellers.
In one chapter, the pope, who lived through both Nazism and Communism in his native Poland, reflects on the meaning of evil in life and in history.
"I have personally experienced the reality of the 'ideologies of evil'. It remains indelibly fixed in my memory," he says in the book, which is a series of conversations he had in Polish with fellow philosophers in the summer of 1993.
Excerpts of the book, which was announced Wednesday at the Frankfurt Book Fair, were made available by the Italian publisher Rizzoli.
The pope, who has been credited with helping bring about the fall of Communism after his shock election in 1978, reveals that even an optimist like him had moments of pessimism during his life under Communist oppression.
"To me it was quite clear that Communism would last much longer than Nazism had done. For how long? It was hard to predict," he writes.
"There was a sense that this evil was in some way necessary for the world and for mankind. It can happen, in fact, that in certain particular human situations, evil is revealed as somehow useful inasmuch as it creates opportunities for good."
Many historians believe it was his support for Poland's free trade union Solidarity after he became pope in 1978 that helped the union go on to form the East Bloc's first free government.
The pope, whom Jews have credited with improving Catholic relations with them more than any pontiff in history, also reflects on Nazism, which he calls a "bestiality."
"The Lord God allowed Nazism 12 years of existence ... evidently this was the limit imposed by Divine Providence upon that sort of folly," he says.
"The full extent of the evil that was raging through Europe was not seen by everyone, not even by those of us who were living at the epicenter. We were totally swallowed up in a great eruption of evil," he says.
"Both the Nazis during the war and, later, the Communists in Eastern Europe, tried to hide what they were doing from public opinion. For a long time, the West did not want to believe in the extermination of the Jews," he writes.
The pope's royalties from "Memory and Identity" will go to charity as have his previous titles.
The director of the Holy See Press Office said that in the book John Paul II writes about the ideologies of evil, national socialism and communism, and he explores their roots and the regimes that resulted. In addition, he makes a theological and philosophical reflection about how the presence of evil often ends up being an invitation to do good. "Sometimes evil, in certain moments of human existence, reveals itself as useful. Useful in the measure in which it creates an occasion to do good," says the Pope in a excerpt from the book.
Doesnt that sound familiar??? Geeeeze..Why would a political party try to hide their agenda?
Globalist elitist scumbags for sKerry?
Who says communism is dead? It is still advancing. But this time, it is happening globally. So there will be no truly "free" countries to illustrate, by example, its miserable failures. And there will be nowhere to run.
Then I guess it's OK Pope Pie XII was cosy with Mussolini, Franco abnd Hitler - he was just making sure some greater good could come out of their demise afterwards. And maybe the Holocaust was good, too, because it allowed for reduced anti-semitism after WW2 ?
Sheesh. Hard to stay Catholic when I read this.
A WARNING: The press often mis-quotes people they don't like in order to make them look bad. Wait until the book is out, rather than relying on highly selective phrases.
What an ignorant thing to say. Don't you think good can come of evil? Or was the crucifixion an abberation in that it was evil but led to good? By your logic an evil act (rape) can never produce a good result (human life). Or is it the word "necessary" that gets under your skin? If so, please explain.
When the Pope says "necessary evil" he is referring to a prayer from the Catholic Easter Vigil service in which the sin of Adam is referred to as "O happy fault! O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!"
Catholics believe that Adam's sin deprived men of the earthly Paradise of Eden, but that it led to an even greater good for mankind - the saving grace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
From an evil human act, God brought forth a good greater than the evil which men did.
Therefore the Pope is saying that despite its great evil, Communism has taught us a very valuable lesson - that no political system, no matter how idealistic or "advanced" can ignore God without horrible consequences.
A "necessary evil"?
That must be some comfort to the millions murdered, maimed or enslaved by communism, and their relatives, eh?
This will be spun into "Pope hails reign of communism!", I assure you.
First of all, theologically, NOTHING happens without the permission of God. God permitted Communism and Nazism for a reason, just like God permitted 9/11 to occur. Why? We don't know. Maybe 9/11 was a "necessary evil" to wake the world up and create the impetus to defeat the terrorists before they raise a mushroom cloud over New York City instead.
The press, which has no background in Catholic theology that I'm aware of, will undoubtedly smear the Pope with this...
Far be it from me to be a defender of the pope and all he stands for. But, what about the statement that you quoted do you find so senile or demented?
If the pope's point is that God is sovereign and nothing happens apart from His will -- whether it be communism or Nazism or whatever other terrible historical event you care to recall -- I'll have to agree with him.
On a related note, I wonder if he considers The Reformation and Protestantism "necessary evils," too...
See post 9.
In this I must agree. Evil has presented itself fully to the world. What we do about it, is very important. We can take the skerry road, compromise, litigate, and baury the dead with great funerals. Or we take a stand, fight them where they hide. and change our attitude about the moral issues of our time. I don't believe this is an isolated incident, it is one last chance for us to do what is right and good. If the evil wins this world battle, we are doomed. submit or die will be the law.
And there is nothing wrong with supporting Francisco Franco. He was a Christian gentleman who saved his country from becoming a Stalinist puppet state.
Or perhaps you support Stalinism. That would explain your hatred for the Pope.
You've drunk the left-wing Kool-aid on Pius XII. See post 9 too.
It goes back to the whole question of "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?" If you don't believe that God has a plan for everyone and everything you will believe that God doesn't exist, which is ABSURD!
Exactly. See post 17.
The fact that Christians are divided from one another is an undeniable evil, whomever one blames for the split.
I understand where the Pope is coming from. I have always said that Bill Clinton was a necessary evil so that we could all stop and realize just how 'bad' our society has become.
Never turn your back to evil...not for one second. Always hit it head on, ferociously, wanting not for excuses but only results...
"Who says communism is dead? It is still advancing. But this time, it is happening globally. So there will be no truly "free" countries to illustrate, by example, its miserable failures. And there will be nowhere to run."
Well it is written that "TIME" is shortened.... not events, so like a woman in travail "childbirth" events are compress into a shortened span of time.
We have seen nothing yet and that is written.
That God brings good out of evil necessarily follows since God exists and is good, and evil also exists. This is the classical solution to the problem of evil.
God has let us know a lot. He has lifted the curtain on the problem of evil with Christ. There, the greatest evil that ever happened, both the greatest spiritual evil and the greatest physical evil, both the greatest sin (deicide) and the greatest suffering (perfect love hated and crucified), is revealed as his wise and loving plan to bring about the greatest good, the salvation of the world from sin and suffering eternally. There, the greatest injustice of all time is integrated into the plan of salvation that Saint Paul calls the righteousness (Justice) of God.
The Problem of Evil
A complete account may be gathered from the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, by whom the principles of St. Augustine are systematized, and to some extent supplemented. Evil, according to St. Thomas, is a privation, or the absence of some good which belongs properly to the nature of the creature. (I,Q. xiv, a. 10; Q. xlix, a. 3; Contra Gentiles, III, ix, x). There is therefore no "summum malum", or positive source of evil, corresponding to the "summum bonum", which is God (I, Q. xlix, a. 3; C. G., III, 15; De Malo, I, 1); evil being not "ens reale" but only "ens rationis"--i.e. it exists not as an objective fact, but as a subjective conception; things are evil not in themselves, but by reason of their relation to other things, or persons. All realities (entia) are in themselves good; they produce bad results only incidentally; and consequently the ultimate cause of evil if fundamentally good, as well as the objects in which evil is found (I, Q. xlix; cf. I, Q. v, 3; De Malo, I, 3). Thus the Manichaean dualism has no foundation in reason.
Evil is threefold, viz., "malum naturæ" (metaphysical evil), "culpæ" (moral), and "paenæ" (physical, the retributive consequence of "malum culpæ") (I, Q. xlviii, a. 5, 6; Q. lxiii, a. 9; De Malo, I, 4). Its existence subserves the perfection of the whole; the universe would be less perfect if it contained no evil. Thus fire could not exist without the corruption of what it consumes; the lion must slay the ass in order to live, and if there were no wrong doing, there would be no sphere for patience and justice (I, Q. xlviii, a. 2). God id said (as in Is., xlv) to be the author of evil in the sense that the corruption of material objects in nature is ordained by Him, as a means for carrying out the design of the universe; and on the other hand, the evil which exists as a consequence of the breach of Divine laws is in the same sense due to Divine appointment; the universe would be less perfect if its laws could be broken with impunity. Thus evil, in one aspect, i.e. as counter-balancing the deordination of sin, has the nature of good (II, Q. ii, a. 19). But the evil of sin (culpæ), though permitted by God, is in no sense due to him (I, Q. xlix, a. 2).; its cause is the abuse of free will by angels and men (I-II, Q. lxxiii, a. 6; II-II, Q. x, a. 2; I-II, Q. ix, a. 3). It should be observed that the universal perfection to which evil in some form is necessary, is the perfection of this universe, not of any universe: metaphysical evil, that is to say, and indirectly, moral evil as well, is included in the design of the universe which is partially known to us; but we cannot say without denying the Divine omnipotence, that another equally perfect universe could not be created in which evil would have no place.
St. Thomas also provides explanations of what are now generally considered to be the two main difficulties of the subject, viz., the Divine permission of foreseen moral evil, and the question finally arriving thence, why God choose to create anything at all. First, it is asked why God, foreseeing that his creatures would use the gift of free will for their own injury, did not either abstain from creating them, or in some way safeguard their free will from misuse, or else deny them the gift altogether? St. Thomas replies (C. G., II, xxviii) that God cannot change His mind, since the Divine will is free from the defect of weakness or mutability. Such mutability would, it should be remarked, be a defect in the Divine nature (and therefore impossible), because if God's purpose were made dependent on the foreseen free act of any creature, God would thereby sacrifice His own freedom, and would submit Himself to His creatures, thus abdicating His essential supremacy--a thing which is, of course, utterly inconceivable. Secondly, to the question why God should have chosen to create, when creation was in no way needful for His own perfection, St. Thomas answers that God's object in creating is Himself; He creates in order to manifest his own goodness, power, and wisdom, and is pleased with that reflection or similitude of Himself in which the goodness of creation consists. God's pleasure is the one supremely perfect motive for action, alike in God Himself and in His creatures; not because of any need, or inherent necessity, in the Divine nature (C. G., I, xxviii; II, xxiii), but because God is the source, centre, and object, of all existence. (I, Q. lxv, a. 2; cf. Prov., 26 and Conc. Vat., can. i, v; Const. Dogm., 1.) This is accordingly the sufficient reason for the existence of the universe, and even for the suffering which moral evil has introduced into it. God has not made the world primarily for man's good, but for His own pleasure; good for man lies in conforming himself to the supreme purpose of creation, and evil in departing from it (C.G., III, xvii, cxliv). It may further be understood from St. Thomas, that in the diversity of metaphysical evil, in which the perfection of the universe as a whole is embodied, God may see a certain similitude of His own threefold unity (cf. I, Q. xii); and again, that by permitting moral evil to exist He has provided a sphere for the manifestation of one aspect of His essential justice (cf. I, Q. lxv, a. 2; and I, Q. xxi, a. 1, 3).
It is obviously impossible to suggest a reason why this universe in particular should have been created rather than another; since we are necessarily incapable of forming an idea of any other universe than this. Similarly, we are unable to imagine why God chose to manifest Himself by the way of creation, instead of, or in addition to, the other ways, whatever they may be, by which He has, or may have, attained the same end. We reach here the utmost limit of speculation; and our inability to conceive the ultimate reason for creation (as distinct from its direct motive) is paralleled, at a much earlier stage of the enquire, by the inability of the non-creationist schools of thought to assign any ultimate cause for the existence of the order of nature. It will be observed that St. Thomas's account of evil is a true Theodicy, taking into consideration as it does every factor of the problem, and leaving unsolved only the mystery of creation, before which all schools of thought are equally helpless. It is as impossible to know, in the fullest sense, why this world was made as to know how it was made; but St. Thomas has at least shown that the acts of the Creator admit of complete logical justification, notwithstanding the mystery in which, for human intelligence, they can never wholly cease to be involved. On Catholic principles, the amelioration of moral evil and its consequent suffering can only take place by means of individual reformation, and not so much through increase of knowledge as through stimulation or re-direction of the will. But since all methods of social improvement that have any value must necessarily represent a nearer approach to conformity with Divine laws, they are welcomed and furthered by the Church, as tending, at least indirectly, to accomplish the purpose for which she exists.
Have you read the article? It states very clearly that the Pope says that having Communism around reminded the world of how deceitfully evil can be disguised.
Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.
* I guess there is no possible way to put the Pope's words into a positive light.
As for his "dementia" he still runs intellectual rings around his opponents
As a Catholic, I lament that the pope supports communism through the global UN tax for the 'poor'
"When the Pope says "necessary evil" he is referring to a prayer from the Catholic Easter Vigil service in which the sin of Adam is referred to as "O happy fault! O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!""
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death "devi'" were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.
No person in the world is quoted out of context more often and more blatantly than the Pope.
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein was a "necessary evil" that God allowed to happen in the 21st century in order to create opportunities for good after its demise, Pope John Paul III says in his new book.
I recently read an article by a religious historian. The guy stressed out some interesting points(I'm not qualified to comment on their validity).
First, Judas was not a poor man, and he did not come from the same background as the other Apostles. He apparently came from a rich family that usually ended up with top jobs in Judea. Hence the idea that he denounced Christ to the Romans because of 30 silver coins seems rather strange.
His family had been involved in uprisings against the Romans (IIRC), largely because they believed Judea would be ruled and saved by a Master of Justice, who would throw the occupiers out of Judea, along with merchants (who were often foreigners).
The theory of this historian is that Judas thought Jesus was this Master of Justice, and that he was growing bitter that Jesus did not reveal himself as such. Judas was also confused by some positions adopted by Christ, like when he saw that waht belonged to Caesar (the tax money) was to be given to Caesar, and when he said his realm was not of this world.
So, says this historian, it is to attain to the temporal power he was expecting from the Master of Justice that Judas denounced Jesus to give him no other choice but to preach open revolt and "holy" war against the Romans.
I will not comment on religious significance or validity of this article, but it made for a good story - and maybe some good History too.
As for his being selected by Jesus, well, since Christ was ready to make this ultimate sacrifice, giving his life to redeem Humanity, why couldn't He have chosen Judas fully knowing that it would be His downfall as a mortal being, and His revelation as God's Son ?
"The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness is doing for us," Chief Rabbi Herzog of Palestine wrote in one of his many wartime communications to the Holy See. On October 11, 1945, the New York Times reported a gift to the Vatican of $20,000 from the World Jewish Congress "in recognition of the work of the Holy See in rescuing Jews from Fascist and Nazi persecution."
· "NAZIS WARNED IN LOURDES": reporting the protest in 1935 of then Cardinal Pacelli against "superstitions of race and blood." When Pacelli was elected Pope on March 2, 1939, the Times reported "nearly general applause around the world," except in Germany.
· "POPE CONDEMNS DICTATORS, TREATY VIOLATORS, RACISM": threecolumn frontpage headline reporting the Popes first encyclical, October 28, 1939.
· "VATICAN DENOUNCES ATROCITIES IN POLAND; GERMANS CALLED EVEN WORSE THAN RUSSIANS" (January 23, 1940).
· "JEWS RIGHTS DEFENDED": reporting the Popes "burning words to [Nazi Foreign Minister] Ribbentrop in defense of the Jews in Germany and Poland" (March 14, 1940).
· "Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas. . . . The Pope put himself squarely against Nazism" (December 25, 1941).
· "The papacy is throwing the whole weight of its publicizing facilities into an exposé" of Nazi atrocities (through Vatican radio): January 24, 1942.
· "POPE IS SAID TO PLEAD FOR JEWS LISTED FOR REMOVAL FROM FRANCE" (August 6, 1942). And on August 27: "VICHY SEIZES JEWS; POPE PIUS IGNORED."
· "This Christmas  more than ever [the Pope] is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent": editorial on the Popes reference to "the hundreds of thousands who, . . . solely because of their nation or race, have been condemned to death or progressive extinction."
· On August 21, 1944, Pulitzer Prize laureate Anne OHare McCormick wrote in the Times that the Pope had given "first priority" to saving Jews.
· "Under the Popes direction the Holy See did an exemplary job of sheltering and championing the victims of the NaziFascist regime. . . . None [in Rome] doubts that the general feeling of the Roman Curia was antiFascist and very strongly antiNazi": Times reporter Herbert L. Matthews, October 15, 1944.
TOPIC: Jesus not only permitted, but SELECTED Judas to be an apostle.
Take your time with this.
I don't need to reread Paul, thank you. Was your comment that he is not immune to dementia a necessary evil? A painful truth? What would you say was its moral status?
As OK as you posting nonsense, yes I suppose...
That's the whole point. The betrayal of Jesus was an evil. God permitted and facilitated it by selecting Judas to be an Apostle who would know where He was (pretty much) at all times.
Why didn't Jesus just turned himself in and spared Judas from suicide and (probably) hell?
Why didn't Jesus just turn himself in and spare Judas from suicide and (probably) hell?
Finally someone beside Ronald Reagan equating Communism with Nazism. To this day the liberal left refuses to admit that there is a moral equivalence between the two. With today's leftist writers, producers & actors you'll never see a Hollywood movie about the uncounted tens of millions murdered by the Soviet Union & their surrogate states.
But Jesus knew the outcome and permitted an evil to occur for a higher purpose. He could have bound Judas, turned the Romans back at Gethsemane, brought death upon him... but chose not to. Unless you can argue that the betrayal of Jesus was not an evil, your argument doesn't hold water.
But didn't God give mankind free will, so He could judge us by our deeds ? I mean, ain't we supposed to strive to honor our Creator and make good use of what He has given us ?
But, don't forget, all of Job's terrible calamities were preceded by God saying to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?"
The head Rabbi of Rome became a Catholic after the war.
I don't think you read the post.
That must be some comfort to the millions murdered, maimed or enslaved by communism, and their relatives, eh? /sarcasm
I can promise you that it provided no comfort to my great grandfather, who had everything that he ever worked for stolen by the Communists when he was in his late 50's. This statement, I am certain, provided even less comfort for my grandfather, who was forced to flee his country of birth and leave most of his family behind at age 22 in order to simply survive. He never saw his parents or one of his brothers again, and only saw his remaining siblings for a couple of weeks in 1969.
Yes, Communism brought my grandfather to this country, and therefore my grandparents met and my father was born, leading to me and my kids. Good for me and them - but at what cost to my grandfather and his family? Those remaining behind lived in poverty and in constant fear of The State for the rest of their lives.
I find it impossible to label anything about Communism as a "good thing," except for its fall from power in the late 1980's in the former Soviet Empire. The voices of the tens of millions who were slaughtered by Lenin, Stalin & Mao, as well as all of the brutal and corrupt regimes and terrorist organizations (the legacy of which we are still seeing) supported by the Soviet Union and Red China, cry out in anguish about the evil - the utter lack of good - of that twisted and sick ideology. Sorry, the Pope is wrong. He may be perfect regarding Catholic theology, but he's off the mark on this one. Nonetheless, I salute him for having gone through what he did without losing any of his morality and decency. He's had a tough life (at least until he was elected Pontiff), and he deserves respect for that.