Poles honor Reagan, John Paul II with new statue

GDANSK, Poland (AP) — Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago.

The statue was unveiled in Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement, in the presence of about 120 former Solidarity activists, many of whom were imprisoned in the 1980s for their roles in organizing or taking part in strikes against the communist regime.

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Lech Walesa – Poland’s former president and the founder of Solidarity is hospitalized.

Warsaw – Former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa was hospitalized in his native Gdansk, northern Poland with a high fever and stomach problems and was undergoing tests, officials said Thursday.

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The “Real” Church Militant


Search the current official Catholic Catechism and you will no longer find the term “Church Militant” … but we know it still exists … because that’s who we are!

The Church militant is the society of all the faithful still dwelling on earth. It is called militant, because it wages eternal war with those implacable enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil … from the Catechism of Trent (Circa 1902-1907).

Here’s one way this works:

John Paul’s role in the collapse of European communism is now generally recognized, but it does not seem well understood. He was not, pace Tad Szulc, a wily diplomat skillfully negotiating a transition beyond one-party rule in Poland. He was not, pace Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, a co-conspirator with Ronald Reagan in a “holy alliance” to effect communism’s demise. He was not, pace the late Jonathan Kwitny, a Gandhi in a white cassock, running a non-violent resistance movement in Poland through a clandestine messenger service from the Vatican. Rather, John Paul shaped the politics of east central Europe in the 1980s as a pastor, evangelist, and witness to basic human rights.

Primary-source evidence for this is found in the texts of the Pope’s epic June 1979 pilgrimage to his homeland, nine days on which the history of the 20th century pivoted. In those forty-some sermons, addresses, lectures, and impromptu remarks, the Pope told his fellow-countrymen, in so many words: “You are not who they say you are. Let me remind you who you are.” By restoring to the Polish people their authentic history and culture, John Paul created a revolution of conscience that, fourteen months later, produced the nonviolent Solidarity resistance movement, a unique hybrid of workers and intellectuals — a “forest planed by aroused consciences,” as the Pope’s friend, the philosopher Jozef Tischner once put it. And by restoring to his people a form of freedom and a fearlessness that communism could not reach, John Paul II set in motion the human dynamics that eventually led, over a decade, to what we know as the Revolution of 1989.

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Subsidiarity and Scott Brown

… many rightly are asking – if Scott Brown supports abortion, is CatholicVote happy that he was elected? Let me explain.

First, Senator-elect Scott Brown opposes using taxpayer funds for abortion, opposes partial-birth abortion, and supports other laws that would provide parents and women notice, counseling, and information prior to an abortion. But his opponent Martha Coakley was proudly 100% pro-abortion.

Scott Brown is certainly not an ideal candidate. After all, he supports Roe v. Wade! So the question must be asked — how should faithful Catholics, Christians, and dedicated activists that want to build a culture of life respond — how do we fit in?

Do you remember the ‘S’ word?

The ‘s’ word is subsidiarity. And Scott Brown’s win was a victory for subsidiarity – a key principle of Catholic social doctrine, and a foundational principle of American self-government.

The surge that propelled Scott Brown into office was largely a response to Congress’ overreach on health care. Americans of both political parties, and huge numbers of independents elected Scott Brown because of what he represents – a chance to stop the government first “reform” crusade. And because Scott Brown was elected, the health care ‘reform’ debacle may finally be stopped.

The Power of People

Subsidiarity simply means that issues ought to be solved by the smallest and least centralized competent authority. Families, charities, churches and local communities, and even states ought to be the primary instruments of political change — as opposed to a massive bureaucratic centralized federal government.

And thus, while Scott Brown is ultimately wrong about abortion, he is definitely right in urging us to think anew about the proper size and role of government in a free society. And for this reason, CatholicVote is happy he won.

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