Pope John Paul II – Controversies

The reign of Pope John Paul II as the supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City may have brought him the acclamation of being one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, it had also got him surrounded with a number of debatable controversies.

The letters between him and Dr. Wanda Poltawska can be mentioned as one of the major controversies that had almost resulted in delaying his beatification. Dr. Poltawska was severely criticized for her decision to publish fifty years of private correspondence between her and the (late) Pope. While Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz claimed that this relationship is purely fictional, Father Adam Boneicki said that the relationship between the Pope and Dr. Poltawska was that of a brother with sister.

Many have linked Pope John Paul II and authoritarianism very closely. It has also been claimed that the Pope is as despotic as Pius XII and that Papal authoritarianism had caused many to quit Church altogether. Being known for nipping any opposition to his totalitarian control at the bud, the Pope had maintained a controversial stand till his last days of papacy.

Revoking the teaching credentials of liberal Catholic theologians like Hans Kung (for questioning Papal infallibility) and Charles Curran (for his noninterventionist and broad minded views on sexuality) are evidences enough to show that Pope John Paul II was not very flexible to the changing world order. He had also faced protests when he cited his requirement for Catholic teachers of religious subjects to be licensed according to Vatican approved guidelines. This was done as an attempt to control college curriculums more directly from Rome.

Who can forget the Pope’s opposition of birth control, feminism, divorce and gay rights? His anti-women stand had made him very unpopular with the female population at one point of time. Did-You-Know: a group of pro-birth control and pro-abortion people had, as a sign of protest, named an abortion clinic after Pope John Paul II. Although there was a clash between the supporters and the protesters over this obvious sign of disrespect, the authorities silenced the issue saying it was not worth their while to worry about something so petty.

While the Vatican sovereign supported and encouraged the role of women as a part of government decision making, he refused when it came to involving women in the decision making of the church. He barred women from ordination by simply stating that ‘the discussion on women’s ordination is closed’! How could this not be a reason to drag him into a highly dual and controversial stand?

Appreciation, awe, controversy and opposition took equal footing during the reign of Pope John Paul II as the Sovereign of the Vatican. You can make this magnanimous yet controversial personality a part of your life with exquisitely crafted 24” bronze statue which captures even the minutest details of the Pope. Not only is it a privilege to own this glorious sculpture, it can also be presented as a unique and a very thoughtful gift to your loved ones.

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