One of the greatest paradoxes among many incoherent and disjointed arguments within the Catholic neoconservative narrative is the depiction of John Paul II as both the great humanist and advocate for liberty of conscience (with a necessarily attendant liberal view of salvation) as well as a great missionary for Christ, saving souls and bringing them within the fold of the Church.
It is interesting that a similar portrait of John Paul was given by the great reforming Communist of perestroika and glasnost (now turned New Ager), Mikhail Gorbachev. When asked to comment on JPII’s death, after noting John Paul was a “servant of the Church of Christ,” Gorbachev stated, “He was a humanist really. A Humanist with a capital H, maybe the first humanist in world history.” This is a very curious statement from the former leader of the Soviet Union and someone who now advocates nature worship.
The fans of JPII as well as JPII himself clearly saw John Paul as playing a world historical role in a world historical moment, what was called during his reign, without irony, a New Pentecost.
What is more, it is quite clear that John Paul was a Christian humanist whose great love for human beings caused him to “tone down” essentials of the faith. Furthermore, JPII’s humanism paved the way for Francis’s radicalism, which also combines more than a dose of Gorbachev’s occultism and environmentalism.
The roots of humanism like much of Enlightenment liberalism are rooted in the rediscovery of Neoplatonic philosophy, which exalted man as a God and argued for the destruction of Constantianian or Tridentine Catholicism in order to make way for a new Promethean freedom.
The question is: Is there something Gorbachev knew about John Paul II that we don’t? Or was his statement just a nice platitude?