Georgie Anne Geyer today, writing about Pope John Paul:

“His support of the Solidarity Free Trade Unions would seem to be, first and foremost, political. It was his trip to his native and beloved Poland in 1979, just a year after his investiture as pope, that set the country spiritually afire against the communists. For the first time, Poles said, they realized that it was the communists who were the dissidents in Poland, and not they. “

Billy says, rightly, in his notes on the death of the Pope……

“Most people with a brain in their heads and a sense of history recall 1989, but I do wonder how many people recall 1979.”

But personally, I wonder how many people on this side of the world recall the decades BEFORE 1979, he spent as a Priest and a Bishop, fighting the Communists.

For much of his life, he didn’t hold himself above the frey, and keep himself out of the fight….Rather he stood in it, and became the more persistent fighter. He wasn’t one to demand it all at once, rather playing political game….. And within that context he didn’t try to “go long”, he played a patient game of inches. He went in with the idea of changing one mind at a time, knowing that the cascade effect would eventually take over.

There’s a lesson there, and I wonder if Geyer knows just how hard she’s hit this one. I doubt many would dare to suggest the Pope operated outside of his principles to gain his victories in the political arena, eh?