Pope John Paul Ii Leadership for a Modern World, and Advocate for Social Justice

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We speak of a culture war. John Paul II fought a cultural war against the communist and won. Indeed, countless images of this momentous victory filled the screens of televisions around the globe last month. The crumbling of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union were sure signs: The cold war was over. Now, people in their twenties have little more than vague memories of a nuclear threat. Who discusses the possible cataclysmic battles threatening the future of humanity nowadays? What totalitarian regime does Benedict XVI face? "A dictatorship of relativism," as Cardinal Ratzinger identified it in his homily on April 18th, before entering the conclave. "The real culture clash in today's world", he said in a speech given on April 1st, "is not between different religious cultures, but between those who seek a radical emancipation of man from God and the major religions." A radically secular culture, one dubbed by John Paul II as the culture of death, is the totalitarian regime of our time. But what do relativism and radical secularism have to do with each other? And how do they oppose the culture of life? The soon to be Pope explains. "Relativism, which is the starting point of this secularist mentality, becomes a kind of dogmatism that believes it has reached the definitive stage of awareness of what human reason really is." Modern philosophers, politicians and scientists alike have commonly brushed religion aside when discussing matters of morality. Why? Religious beliefs are relative to each person, so we cannot risk slowing down scientific advances to pay heed to personal opinions. In one fell swoop all religions are swept into a silent corner as equally useless. Faith certainly aids people in their personal lives, but science serves the needs of the community as a whole. Such ideas have rocketed technologies forward at a dizzying pace. Ethical considerations crawl along with dwindling hope of catching up. "Our capacity to make moral decisions...
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