John Paul II and the worship of secular man
For four and a half years, I have obsessed over the misconception shared by almost all conservatives that George W. Bush is a conservative. But now we’re in the midst of an even greater misconception: the universally held belief that Pope John Paul II was a conservative, a traditionalist, an upholder of the historical Church, an opponent of secularism. An opponent of secularism! As I will show, this pope baptized secularism!
It must be remembered that Karol Wojtyla, above all else, was a man of the Second Vatican Council. For its participants, Vatican II was a transformative event in the life of the Church and in their individual lives. Key to this transformation was the understanding that the advent of Jesus Christ had permanently altered human nature. All men were now linked with Christ, regardless of whether they followed him or not. According to the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes:
Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him [Christ], has been raised in us to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man. (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22)Thus the core of the Christian experience as expressed in the Gospel of John, that Christ becomes accessible to those who believe in him, follow him, and live through him, was erased, or at least made unnecessary. Now every person was Christ-imbued, simply by virtue of being human.
This is the Christological—or rather the anti-Christological—basis of the Religion of Man announced Pope Paul VI at the closing session of Vatican II in December 1965, as I discussed in my article, “How Liberal Christianity Promotes Open Borders and One-Worldism.” The Council, the Pope declared, had not been content to reflect on the relations that unite her to God.
[The Church] was also much concerned with man, with man as he really is today, with living man, with man totally taken up with himself, with man who not only makes himself the center of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and [the] final cause of all reality. Man in his phenomenal totality … presented himself, as it were, before the assembly of the Council Fathers…. The religion of God made man has come up against the religion—for there is such a one—of man who makes himself God. [Emphasis added.]And how did the Council respond to this specter of godless man, of “man who makes himself God”? Far from condemning this falsehood and asserting the superior claims of the Christian faith, the Council, said the Pope,
was filled only with an endless sympathy. The discovery of human needs—and these are so much greater now that the son of the earth has made himself greater—absorbed the attention of the Synod…. [W]e also, we more than anyone else, have the cult of man…Thus, alongside God, the Church had added a second Lord, man, with everything ultimately focusing on man instead of God. Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, fully subscribed to the Vatican II doctrine, having been one of its leading framers. In his first encyclical after becoming Pope, he repeated the theme of Gaudium et Spes, declaring that human nature has been permanently “divinized” by the advent of Christ.
But if human nature is divinized, then all people, including, of course, all Muslims, all Buddhists, all voodoo worshippers, and, most of all, all secular people, have divinized natures. They no longer need to follow Jesus to be saved, they no longer need to repent of their sins and turn toward God, they no longer need to participate in the sacraments, since “living man … man totally taken up with himself … man who not only makes himself the center of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and [the] final cause of all reality … [m]an in his phenomenal totality … man who makes himself God” is already divinized exactly as he is. The secular, in all its self-worshipping fullness, has become the divine. Furthermore, when John Paul II spoke of the “rights of the human person,” which were the “basis of everything,” and to the service of which all material and spiritual powers must be devoted in order to keep man, in his material and spiritual totality, from being crushed by the forces of oppression and inequality (as he put in in his speech to UNESCO on June 2, 1980, again echoing Paul VI’s final speech at Vatican II), it was the “rights” of this secular, self-worshipping man he was talking about. Man, secular man, is both god-like and oppressed, and it is the mission of the Church to serve and protect him.
This was the heretical, socialistic, pantheistic, New Age ideology of Vatican II, which formed, as I’ve said, the basis of Karol Wojtyla’s own belief system. And now a vast chorus of conservatives are saying that this Pope opposed secularism? Has there every been so gross an illusion—and so dangerous an illusion—shared by so many people?