13 April 2007

Paul Johnson on the Pope

A very typical piece by Paul Johnson in this week's Spectator (full article available). I have heard John Paul II criticsed for many things in the past but "John Paul was not much interested in aesthetics and all that side of God’s wonders" was a new one. It made me think, though: was the late Pope's sensibility theatrical rather than aesthetic?

1 comment:

Fr. Greg said...

In reading the full article, I think Johnson's comment about John Paul II's lack of interest in aesthetics, isn't so much criticism as simple observation, much like his comment that Benedict, being detailed-oriented, "doesn't have time to chat".

I also find Johnson's rant about "Brussells-Europe" interesting. I note that he does not mention the UK in his description of alleged negative national characteristics, and like you, wondering if John Paul II's sensibilities were "theatrical" (A good case could be made for that, I suspect), I wonder if Johnson thinks that John Paul suffered from what Johnson calls Polish "irrealism". Probably not, since he credits the late Pope with a large role in bringing down Communism. Therefore, I have to wonder as well if Poles are really all that unrealistic. Given their history, I doubt it. The late Cardinal Wyzinsky was extremely realistic and achieved great things because of that realism.