The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John Paul II, Russia, and the West
Copyright © 1990 by Malachi Martin
Table of Contents
THE SERVANT OF THE GRAND DESIGN
I. THE GEOPOLITICS OF POWER
PART ONE: THE ARENA
1. "Everything Must Change!"
2. Nobody's Pope
3. Into the Arena: Poland
4. The Visible Man
5. The Keys of This Blood
PART TWO: THE LAY OF THE LAND
6. The Morality of Nations: Whatever Happened to Sinful Structures?
7. The Morality of Nations: Rich Man, Poor Man...
8. The Morality of Nations: Beggarman, Thief
PART THREE: CHAMPIONS OF HAMMER AND SICKLE
9. The Hall of Heroes
10. Karl Marx
11. V. I. Lenin
12. Joseph Stalin
13. Antonio Gramsci: The Haunting of East and West
PART FOUR: CHAMPIONS OF GLOBALISM
14. ...with Interdependence and Development for All
15. The Provincial Globalists
16. The Piggyback Globalists
17. The Genuine Globalists: From Alabama to Zambia, Let's Hear It for Cornflakes
PART FIVE: SHIFTING GROUND
18. Forces of the "New Order": Secularism
19. Forces of the "New Order": The Two Models of a Geopolitical House
20. Diplomatic Connivance
21. "Cold-Eyed, I Contemplate the World"
22. "New Thinking"
23. Vatican Summit
24. "New Architecture"
25. The Millennium Endgame
II. THE GEOPOLITICS OF FAITH
PART SIX: THE VISION OF THE SERVANT
26. Polishness and Papacy
27. The Pacts of Polishness
28. The Pacts of Extinction
29. Papal Training Ground: "Deus Vicit!"
30. Papal Training Ground: Under the Sign of Solidarnosc
31. The Polities of Faith
32. The Polities of Papacy
33. In the Final Analysis
CODA: THE PROTOCOL OF SALVATION
34. The Judas Complex
35. The Triple Weakness
36. Scenario: The Consistory
The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John Paul II, Russia, and the West
Excerpts from the book:
Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved in an all-out, no holds barred, three-way global competition. Most of us are not competitors, however. We are the stakes. For the competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us as individuals and over all of us together as a community; over the entire six billion people expected by demographers to inhabit the earth by early in the third millennium.
The competition is all-out because, now that it has started, there is no way it can be reversed or called off.
No holds are barred because, once the competition has been decided, the world and all that's in it - our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our families and our jobs; our trade and commerce and money; our educational systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which of us have always taken for granted - all will have been powerfully and radically altered forever. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched.
The competition began and continues as a three-way affair because that is the number of rivals with sufficient resources to establish and maintain a new world order.
No one who is acquainted with the plans of these three rivals has any doubt but that only one of them can win. Each expects the other two to be overwhelmed and swallowed up in the coming maelstrom of change. That being the case, it would appear inescapable that their competition will end up as confrontation.
As to the time factor involved, those of us who are under seventy will see at least the basic structures of the new world government installed. Those of us under forty will surely live under its legislative, executive and judiciary authority and control. Indeed, the three rivals themselves - and many more besides as time goes on - speak about this new world order not as something around a distant corner of time, but as something that is imminent. As a system that will be introduced and installed by the end of this final decade of the second millennium.
What these competitors are talking about, then, is the most profound and widespread modification of international, national and local life that the world has seen in a thousand years. And the competition they are engaged in can be described simply enough as the millennial endgame.
Ten years before this competition became manifest to the world at large, the man who was destined to become the first, the most unexpected, and for some at least, the most unwelcome competitor of all in this millennial endgame spoke openly about what he saw down the road even then.
Toward the end of an extended visit to America in 1976, an obscure Polish archbishop from Krakow by the name of Karol Wojtyla stood before an audience in New York City and made one of prophetic speeches ever given.
"We are standing now in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through," he said, " ... a test of two thousand years of culture and Christian civilization, with all its consequences for human dignity, individual rights and the rights of nations.' But he chided his listeners on that September day, 'Wide circles of American society and wide circles of the Christian community do not realize this fully ..."
Perhaps the world was still too immersed in the old system of nation-states, and in all the old international balance-of-power arrangements, to hear what Wojtyla was saying. Or perhaps Wojtyla himself was reckoned as no more than an isolated figure hailing from an isolated country that had long since been pointedly written out of the global power equation. Or perhaps after the industrial slaughter of millions of human beings in two world wars and in 180 local wars, and after the endless terror of nuclear brinkmanship that have marked the progress of the twentieth century, the feeling was simply that one confrontation more or less wasn't going to make much difference.
Whatever the reason, it would seem that no one who heard or later read what Karol Wojtyla said that day had any idea that he was pointing to a competition he already saw on the horizon: a competition between the world's only three internationally based power structures for truly global hegemony.
An isolated figure Karol Wojtyla may have been in the fall of 1976-at least for many Westerners. But two years later, in October of 1978, when he emerged from the Sistine Chapel in Rome as Pope John Paul II, the 263rd successor to Peter the Apostle, he was himself the head of the most extensive and deeply experienced of the three global powers that would, within a short time, set about ending the nation-state system of world politics that have defined human society for over a thousand years.
It is not too much to say, in fact, that the chosen purpose of John Paul's pontificate - the engine that drives his Papal grand policy and that determines his day-to-day, year-by-year strategies, is to be the victor in that competition, now well under way. For the fact is that the stakes John Paul has placed in the arena of geopolitical contention include everything - himself; his papal persona; the age-old Petrine Office he now embodies; and his entire Church Universal, both as an institutional organization unparalleled in the world and as a body of believers united by a bond of mystical communion.
The other two contenders in the arena of this "greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through" are no mean adversaries. Rather, they are the leaders of two most deeply entrenched secular powers, who stand, in a collective sense, on their record as the authors and the primary actors in the period of history that has been so much the worst of times that the best face we can put on it is to say that we were not swallowed up in the apocalypse of World War III - as if that were the best man could do for his fellow man.
. . . . . .
There is one great similarity shared by all three of these geopolitical competitors. Each one of them has in mind a particular grand design for one-world governance. In fact, each one of them talks now in nearly the same terms Karol Wojtyla used in his American visit in 1976. They all give speeches about the end to the nation system of our passing civilization. Their geopolitical competition is about which of the three will form, dominate and run the world system that will replace the decaying nation system.
There is at least one other similarity among these groups that is worthy of note, primarily because it leads to misunderstanding and confusion. And that is the language each group uses to present its case to the world.
All three contenders use more or less the same agreeable terms when propagandizing their individual designs for the new world order. All three declare that man and his needs are to be the measure of what those individual designs will accomplish. All three speak of individual freedom and man's liberation from want and hunger; of his natural dignity; of his individual; social; political and cultural rights; of the good life to which each individual has a fundamental right.
Beneath the similarity of language, however, there lies a vast difference in meaning and intent; and greatly dissimilar track records of accomplishment.
. . . . . .
Similarities of public rhetoric , therefore do more to mask than clarify the profound differences between the contenders, and the profoundly different consequences for us all of the grand design each one proposes for the arrangement of our human affairs.
. . . . . .
Indeed so definitive is the cleavage and distinction among the three that each realizes only one of them can ultimately be the victor of the millennial endgame.
. . . . . .
All during those years the two Churchmen - the Cardinal and the future Pope - already thought and worked in terms of what Wyszynski called the "three internationales." That was the classical term he used to talk about geopolitical contenders for true world power.
There exist on this earth, Wyszynski used to say, only three Internationales.
The "Golden Internationale" was his shorthand term for the financial powers of the world - the Transnationalist and Internationalist globalist leaders of the West.
The "Red Internationale" was of course the Leninist-Marxist Party-State of the Soviet Union, with which he and Wojtyla and their compatriots had such long and painfully intimate experience.
The third geopolitical contender - the Roman Catholic Church; the "Black Internationale" - was destined in Wyszynski's view to be the ultimate victor in any contention with those rivals.
Surely such a thought seemed outlandish to much of the world - including much of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the Vatican and elsewhere. Nonetheless it was a view that Karol Wojtyla not only shared. It was one that he had helped to prove against the Soviets and that he now carried into the Papacy itself.
According to the outlook Wojtyla brought to the office and the role of Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Church, it was unthinkable that the Marxist East and the Capitalist West should continue to determine the international scheme of things. It was intolerable that the world should be frozen in the humanly unprofitable and largely dehumanizing stalemate of ideological contention, coupled with permissive connivance that marked all the dealings between those two forces, with no exit in sight.
In a move that was so totally unexpected at that moment in time that it was misread by most of the world - but a move that was characteristic in its display of his independence of both East and West - Pope John Paul embarked without delay on his Papal gamble to force the hand of geopolitical change.
In the late spring of 1979, he made an official visit as newly elected Roman Pope to his Soviet-run homeland of Poland. There, he demonstrated for the masters of Leninism and capitalism alike that the national situations that obtained in the Soviet satellites, and the international status quo that obtained in the world as a whole, were outclassed and transcended by certain issues of a truly geopolitical nature. Issues that he defined again and again in terms based solely and solidly on Roman Catholic principles, while Soviet arms and tanks rumbled and rattled helplessly all around him.
It is a measure of the frozen mentalities of that time that few in the West understood the enormous leap John Paul accomplished in that first of his many Papal travels. Most observers took it as the return of a religious leader to his beloved Poland; as an emotional but otherwise unremarkable apostolic visit, complete with sermons and ceremonies, and excited weeping throngs.
One commentator, however, writing in the German newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, not only read the Papal achievement accurately, but read the Papal intent as well: "A new factor has been added to the presently accepted formula of international contention. It is a Slavic Pope. The imbalance in our thinking has been unobtrusively but decisively and, as it were, overnight corrected by the emergence of John Paul. For his persona has refocused international attention away from the two extremes, East and West, and on the actual center of change, Mitteleuropa, the central bloc of Europe's nations."
Presciently as well as planned by design, the Pontiff's first step into the geopolitical arena was eastward into Poland, the underbelly of the Soviet Union. In John Paul's geopolitical analysis, Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals is a giant see-saw of power. Europe from the Baltic to the Adriatic Sea is the center of that power. The Holy Father's battle was to control that center.
World commentary and opinion aside, therefore, the point of John Paul's foray into Poland was not merely that he was a religious leader. The point was that he was more. He was a geopolitical Pope.
. . . . . .
Though in one sense his new life as Roman Pontiff was a very public one, another dimension of that life gave John Paul a certain invaluable immunity from suspicious and prying eyes. That white robe and skull cap, that Fisherman's Ring on his index finger, the panoply of Papal liturgy, the appanage of Pontifical life, all meant that the rank and file world leaders, as well as most observers and commentators, would see him almost exclusively as a religious leader.
There were some early advantages for John Paul in that immunity. For one thing, his remarkable new vantage point was like a one-way geopolitical window at which he could stand, at least for a time, relatively unobserved himself and essentially undisturbed. With all the incomparable information of the Papal office at his disposal, he could suddenly train his vision with extraordinary accuracy on the whole human scene. He could sift through all of those historical developments Wyszynski had mused about. He could examine them in terms of what would work geopolitically, and what would be pointless. He could form an accurate picture of the few - the very few - inevitable trends and forces in the world that were slowly and surely, if still covertly, affecting the lives of fortunes of nations as the world headed into the 1980s.
More, he could clearly discern all the players - the champions of those inevitable forces - as they emerged and came to the fore in the confrontation in the millennium endgame. Even before the competition had begun, he could predict from where the true competitors would have to come. In general terms, he could outline where they would stand and in what direction they would plan to move. Finally, once all the individuals who would be in true and serious contention were in place - once all the players had names and faces, as well as ideologies and agendas that were clear - he thought he could simply put the final pieces together.
By examining the vision each contender held concerning the supreme realities governing human life, and by paying careful attention to the designs they fashioned and pursued in the practical world, he did form a clear enough idea of the brand of geopolitics they would attempt to command, and of the new world order they would attempt to create.
All in all, then, Karol Wojtyla was in a privileged position, from which he could form the most accurate advance picture possible of the millennium endgame arena. He could assess the lay of the land; sort out the primary forces of history likely to be at work in the competition; look in the right direction to find the likely champions of those major forces; and reckon what might be their chances for success.
A second advantage for Pope John Paul in the peculiar Papal immunity he enjoyed was that the champions he expected to enter the endgame arena did not expect him to be a contender. They failed to read him in the same geopolitical terms he applied to them. He was not seen as a threat even in those political, cultural and financial circles outside the Roman Church where there has always been an abiding fear of "Caesaro-Papism." A fear that implied an ugly suspicion of totalitarian and anti-democratic ambition in any Pope, whoever he might be. The ancient but still entertained fear that if any Roman Pope had his way, he would damage or abolish democratic freedoms - above all, the freedom to think, to experiment and to develop politically. There seemed to be no fear of John Paul as a potential Caesar.
In point of fact, however, John Paul's ambition went very far. As far as his view of himself as the servant of God who would slowly prepare all men and women, in their earthly condition, for eternal salvation in the Heaven of God's glory. For many minds, the combination of such transcendent aims with the worldly-wise discernment of a canny geopolitician would have been an unacceptable shock.
As it was, however - and well before globalism was even added to the lexicon of high government officials and powerful corporate CEOs around the world; well before the world was treated to the spectacle of Mikhail Gorbachev as supreme public impresario of dazzling changes in the world's political landscape; well before the globalist trends now taken for granted were apparent to most of the world's leaders - this Slavic Pope had a certain leisure to scan the society of nations, with a new eye toward a purpose that is as old as the Papacy itself. With an eye that was not merely international, but truly global. And with a purpose to lay his Papal plans in concert with those few and very certain developments Cardinal Wyszynski had spoken of as "willed by the Lord of History." In concert with those trends that were already moving the whole society of mankind the way the stars move across the heavens - according to the awesome inevitability of the unbreakable will of God.
As clearly as if they had been color-coded features marked on a contour map, Pope John Paul recognized the inevitabilities of late twentieth century geopolitics already flowing like irresistible rivers across the world's landscape in the fall of 1978.
The inability of the United States to maintain its former world hegemony was undeniable in its clarity. Just as clear was the similar inability of the Soviet Union to hold all the unnatural members of its ungainly body in its close embrace. Those two factors alone made it necessary to take a fresh reading of the efforts to form a "New Europe." A different alignment of power would inevitably supercede the old Western alliance that had been put together for the purpose of offsetting the Soviet threat.
. . . . . .
Though certain western leaders - Jean Monnet was but one among many - had for some decades been keen on a rather restricted idea of a commercially united Europe, it was in fact the Soviet Union that was the first and most deeply impressed by John Paul's 1979 challenge in Poland.
. . . . . .
At another level, meanwhile - at the level of the mechanics of geopolitical innovation - by 1989, within four years of his ascendancy to leadership in the Soviet Union, Gorbachev had accomplished what no Soviet leader before him had ever thought to do, and would probably not have believed possible. He had forced the West into a complete 180-degree reversal of its seventy-year policy toward the USSR. He forced the "Group of Seven" European nations to hold a seminal meeting precisely to deal with his presence and proposals on the world stage; and then he literally hijacked their meeting without even setting foot out of Moscow. And finally, he forced major meetings of the European nations in June and October 1990, to deal with unheard-of questions.... Questions such as the integration of Eastern Europe and even some parts of the Soviet Union itself into the new European power equation supposedly to take shape from 1992 onward.
. . . . . .
Every move Gorbachev made underlined for John Paul the Soviet leader's complete understanding of European power as the first springboard of his geopolitical vision; his understanding that such power lay in a Europe that would run from the Atlantic to the Urals; and his understanding that the hinge of that power lies, as it always has, in the area of Central Europe from the Adriatic to the Baltic seas.
In 1989, in a chessman's move remarkable for its theatricality and its boldness, and redolent with the confidence of a master of the game, Gorbachev began what appeared to be the "liberation" of his Eastern European satellites.
. . . . . .
At the geopolitical level, the Gorbachevist design for a new world order envisages a condition in which all national governments as we now know them will cease to exist.
. . . . . .
On the face of it, the champions of Western capitalism - the transnationalists and internationalists of America and Europe - appear to be far and away the most effective and powerful architects of a new world order, for the simple reason that their power base rests on the indispensable pillars of money and technology.
Given their background and their history, these Globalists of the West have developed a totally different design from Gorbachev's, both for establishing a new world order and, once it is in place, for nourishing and developing it. Their plan is to broaden the scope of what they do so well; to exploit democratic capitalism and democratic egalitarianism to the full. The new world order, they say, will develop organically from the fundamental idea of a nation-state democracy into a geopolitical system of world regulation.
The father of this version of the new world order is to be the interdependence of nations. Its mother is to be that peculiarly modern process called international development. It is to be midwifed by the entrepreneur, the banker, the technocrat, the scientist and, ultimately, the lawyer. It is to be born between the printed sheets of compacts and agreements; joint ventures and mergers; contracts and covenants and international treaties signed and counter-signed by the political bureaucrat, and sealed with the stamp of united nations.
It is a tribute to the geopolitical skill of Mikhail Gorbachev that there is an almost perfect coincidence between the framework he has chosen as his method of approximating his geopolitical goals and the framework adopted by President Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III as the public leaders and spokesmen for the Transnationalist-Internationalist Globalists of the West. They express that framework in terms of three concentric spheres of international unity: the European Economic Community; Greater Europe, composed of the Western European states, the former Eastern satellites of the Soviet Union and the USSR itself; and finally, both of these welded geopolitically with the United States.
. . . . . .
For fifteen hundred years and more, Rome had kept as strong a hand as possible in each of local community around the wide world. Still, because what might be advantageous for one locale might be detrimental for another, it had always been an essential practice for Rome to make its major decisions on the premise that the good of the geocommunity must take precedence over all local advantages. International politics might be driven or regulated according to the benefit to be derived by certain groups or nations at the cost of others. But geopolitics properly conducted must serve the absolute needs of the whole society of nations.
. . . . . .
The fact of the matter is, however, that any geopolitical structure worthy of the name would necessitate an entirely different regime of rights and duties. In a truly one-world order, it would not be possible to regulate an election of high officials in the same manner as democratic egalitarianism requires. General referenda would also be impossible.
.... Scenarios that show in considerable detail that just how and why in the transition to a world order, the various processes of democracy would have to be shouldered by select groups, themselves picked by other select groups.
It takes little imagination to see that such a situation is not likely to lead to egalitarianism, democratic or otherwise.
. . . . . .
Like most Catholics the world over, Karol Wojtyla had been acquainted for as long as he could remember with most of the facts about Fatima. The Virgin Mary had appeared several times to three peasant children; she had confided to them certain admonitions and instructions, including a detailed set of instructions and predictions that were intended for papal action at a certain time in the future; and she had ended her visits in October with a miracle that recalled for many the Bible verse that tells of a "Woman clothed with the Sun, and giving birth to a Son who rule the nations with a sceptre of iron."
Once elected Pope in 1978, John Paul had become privy to the Papal instructions and predictions Mary had entrusted in confidence to the children at Fatima. . . . .
.... On the contrary, it would seem that all through history, Heaven's mandates appear to involve the servants of its designs more deeply and more confidently than ever in the major affairs of the world. In its essence in fact, Fatima became for John Paul something like the famed Heavenly mandate and guarantee of success proffered to Constantine on the eve of his battle at the Milvian Bridge. Suddenly, Constantine had seen the sign of the Cross in the sky, accompanied by the Latin words "In hoc signo vinces". "In this sign you will conquer." Improbable as it was, Constantine took that sign as anything but unrealistic or unworldly. He took it as a guarantee. With miraculous confidence he not only conquered at the Milvian Bridge, but proceeded to conquer his entire world, transforming it into what became the new civilization of Christianity.
True, Pope John Paul was not a sword toting conqueror; and at Fatima, Mary hadn't exactly said, "In this sign you will conquer." But she had given a mandate that was every bit as clear. And as a consequence, in the light of what he now understood his situation to be, the millennium endgame became as important and as urgent for John Paul as the international situation had become for Constantine in his time.
With stunning clarity, the Pope now knew that there was even less time left than he had thought for the old adversarial juxtaposition of East and West that still held sway in 1981 across the face of Europe and the wide world.
Moreover, he knew with equal clarity that his careful and detailed assessment of the contemporary geopolitics of power was correct, but that its significance lay in the fact that the game of power itself would be played out in a totally different manner than he previously expected.
And finally, he knew that he could not be less involved than before in the millennium endgame. Rather, with supreme personal confidence, and a tranquility that would confound many of his adversaries, he would plunge his Pontificate with ever greater energy into the game of nations that would soon enough engulf the entire world, before spending itself like raging waters poured out onto cement.
. . . . . .
Clearly the new agenda - Heaven's agenda; the grand design of God for the new world order - had begun. And Pope John Paul would stride now in the arena of the millennial endgame as something more than a geopolitical giant of his age. He was, and remains, the serene and confident Servant of the Grand Design.
Part One - The Arena
"Everything Must Change!"
On October 14, 1978, a new era began for the Roman Catholic Church and its nearly one billion adherents around the world. And with it, the curtains were raised on the first act of the global competition that would end a thousand years of history as completely as if a nuclear war had been fought. A drama that would leave no regions or nations or individuals as they had been before. A drama that is now well under way and is already determining the very way of life that in every place every nation will live for generations to come.
On that October day, the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church assembled in the Vatican from around the world for the second time in barely two months. Only in August, they had elected Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice as Pope John Paul I. Still in shock at the sudden -- some said suspicious -- death of the man now sadly called the "September Pope," they had convened to settle on a new man from among their contentious and divided ranks who could lead this unique two-thousand-year-old global institution at a time when it seemed in immediate danger of painful self-destruction.
Before and after any papal Conclave, discretion is normally the watchword for every Cardinal Elector. But, on this day, Joseph Cardinal Malula of Zaire did not care who in St. Peter's Square might hear his views about what kind of pope the Church must have. A stocky, well-built man with brilliant eyes and expressive mouth, Malula gestured at the Vatican buildings all around him, then struck a sharp blow against one of Bernini's columns with the flat of his hand. "All that imperial paraphernalia," he declared, "all that! Everything must change.!"
At 6:18 P.M. on the second day of Conclave, fifty-eight-year-old Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow emerged on the eighth ballot as the new ceremonial papal coronation, John Paul held a press conference for two thousand journalists in the Vatican. On the same day he addressed 125 members of the Vatican diplomatic corps representing over one hundred countries. If such a practice was not unusual in itself, the message on both occasions was certainly new in the all-encompassing international framework that was sketched out. "It is not our business," he said, "to judge the actions of government....But there is no way the dignity and the rights of all men and every human individual can be served unless that dignity and those rights are seen as founded on the life, death and resurrection of Christ....
"The Church seeks no privileges for herself," he went on, "but we do desire a dialogue with the nation." Even though the Church's diplomatic relations with so many countries "do not necessarily imply the approval of one or another regime -- that is not our business." Nevertheless, the Pontiff went on in a sort of summary preview of the scope of his interests, "we have an appreciation of the positive temporal values, a willingness for dialogue with those who are legitimately charged with the common good of society, and an understanding of their role, which is often difficult."
Clearly, this Pope portended more than a soft and appealing personal style in his pontificate; he was pointing early and with startling frankness to a new road of papal internationalism. But what -- or whose -- positive temporal values did he have in mind? And who among temporal leaders did he include among those "legitimately charged with the common good of society"? More pointedly, some began to wonder, who was excluded?
If those questions were not raised in public, they were surely raised in more than one political chancery and boardroom around the world.
Then there was the matter of his ceremonial coronation. Actually, it was not a coronation at all, for he refused to have the papal tiara placed on his head as the symbol that he was now, among other things and in the language of the ceremonial, "the Father of Princes and Kings."
That refusal was not entirely new in itself. His immediate predecessor, the "September Pope," had been the first to break with that ancient custom. Was John Paul II's behavior a sign of defiance? A sign that he had no fear of the fate of the "September Pope"? Perhaps. Was it a soothing democratic gesture after his unsettling policy speeches of a few days before? Surely, there were those who hoped as much.
Popes rarely explain such ceremonial behavior. In his own break with papal custom, however, John Paul gave the most public explanation imaginable. To all those gathered around him in St. Peter's, and to the estimated billion or so people around the world watching on television, the Pontiff gave a glimpse of his mind as Pope, and a look at the vigorous papal policies that would soon prove so troublesome to so many.
"This is not a time," he said, "to return to a ceremony and to an object" -- the tiara itself -- "that is wrongly considered to be a symbol of temporal power of the Pope."
Very soon, his actions and overt policies would illustrate over and over again the meaning of his words: John Paul's firm belief that neither tiara nor the power symbolized by such a thing was an adequate expression of the divine claim he did indeed have to exercise spiritual authority and moral primacy over all those who wield such temporal power in our lives.
About the scope of that authority and primacy he tried to leave as little doubt as possible, that October day. Speaking successively in ten languages, he gave to the world a message that was explicit and direct. "Open wide the doors of Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture and civilization and development. Do not be afraid....I want your support in this, my mission."
There were those in very high places who understood and winced at the global reach John Paul seemed ready to make his own as Pope. Some powerful leaders at the helm of those states whose boundaries the Pope wanted open to him would not be entirely happy to oblige. Hard-driving leaders of economic and political systems he referred to. with their own plans for development well along in the "vast fields of culture and civilization," would not willingly open those fields to this Pope or any other. And not least among those who took the point, and winced, were some among the highest of John Paul's own clergy, in and out of the Vatican.
John Paul anticipated those reactions, and later learned about them in some detail. What seemed more remarkable was the seeming lack of interest demonstrated by the media around the world in what was a stunning glimpse into the heart of the new papacy. Still, if he was worried about either the international concern or the seeming indifference in the media, he gave no sign of it.
Instead, shortly after his election, John Paul gave yet another clear notice of how sweeping he intended his policies to be.
His intention, he said, was "to start anew on the road of history and of the Church, to start with the help of God and with the help of man."
Lest anyone mistake his mind on the subject of temporal power, or perhaps in answer to a worried complaint or two, the new Pontiff addressed the same point again at his first papal Mass. With St. Peter's filled to the last seat by many of the leaders he most intended to reach, he declared: "We have no intentions of political interference, nor of interfering in the working out of temporal affairs....It is not our business to judge the actions of governments."
Fevered diplomatic brows were not soothed, however. The unasked question in many minds was obvious: "But Your Holiness does intend to insert yourself into our temporal affairs -- to cross our political and cultural and economic boundaries. But if not as a wielder of temporal power yourself, in what guise, then, Holiness?"
Apparently, the media at large could still find no way to zero in on what the new Pope might have meant by such statements. Or perhaps they found it dull copy after the death-and-destiny stories of just a few weeks before. Whatever the reason, publicity continued to focus its ever-present lenses on an entire landscape of trivia still to be mined. Everything was grist for the mill, from the fact that he was the tallest of the twentieth-century Popes to the fact that he was the first Pope to wear long trousers under his papal robes, and the first to be an accomplished skier. Even his impressive academic achievements were judged to be better copy than his open notice to the world of what could be expected from him as head of the only power in the world whose organization, institutions and personnel, as well as its authority, crossed all the borders and all the cultures and all the civilizations he had targeted without benefit of tiara in St. Peter's Basilica.
As if to spare the world the boredom of endless stories that were appearing in the media about such things as his three doctorates, in philosophy, theology and phenomenology; or about his ten published books, including drama and poetry; or about his university lecturing, John Paul launched into activities that were the dream of reporters and editors and proved themselves to be sources of fresh material. Stories not of the past, but the present. Stories not of opaque policies they couldn't explain, but of people with faces they could photograph.
Even here, John Paul's activities and gestures began to speak loudly of a new papal approach. Before October's end, he had granted a $375 bonus and a five-day vacation -- from the first to the fifth of November -- to all Vatican workers.
More significantly, he began to shoulder aside the idea that the Pope must dwell within the tranquil golden amber of the Vatican. The idea, so detested by Cardinal Malula, that the Holy Father did not come to see you or your surroundings. The idea that the most you might see of him if you went to Rome would be at public blessings in the luminous Roman airs. There was to be no such constricted, hidden life for John Paul.
For one thing, he refused the traditional use of the papal "We" and "Us" and "Our." "I," he said, in referring to himself in every context and conversation; and "me" and "my," just like everyone else.
Moreover, he popped up everywhere, as if Rome were Krakow and Italy were Poland and he had never left his home or his people. In quick order, he visited the towns of Assisi and Siena. He inspected the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. He worshiped at the mountain shrine of La Mentorella. He travelled to see one ailing bishop and one ailing cardinal in Roman hospitals.
Far from being questioned or criticized, such spontaneous and rapid-fire visibility -- undertaken, moreover, with an obvious zest and personal energy -- was welcomed by the media and delighted the public. Italians -- and Romans in particular -- who, for centuries before this, had invented the very Italian concept of l'uomo in order to characterize the exclusive flair and personal style of an individual, took this extraordinary Pope as their very own.
They loved his public apologies for the few mistakes he made when addressing them in Italian. They loved his obvious delight in their children. They found his independence of mind concerning ancient customs so much like their own attitudes. Quickly they began calling him il nostro polacco -- our Pole. But even this gave way to "Papa Wojtyla": just as Paul VI had been Papa Montini for them; and John XXIII had been Papa Roncalli; and Pius XII had been Papa Pacelli. Pole by birth, he was now Roman by adoption. Papa Wojtyla was theirs.
Whenever he walked in St. Peter's Square, crowds literally mobbed him. In fact, so close were their encounters with him that he often returned to his apartments minus several buttons from his papal robe and with some dozen lipstick marks on his white papal sleeves.
When he went to take possession of the ancient papal church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, tens of thousands left their shops and offices and homes all along the way to cheer him, to kiss his hand, to ask his blessing. When he took a helicopter to reach the mountain shrine of La Mentorella, he found crowds of men and women who had already scaled that difficult height and were waiting there to greet him.
The delight of the Italian press in all this papal activity was infectious, at least for a while. Many a newspaper in other lands seemed to echo the benign and favorable tone taken by The New York Times in its lead editorial of November 11. "A man," said the Times of Pope John Paul, "who knows himself to be in charge, beholden to no nation or faction, strong without being rigid."
For the moment, Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee could find few Churchmen who could comfort him publicly for having rushed too soon to tell the world that "the Italian people were deeply hurt by the election of a Pole as Pope."
Papa Wojtyla's personal innovative style within the Vatican itself did spark a few complaints of unpapal behavior. The ever-alert paparazzi, with their zoom lenses ever at the ready, caught excellent shots of John Paul jogging in the Vatican gardens at 4:30 in the afternoon. Il jogging papale -- the papal jogging -- as his clockwork habit was quickly dubbed, was readily taken by lighthearted Romans to fix the time of their afternoon rendezvous.
When John Paul ordered a 40-by-82-foot swimming pool to be dug at Castel Gandolfo, there were some reproaches about the expense. The Pontiff countered that "a new Conclave would be much more expensive." The deft and smiling implication that even a pope might succumb because of a lack of adequate exercise added an easy personal tone to the publicity that ho one had expected, and that few could match.
As the weeks went on, there seemed to be so much to write about this Pope that was so new, and often so downright entertaining, that no amount of copy seemed to satisfy an ever-mounting curiosity about the uncommon common man who had come to the papacy. Even his work schedule proved to be good copy. His eighteen-hour day caused much rolling heavenward of Italian eyes. The world learned that he was up at 5:00 A.M. That he had a working breakfast, a working lunch, a working dinner, always with guests and always with plenty of documents. That he went late to his bed.
Among those government leaders who were far more interested in John Paul's policies than his publicity were the leaders in the countries of Eastern Europe and their Soviet masters in Moscow. By late October, their worries in particular were raised to a new level by the first orchestrated rumors and speculation -- spread by word of mouth and by authoritative media articles fed from within the Vatican itself -- that this new Pope was going to visit Poland.
In later years, the world became accustomed to the idea of John Paul II popping up in the most unexpected places as easily as he had gone to Assisi and Siena and La Mentorella. But in October and November of 1978, the very thought of a visit to Poland was a bombshell. Preposterous, said some; foolhardy and pointless, said others.
Nevertheless, it was officially confirmed: John Paul's Vatican was "talking with Warsaw." And while it might turn out to be foolhardy, it was anything but pointless. It was the clearest indication of what John Paul regarded, and still regards, as the essential hub of his vision of the new "road of history and of the Church"
Warsaw was not the only bombshell John Paul lobbed, as he went rapidly about installing the new spirit of his papacy. By means of his papal style, and taking the mantle of publicity that fell so easily and so usefully around him as an instrument -- one of several -- he began a series of truly unsettling meetings within the Vatican.
On November 18, he received the dissident French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Lefebvre had been hit with a severe ecclesiastical Roman sanction in 1976, and had been banned from the papal presence. But here he was, as large as life, spending fully two hours in a private and cordial talk with the new Pope. The message was clear for all those who hated the "retrogressive and destructive conservatism" Lefebvre represented for them. And John Paul was serving notice that he was Pope for all Catholics.
The Pontiffs reception at the Vatican of Donald Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual head of all Anglicans, spread the net still wider. Coggan was the second Archbishop of Canterbury ever to-be received by a reigning pope since the sixteenth century. John Paul's message was clear for all those who hated the liberal, breakaway independence Protestants represented for them: Even those Rome holds to be long-standing heretics remain open to the influence and leadership of the Pope, whose primacy they once rejected.
It quickly became clear as well that John Paul would not confine his message, his influence or his leadership to ecclesiastical matters. Those who had begun to worry that His Holiness intended to insert himself into their temporal affairs were apparently right to do so.
Toward the end of November, the Pope met with four black liberation leaders from sub-Saharan Africa: Oliver Tambo, President of South Africa's African National Congress (ANC). George Silundika of Rhodesia's Zimbabwe Patriotic Front (ZPF) together with ZPF Secretary of Social Services and Transport Kumbirai Kanyan. And Sam Silundika of the Southwest African People's Organization (SWAPO).
It was hardly lost on some who were entrenched in power in and out of the Vatican that John Paul had pointedly and early in his reign decided to meet some of the most powerful challengers to all vested power -- including his own. The question in such minds was: How far was this Pope going to go? The rainbow of startling possibilities they began to see was just beginning to form over their heads. One answer to the question "How far?" was given by John Paul himself. He gave it on December 8, a feast day in honor of the Virgin Mary, to whom he had dedicated his papacy.
There has grown up in Rome a papal custom observed each year on this day commemorating the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God. The Pope proceeds sedately by automobile to the Piazza di Spagna, where the statue of the Virgin stands atop a graceful column. He places a basket of roses from the papal gardens at the base of the column. He gives his solemn papal blessings to the crowds in attendance. And then he returns to the Vatican as sedately as he came.
Not so John Paul.
First, he interrupted the drive to the Virgin's statue with a stop in the Via Condotti -- Rome's version of posh and trendy Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills -- to accept a chalice presented to him as a gift from the Via Condotti merchants. Then, after going on to the Piazza di Spagna and placing the basket of roses at the base of the column, he preceded his papal blessing with a discourse so sweeping and so inconsistent with modern precedent that many there seemed not merely unwilling but literally unable to comprehend it.
He spoke that day of how he viewed human history: "The entire history of man is in fact pervaded by a tremendous struggle against the force of evil in the world....This Pope desires to commit the Church in a special way to Mary in whom the stupendous and total victory of good over evil, of love over hate, of grace over sin, is achieved...."
He announced that day his new principle of religion: for all Christians, yes, but for all mankind as well. "This Pope commits himself to her [Mary], and to all those whom he serves, and all those who serve him. He commits the Roman Church to her as the token and principle of all the churches in the world in their universal unity."
So there it was. His thrust would truly be universal. He really would stake a modern-day claim to that universality that had always been asserted by the Church he now headed. Perhaps because no pope had ever spoken of "a universal unity" shared by all the churches of Christianity, the idea was unintelligible for Roman Catholic Churchmen as well as for the leaders of other churches.
Rome's Communist newspaper, L'Unitŕ -- the name means unity, but not the brand John Paul had in mind -- was quicker off the mark when it came to a clear understanding of the political consequences of such "universal unity" on the lips and as the policy and driving force of a Roman Catholic pope. Such a "universal unity," L'Unitŕ warned, over which this Roman Pope would obviously claim primacy, clearly implied "an interference in the internal affairs of the USSR whose Russian Orthodox Church belongs to no pope."
L'Unitŕ seemed almost alone, however, in its trenchant willingness to look John Paul and his policy straight in the eye. As Christmas 1978 approached, many newspapers appeared content to concentrate on another sort of papal first in John Paul's Vatican: an all-Polish Christmas feast was described in succulent detail. The barszcz; the small stuffed pastries called pierogi; the roast pork; the cabbage and kielbasa and cake: all received lighthearted and sometimes hilarious attention.
With the turn of the new year, 1979, John Paul began in earnest to flesh out his early statement about starting "anew on the road of history and of the Church." In initiatives that were highly visible and depended solely on him for their success and effect, his earlier references to the role of his papacy within the scope of international affairs became a central focus of his most public activity.
On January 9, John Paul's personal representative, Antonio Cardinal Samore of the Vatican's Secretariat of State, succeeded in a dicey bit of international diplomacy at which even the Queen's government in England had failed. At issue was a question of war and peace between two of South America's most important countries, Argentina and Chile. Those two had fought bloody wars before, and were seemingly willing to go at it again -- this time over the possession of the three islands, Nueva, Picton and Lennox, in the strategically important Beagle Channel.
After what amounted to extensive shuttle diplomacy that took him back and forth between the capital cities of Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, Samore at last persuaded the two governments to send their negotiators to the neutral grounds of nearby Montevideo, Uruguay. There, under Samore's guidance, foreign ministers Carlos W. Pastor of Argentina and Hernan Cubillos of Chile signed an agreement pledging both countries to demilitarize the disputed area, and to submit to binding arbitration that would be conducted by John Paul's papal envoys.
What stood out as the fascinating element in this Latin American venture were two things. First, that John Paul was willing to commit himself and his prestige in an international arena at the very outset of his pontificate. And second, that without politicking of any kind, but solely because of the religious and psychological prestige of John Paul and his Vatican, two nations backed off from political claims so intense and so laden with history and emotion that war had seemed the inevitable recourse.
On January 24, John Paul dramatically underscored the worldwide ambit he had in mind for exactly that type of apolitical intervention by his unconventional papacy. He met that day in the Vatican with the Soviet foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko. The Pontiff spent nearly two hours in private face-to-face discussion in fluent Russian with the man the Soviets had nicknamed the "Icy Survivor."
Western diplomats who had dealt with Gromyko had always been impressed -- sometimes frightened -- by the cluster of talents he had displayed in negotiations, and by his near-miraculous political agility in surviving nearly forty years of Soviet intrigue and other vagaries of Kremlin life. John Paul, too, was impressed. In answer to a query about what he thought of Gromyko in comparison to all the other diplomats who had dutifully trooped through his private study in the first months of his pontificate, the Pope was undiplomatically candid: "He's the only horse shod on all four feet."
Of more concern for Western governments, perhaps, was Gromyko's interest in Pope John Paul. Gromyko rarely spent that amount of time with any individual statesman. The question in embassies and cabinet rooms and chanceries was: What on earth had they discussed for two hours, this unpredictable Roman Pope and this wiliest of Soviet diplomats? Beyond Gromyko's reference to John Paul after their meeting as "a man with a worldview," the Soviet gave no hint of what had passed between the two of them. Characteristically, it was the Pope, sometime later, who spoke frankly with reporters.
"I welcome any criticism from Communist officials," John Paul said, adding that he and Gromyko had discussed "the prospects for world peace."
Far from satisfying the questions, the Pope's remarks raised concern in certain government and diplomatic quarters to a higher pitch. Why on earth would Gromyko discuss matters of "world peace" -- matters, in other words, that were exclusively of a political and geopolitical nature -- with this Pope who hailed from the Polish backwater? For that matter, why would the Pope of Rome discuss them with this Soviet man?
It was still January of 1979 when, with such questions hanging in the air of international diplomacy, John Paul gave the surest sign that he would not merely set a grand new papal tone for others to pick up. He would not merely say what was to be done by means traditionally used by popes and then leave it to his hierarchy and the faithful to get it done.
That signal was John Paul's first trip to Mexico, widely covered by the media, from January 25 to 30. That trip did begin to reveal something about what the world beyond the Vatican and Rome could expect from the reign of John Paul II. But it demonstrated again that commentators were not prepared for so radical a change as was even then under way, and certainly not for one so quick in coming.
Already well behind the new pace and the new course being set by the Pontiff, the eighteen hundred reporters and commentators assigned to cover this papal trip assumed that the Pope wanted simply to counteract the spread of Marxism -- a recognized target of Vatican and Roman Catholic opposition, after all -- among his clergy and people in that part of the world.
It was admittedly difficult for those covering the trip not to be beguiled by what seemed to be this Pope's public relations instincts, already in full swing during the ten-and-a-half-hour flight from Rome across the Atlantic. Passing over the Azores, John Paul sent his blessing by radio to the Portuguese living there. Flying over the island of Puerto Rico, he chatted with President Jimmy Carter by radio.
Not even his opening words -- "I am come as a traveller of peace and hope" -- spoken during a one-day stopover (January 25-26) in Santo Domingo, were seen as pointing to the new role this Pope had chosen for himself.
It was only to be expected, after all, that he would present himself at this gateway to the Americas as the embodiment of five hundred years of Christianity in the Western Hemisphere. Referring to the fact that Santo Domingo was the selfsame Hispaniola where Columbus had first set foot in 1493, John Paul offered the reminder that "here the first Mass was celebrated, the first cross was placed."
However, speaking later to a quarter of a million people gathered in Santo Domingo's Plaza de Independencia, the Pope began to speak, not of some self-satisfied continuation of old ways, but of something like a revolution for which he wanted to prepare as many as would listen to him. "The present period of human history requires a revived dimension of faith, in order to communicate to today's people the perennial message of Christ adapted to the realistic conditions of life."
Later, in the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, the oldest cathedral in the Americas, built of limestone blocks in the early 1500s, John Paul carried the point further and again applied its pressure to more than his own Roman Catholics. "All Christians," he declared, "and all peoples must commit themselves to construct a more just, humane and habitable world, which does not close itself in, but which opens itself to God."
This combination of traditional religious devotion to the Mass and to the Cross of Christ, on the one hand, and allusions to sweeping geopolitical intentions, on the other, had much the same effect in the world press as John Paul's December 8 commitment to "universal unity." Even seasoned observers were simply not able to take it in.
Things went much the same way in Mexico. Commentators and reporters expected the Pope to talk with his bishops. And they expected his remarks about Marxism and religion. A pope is supposed to do that sort of thing.
But now, perhaps, they had even come to expect the same freewheeling personal spontaneity that had so endeared John Paul to the people of Italy. And sure enough, everyone loved the exotic touch in his meetings with the Indians and campesinos in Monterrey and Guadalajara. He kissed babies and embraced invalids, led crowds amiably in their spontaneous chant, as enthusiastic as for some home-game football match: "Papa! Papa! Rah-rah-rah!" He joined happy crowds in singing a popular Mexican song. He donned all the hats he was offered -- a peasant's straw sombrero, a broad-brimmed ranchero's hat, a feathered Indian headdress. He joined eighty thousand in singing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."
Given that beguiling dimension of John Paul's performance, most journalists gave the world a folkloric, if not folksy, view of John Paul's entire stay in Mexico. They did, of course, report the Pontiffs conversation of nearly two hours with Mexico's President López Portillo, who, though born a Catholic, described himself as "a Hegelian." And they reported that López Portillo took the Holy Father to visit the President's mother and sister in the private chapel of their home.
The significance of those visits was another matter, however. Nobody raised publicly the interesting question as to why López Portillo, as president of constitutionally anti-Catholic and anticlerical Mexico, should have anything of substance to discuss for nearly two hours with this greatest of Catholic clerics. Or why López Portillo should have taken the personal trouble of escorting the Pope to what amounted to an audience for his mother and sister in a private chapel. At its most serious, the Mexican trip was taken as an exceptional and even over-dramatic gesture by His Holiness; and López Portillo's behavior was taken as equally exceptional.
Still, offstage and away from the glare of the press, there were again those who were becoming alarmed over the Pope's ability to command and sustain a high level of world attention for far longer than had been foreseen.
Once back in the Vatican, John Paul was unperturbed by any carping criticisms that did begin to surface. He continued his pontificate with the same personal touch that was so natural to him. On February 24, 1979, in fulfillment of a spontaneous promise he had made to Vittoria Ianni, the daughter of a Roman street cleaner, John Paul solemnized that young woman's marriage to Mario Maltese, a Roman electrical worker. And he continued to step farther along that "new road" he had proclaimed for himself and his Church.
On March 8, he received a delegation of thirty Shintoists, together with their High Priest, a man called Nizo, from the famous Ise Shrine in Japan. No pope had ever done such a thing. Within the Vatican -- a place of venerable protocol and strict emphasis on religious priority -- this extraordinary papal gesture was alarming to just about everyone. Here, without doubt, was an unexpected change in the rules everyone -- friend and enemy alike -- had thought they understood. The gesture was so extraordinary, in fact, that in Japan -- which pays little even in the way of lip service to the religious side of Rome -- and even in religious quarters elsewhere long noted for denunciation of Rome's traditional claim to religious exclusivity, eyebrows began to knit in puzzlement. They, too, had thought they knew the rules.
That same month. Of March saw the publication, with John Paul's permission, of a book of his poetry in Britain, another land not altogether easy in its ecclesiastical relations with the Holy See. In Italy, meanwhile, a translation was prepared of a two-act play that Papa Wojtyla had written in much earlier days, The Goldsmith's Shop, and it was broadcast over Italian radio.
As such a welter of papal interest and activity piled up for all the world to see, opinions about him in the media became almost schizophrenic in their confusion. At one extreme, there were emotional expressions of admiration for the versatility of his character. At the other, there was at least a growing distrust for what appeared to many to be his unpredictability. What there was not, was any publicly expressed understanding or analysis of John Paul's actions in the light of his own early, continuing and exceptionally clear announcements about his intentions. What made that lack of understanding more remarkable was the fact that John Paul was so insistent in his message and that phrases and sentences were turning up as "quotable quotes" -- but as virtually no more than that -- in Italian and foreign news coverage.
"The Church wishes to stay free with regard to competing systems...." "The inexorable paradox of atheistic humanism...the drama of men deprived of an essential dimension of their being, denying him his search for the infinite...." "Market forces alone should not determine the price of goods...." "We must clarify and resolve the problem of a more adequate and more effective institutional framework of worldwide solidarity...human solidarity within each country and between countries...." "The fundamental question of the just price and the just contract...." "The process [of remuneration for work done] cannot simply be left to...the dominant influence of small groups...."
Finally, by dint of repetition, as John Paul's conversations, addresses, discourses -- even his off-the-cuff remarks -- became more and more widely reproduced, the reaction to him began to take on a more cohesive aspect. Early on, one English writer had taken it upon himself to dismiss this Pontiff as merely a Polish bishop elected Pope by "the ingrown minds of superannuated cardinals, and let loose on the complicated world of today."
Increasingly, however, many of his own Churchmen, as well as many in government and power around the world, began to share Andrei Gromyko's far different assessment of the "Polish bishop" as "a man with a worldview."
In reality, as some began to think, this was a man with a perspective so new and a goal so vast that it was far beyond the imagining of a whole array of political and financial leaders who had thought themselves immune in their separate and protected strongholds.
Meanwhile, the public at large appeared to have no such concerns. John Paul's personal appeal for ordinary men and women grew visibly from day to day. The crowds that came from nearby and from around the world to catch even a glimpse of him in the Vatican became so great and so unmanageable that the Pope ordered his regular Wednesday general audience to be shifted from the already vast space inside St. Peter's Basilica to the still vaster square outside his door.
John Paul chose his first Easter as Pope to clarify as deeply and as pointedly as it was possible to do the thoughts and considerations that lay at the heart of all his actions: everything from his marriage of a street cleaner's daughter and an electrical worker, to his meetings with Marxists and Shintoists in the Vatican, to his visit to Mexico, to his coming visit to Poland, already confirmed for the coming June, and the scores of papal trips still in store to every corner of the world.
In a 24,000-word document known, as papal documents generally are, by its now famous first words, Redemptor Hominis, John Paul displayed a depth of thought and consideration coupled with a message that was characteristically simple and startling.
No human activity escapes the religious dimension, he said; but especially important are the activities that constitute the sociopolitical life of men and women wherever they reside. Indeed, the note that dominated and animated that encyclical document was John Paul's insistence that the hard, intractable problems of the world -- hunger, violation of human dignity and human rights, war and violence, economic oppression, political persecution -- any and all of these can be solved only by acceptance and implementation of the message of Christ's revelation announced by the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church.
With the delivery of that encyclical, Pope John Paul seemed to mark a turning point. From that time forward, he did not go out of his way to explain his mind further that he had already done. He did not pause to smooth the ruffled feathers of those who felt he was clearly poaching now on the preserves of others. It was as though he no longer considered it productive to try endlessly to correct wrong impressions, or to widen views narrower than his own.
If there were those who could or would not understand that, even in his simplest statements, he was saying something entirely new, they at least were learning that they were listening to a Pope who had taken it upon himself to break ancient customs. If few could yet know that he had arrived in Rome with a mind already filled with a new and wider and hitherto unimagined role for the successor to Peter, John Paul himself could not afford to wait for the rest to catch up with him. Friends and critics and all interested parties alike could read his Easter encyclical letter. And they could read his actions.
If there were many, whether of good will or ill, whether opposed to Rome or devoted to it, who couldn't deal with the papacy turned inside out by John Paul's innovations, he could only promise much more of the same. And if, finally, as often happens with the greatest of the world's events, the real confrontation John Paul said was already taking place had escaped public notice, then time and great events would make everything clear even to those most unwilling to acknowledge it.
Chapter 18 Forces of the "New Order"
In the arena of the millennium endgame, John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev may be crowded around by ambitious globalists. But in the Pontiff's geopolitical reckoning, there are chiefly four regions in which the near future society of nations will be fashioned: the United States, the Soviet Union, mainland China and Western Europe.
Within the populations of each of those regions, specific major forces are at work. And from the accelerating interplay of those forces, from region to region and back again, will come all the main developments affecting the Papacy embodied by John Paul, all of the developments affecting therefore the spiritual salvation he claims to represent for all mankind.
. . . . . .
Like it or not, Pope John Paul has found that on the geopolitical level, there is no other way to encompass the huge flow of concrete circumstances that now affect our practical world and his Church within that world. There is no other way he can come to overall and practical policy judgements on the truly geopolitical plane.
And therefore there is no way to set out John Paul's point of view, to glimpse what he sees in the millennium endgame, or to explain his policy judgements, than to understand the way he sees those four principal regions of the world and the forces that now operate throughout each of them.
John Paul's summary assessment of the regions involved has, in one sense, the smoothnes of a mathematical equation. Because he has no ax to grind (?) politically, economically or financially, the high emotions that generally surround those issues for other leaders are absent for him. But there is one constant in the Pope's equation, one all-important coefficient he prefixes to his assessment of those regional forces; and he does this with a certainty that is in itself beyond the reach of common emotions and the most lucid reasoning any man or group of men can perform.
In John Paul's perspective, those forces emanating from among the nations appear as mouldering influences, the impersonal architects building a new structure to house the society of nations.
. . . . . .
If ever there was a nation that has lived by such shorthand symbols, it was the United States.
In America, military strength was a fact; but it was more. It was a symbol of power once unique to that country. But that power has now been distributed among others. In America, man-made democracy was a fact, but it was more. It was the ideal for freedomless people elsewhere.
But democracy in the United States is undergoing huge strains. In city halls and statehouses, in the Capitol and the White House, and in all three branches of government - executive, legislative and judicial - realignments are being forced that are too profound to pass off as just another little shift in the system of checks and balances.
In America, the once self-perpetuating, independent economy was a fact, but it was more. It was the symbol of ultimate protection for those who were lucky enough to live there. But now the American economy depends seriously, even avidly, on the economy of the world around it; and the lives and fortunes of the people who live there depend on what happens in the lives and fortunes of over two dozen other nations. The American bald eagle is still the national symbol for high soaring strength and pride and independent daring. But it is no longer the symbol of uniquely preeminent superpower strength. Pride and daring are not even cultivated as national virtues. One has been besmirched as "imperialistic," the other has been lampooned as inept. The propaganda of "blame America" has played its part in this. But chiefly this change is due to the new fact that the undertakings of America are no longer those of a "nation under God."
. . . . . .
As profound as the changes are in the first three of John Paul's crucial regions, it is in Western Europe that he sees the deepest change and the source of the greatest pathos in terms of human destiny. Long before the symbols of identity lost their meaning for the United States, the Soviet Union and China, Europe freely cast away the institutions that housed the symbols of the only identity that region ever achieved as a unit. . . . . . .
During the centuries when European unity was at its height and vibrant, Europeans housed their hopes and found their believing trust beneath the domes and Gothic spires of the churches they built. They called the whole territory by a kind of family name: Christendom; and in the span of just a hundred years - between 1170 and 1270 alone - they built eighty cathedrals and major churches, the living symbols of the reality of their lives: the Catholic faith.
Europe's protection was centered on its faith. Its identity was provided in the Papacy. The unifying principle of its civilization lay in its common acknowledgement of the primacy of the Pope.
That Christendom has ceased to exist. The faith that was once Europe's protection is now dead in those nations. And the Papacy is no more a symbol of their identity than the primacy of the Pope is their preoccupation or concern. . . . . . .
Forces of the "New Order"
The Two Models of a Geopolitical House
In the shifting ground of human affairs today, the most surprising new contours are provided by two leaders, John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev appears as the active agent of changes to which the West is reacting, while John Paul II gives all the impression of one who, not in mere reaction, is riding hard over these active and reactive participants. Why these two leaders should be able to exercise these key functions is a source of puzzlement to those who are not aware of the two men's importance, and to those who sometimes fail to apprise correctly and appreciate the reason for their prominence.
These two men are the only two among world leaders who not only head geopolitical institutions but have geopolitical aims. Geopolitics is their business. Now, the precise nature of the shift in world affairs is geopolitical. Alone among leaders, these two men have firsthand acquaintance with the geopolitical. But to the vast majority of onlookers and for many in government, geopolitics is merely a way of speaking about the mutual relationship of different systems of politics. Thus, the gargantuan being effected in the shifting ground escapes them.
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Sometime in the nineteenth century, the term "geopolitics" was coined by non-Greeks. By then, the constituent elements - states and nations - of internationalism had changed. For one thing, men could now speak of the whole earth, the whole world, and all nations in it. Exploration had covered the face of the globe. For another, enormous commercial empires - British, French, Ottoman, Austrian, German, Dutch, Russian, Chinese; - and some minor ones - Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese - dominated the world scene, concerning the raw power of earth's resources and the financial hegemony derived therefrom. The United States, neither a minor power nor a commercial empire in that society of nations, was still in the last stages of its own formation. Not until Woodrow Wilson boarded the George Washington for post-World War I Europe did the United States begin to flex genuinely internationalist muscles.
In this world situation, there had been born a certain homogeneity and overall standardization among nations and states. International relationships were more complex than ever before. Writers, thinkers and politicians, as well as bankers and economists, did think of that world as a loosely coagulated system of states regulated in their mutual relationships by some very generalized and generally observed rules of conduct....
When the term "geopolitics was used in reference to that world system, it implied the complex of relationships between all these world-spanning national interests and the "games" nations played, Kriegspiel and Staatspiel, the maintenance of peace and the conduct of statecraft in peacetime. Their peacetime was always defined in terms of an enemy. War was merely the conduct of statecraft and diplomacy in a more forthright way with that enemy. As the French cynically put it: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Because the monopolies in trade and finance as well as military might rested in the hands of the Great Powers, "geopolitics" was also used to include the relationships between all minor and major powers. That network of relationships - reproducing the internationalism of the ancient Greeks in a more sophisticated and definitely worldwide ambit - was built and maintained with one end in view: the balance of power between the Greats, and between their allies among the minors. The clashes, economic, cultural, military, between the members of that international society concerned the pride of placement, and hegemony either in one part of the globe - Great Britain in Europe, Turkey in the Middle East - or internationally, say, in overall financial clout or naval supremacy on the seven seas.
Fundamentally, nothing had really changed since the [ancient] Greeks. Internationalism had as its basic unit the individual politeia rooted in a particular state or nation, whether that was imperial Britain, republican France, democratic America, or tiny protectorates like Sierra Leone or Sarawak. In a genuine, if limited sense, the whole could be described as geopolitical; the word included all the political systems all over the earth.
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Paul [of Tarsus], as often happened, was the intelligent and perceptive formulator of a doctrine that would be taught and propagated to all peoples and nations by another man, Peter the great Fisherman, and by his successors over in Rome. Despite his obscurity and cruel death, Peter had been given the Keys of authority(?) to teach all men and women, and to establish thus the geopoliteia Paul had announced as God's plan for all men. That authority was guaranteed by the blood Christ shed. Within the span of some three hundred years and the Pontificates of thirty-two successors to Peter as Bishop of Rome and official holder of the Keys of this Blood, the initial obscurity of the Holder's office had been shed; Peter's Papacy now assumed an increasingly dominant role in the development of nations. The Pauline goal, the Christian geopoliteia, was the goal of that Papacy.
It took that Papacy and its institutional organization, the Roman Catholic Church, almost the whole of two thousand years to attain, in the concrete order, its status and condition of a geo-religion. It took all that time and the ups and downs of 264 Pontificates for the political philosophy and goals of that geo-religion to be purified and purged of the cultural and civilizational accretions that along the road impeded the development of Papal and Roman Catholic geopolitics.
At the close of two thousand years since Paul expressed the worldview of a genuine geo-religion, the 263rd successor to the obscure Great Fisherman reigns and governs in Rome as the titular head of that geo-religion housed in a genuinely geopolitical structure. For John Paul II is not only the spiritual head of a worldwide corpus of believers but also the chief executive of a sovereign state that is a recognized member of our late-twentieth-century society of states. With a political goal and structure? Yes, with a geopolitical goal and structure. For in the final analysis, John Paul II as the claimant Vicar of Christ does claim to be the ultimate court of judgement on the society of states as a society.
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Any worthwhile assessment and accurate estimation of these two men, Karol Wojtyla and Mikhail Gorbachev, must start from this geopolitical premise. Both men think and plan geopolitically. They do not see he nations as diverse and divergent groups of men and women who are learning with difficulty to get along together, or merely as an assemblage of powers who must modify and adapt their resources in order to survive. Each man, in his own way, presumes - assumes would be a better word - that the diversity and divergence are accidents of human history, that in reality all are finally being driven by a force greater than the force any one or several of them can muster....
.... But they are one in the vantage point from which they start: the totality of nations, their different tendencies and weaknesses as part of that totality. Without an appreciation of that unique geopolitical vantage point, it is not possible to understand the moves they make, the turns and twists in their strategies; and, because of their undoubted influence on international affairs, it would be difficult to plot the trajectory the society of nations will follow in the present decade as they progress toward what all envision as a new world order.
The two main vehicles of that progress are, obviously, the interdependence of single nations and the generalized decision and wish to undergo development. Distances, not merely geographical but economic and cultural have narrowed between nations. For, every year, that economic interdependence intensifies as a means of development. To facilitate that interdependence, political differences and contentions are being diluted and weakened by enlightened self-interest. The current outstanding example of this necessary narrowing of political distances is provided by the 1988-89 changes in the political structures of the Soviet satellite nations and, to some small extent, in the political structure of the USSR itself. Even national prerogatives - say, a country's currency - are being curtailed, modified, abolished, as presently planned for the European Economic Community of 1992+. Already it is safe to say that the outlook in the society of nations as a whole is more intensely oriented to the international side of life than ever before....
To be geopolitical, a structure would have to be equipped with legislative, executive and judicial powers over all its inhabitants - and, in this case, that means all the nations. The creation and successful exercise of those powers depends on the unity within which all the inhabitants live.
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Whether it was a tacit perception that the Wojtyla-Gorbachev summit at the Vatican outclassed the Bush-Gorbachev summit in Maltese waters, or whether the guesses and estimates about that Maltese summit had already and accurately forecast the results of Gorbachev's short meeting with President Bush, the fact is that no noticeable excitement surrounded the American and Soviet flotillas for those few days at the beginning of December 1989. The ugly winter waters, the annoyance of the Soviet President at being kept waiting, the critiques of Gennady Garasimov, these and suchlike details were what created news. It was taken for granted by all observers that the two presidents were going to put their final stamp on the "new thinking."
So it came as no great surprise when Mr. Bush, in the immediate aftermath of the Malta Summit, summed up the results by saying: "We stand at the threshold of a brand-new era in US-Soviet relations." The president was thus announcing the official American entry into the millennium endgame. Its basis? The "new thinking" was carried to its logical conclusion: "I, the President of the United States, will kick our bureaucracy and push it as fast as I can," on trade and credits, on two arms control agreements - both treaties to be finished and ready for signing at the next summit meeting, in June 1990. Mr. Bush did not explicate in so many words, but it was part and parcel of the "Malta understanding" that the United States would exert great circumspection in its words and actions so as to not make Mr. Gorbachev vulnerable at home to the attacks of the new Russian "Patriots" and of those who were already screaming out loud about Gorbachev's "caving in" to the Yankees.
Doubtless, the Soviet President acquainted Mr. Bush with his December-February program as well as with his planned schedule for the remainder of 1990, thus getting himself confirmed as "our man in Moscow." The "we must help Mr. Gorbachev" rule went into full vigor. It would be some weeks yet before Vaclav Havel, new president of Czechoslovakia, would gently but pointedly criticize this Western attitude. "In the West, there is a tendency to personalize history," Havel told journalist Lally Weymouth. "It seems to me that no matter how big Gorbachev's share in this [the changes in the USSR], this is something that doesn't exist and fall with his person." But western leadership proceeded on that principle. "You have a love affair going with Gorbachev," one Lithuanian activist told an American visitor, "but we do not love him as you do."
Loved or unloved, Gorbachev went ahead with the propaganda value of a promised Papal visit to the Soviet Union and John Paul's help in calming Catholics in the Baltics and in the Ukraine as the palpable results of the Vatican-Moscow meeting on December 1; and, following Mr. Bush's post-Malta resolutions, the "new thinking" was definitely "in." The Soviet leader had been assured of Western cooperation in his domestic struggle for those czarlike powers he needed for complete control of his situation. Gorbachev had now become the key element in the millennium endgame as western leaders planned it.
But the contrast in aims between western leaders and John Paul was clear to the Pontiff. The West's cooperation was granted in view of the "Wise Men's" ultimate aim of the "new world order." John Paul was carrying on Christianity's (Catholicism's?) perennial tradition of accepting forced cohabitation with evil, knowing that, in general no new world order could successfully emerge that was not based on the rule and kingship of Christ; and that in this particular historical situation, the final solution of the world's difficulties would be effected through the intervention of the Queen of Heaven.
In the meantime, he could once more have written the veritable scenario of Gorbachev's achievements between December 1989 and February 1990. The achievements were phenomenal, the "new thinking" they generated so exhilarating for the West that an almost Alice-in-Wonderland atmosphere pervaded the international atmosphere for a while.
"Moscow feels immeasurably more comfortable in the international arena than ever before," Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze crowed on December 5. Well he and all his colleagues might crow. President Bush had undertaken: to have the two treaties - strategic nuclear arms, conventional forces - ready for the June summit meeting; to facilitate the economic reforms in the Soviet Union; and - most important - not to embarrass the Soviet Union's adventurism in Afghanistan, Syria, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and El Salvador.
The events following up these beginnings took on the air of the inevitable.
By the end of December's second week, US Secretary of State Baker had sketched out a "new architecture" built on the "old foundations" of NATO, the European Security Conference (CSCE) of 1975-76, and the European Community (EC). The US, the EC and the USSR would meet in June at a CSCE thirty-five nation assembly to map out the place and function of a unified Germany in that "new architecture." For a Germany reunited will be the capstone of the inmost circle in that "architecture" - the Western community of nations. The second circle will be the Soviet Union and its former satellites. The third and outermost circle will embrace all in a wide sweep from Helsinki to Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Baker was planning as an Internationalist, of course. True to that mentality, he had presented his so-called two-plus-four framework: Within this arrangement, the two Germanys would agree on a path to be followed, leading them to unification; then the Four Powers - the US, Britain, France and the USSR - would sit down with the all-Germany delegates and negotiate the delicate issues of new and old borders and of international security.
Rightly, Mr. Gorbachev spoke rambunctiously about it all. "No one has the right to ignore the negative potential in Germany's past." He added that, "the Soviet Union has an inalienable right to expect, and the capability to exert efforts to ensure that our country should not sustain either moral or political or economic damage from German unification." The fine combination of saber rattling and righteousness showed that Gorbachev saw in this "new architecture" the fresh outlines of his geopolitical plan. "Our Leninism," he told Moscow cadres, "is now purified and capable of reaching its destined goals."
John Paul noted, in this same period, that "the time is ripe to reassemble the stones of the battered walls" and "construct together our common house," based upon the "spiritual roots which have made Europe" - but that all efforts would fail if nations did not end "the presence and spread of counter-values such as selfishness, hedonism, racism and practical secularism." His geopolitical agenda remained the same because his reading of all these events had not changed: On an exclusively materialistic basis, not even all the nations involved in the CSCE, (NATO and Warsaw Pact nations, plus twelve European neutrals) could achieve even a limited success. But they were going to try anyway.
For there was no gainsaying the effect now evoked in the Internationalist minds of the West. Even the schedule of free elections promised for 1990 was startling for minds that, for forty-five years had never associated such a democratic process as a free election with the Soviet Gulag Archipelago:
February 24, Lithuania; February 25, Moldavia; March 4, the Ukraine; March 18, East Germany, Latvia and Estonia; March 25, Georgia and Hungary; May 20, Romania and Bulgaria; June 8, Czechoslovakia; and, to round all this off, the December elections in Germany to pick a Reichskanzler for all of Germany.
The changes promised by Gorbachev started to appear slowly but surely. At Brussels, Eduard Shevardnadze joined the United States in condemning Nicolae Ceausescu's repression of dissidents in Romania. "I can only express my very profound regret," he said, "We are categorically against the use of force." An extraordinary public relations effort was launched by the hated KGB to recast its image as "just an intelligence service like the ones possessed by all the other Western powers." But it was in Lithuania that Gorbachev began to revel his biggest surprise.
As far back as February 1986, he had told the landmark Congress of the Soviet Communist Party that "no party has a monopoly over what is right. We need," he went on significantly, "to restructure the Party's internal apparatus, greater democracy within the Party, and national election reform." In June 1988, he told the Soviets: "The Party's leading role will depend entirely on its actual prestige, which, at every point, will have to be reaffirmed by concrete deeds." Now, in late December, Lithuania's Communist Party broke its ties with the Communist Party of Moscow and declared itself the Independent Communist Party of Lithuania. It was a direct rejection of Article Six of the Soviet Constitution, which guaranteed the CP of the Soviet Union the "leading role" in world communism.
In mid-January 1990, Gorbachev flew to Lithuania for three days of cajoling, threatening and argumentation. He was well briefed on the situation. The local Communist Party had already declared its independence from Moscow's control. "We have passed the threshold of no return," said Algirdas Brazanskas, Communist Party first secretary and Politburo boss, "and there is no turning back." Anyway, as another member of the Lithuanian Politburo remarked, "Gorbachev will be overthrown within a year."
Nothing daunted, Gorbachev took on all comers in Party meetings and on the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania's capital. His efforts were backed up by very efficient KGB teams, who worked assiduously to undermine the anti-Soviet sentiment that animated Lithuanian workers, management and intellectuals. On his last day there, at the end of a marathon four hour public debate with Lithuanians, one Lithuanian stood up and asked the Soviet president bluntly, "Are you in favor of a multi-party system?" Gorbachev's answer was totally unexpected. "I do not see anything tragic about a multiparty system," Gorbachev said, shrugging his shoulders, "if it emerges and meets the realistic needs of society. One should not dread a multiparty system." That was on January 13.
Less than a month later, on Sunday, February 4, the day before the opening of the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party, there was a very strange gathering in Moscow's Red Square. It was strange for Moscow because it was the first assemblage of so many people - over 250,000 - in that square in seventy years. It was strange for the Party-State because, as an absolute rule, Soviet law and practice prohibits any gathering of even 100 people in the street without official permission, and because it came together precisely to urge the Communist Party to resign its political monopoly in that vast territory. "Resign! Resign!" were the cries shouted under the walls of the Kremlin. "Long live the peaceful revolution of February 1990 that is now under way!" shouted Yuri N. Afanasyev, member of the Congress of Deputies.
Finally, it was strange because neither when the jam-packed thousands crowded into Marx Prospekt after a four mile march, nor when speaker after speaker denounced the Communist status of the USSR, and clamored for a multi-party political system, did the police take any action. Radio Moscow, in fact, broadcast the rally in advance. Unofficially, this rally had official sanction! "Keep your hands off our president!" warned one hand-lettered sign.
Up at the windows giving on to Marx Prospekt, Gorbachev could point down to those thousands; they were going to be his best allies when he faced the 250-member Central Committee on the morrow. Nobody had to stress the obvious: Only one man could have sent out the word that summoned the crowds, that muted the police, that instructed the media. "These are democratic forces," the television reporter commented at the news hour, as the screen showed the placard held high by the marchers: "Gorbachev! We're with you!" Lest anyone miss the change-or-die message, evening television followed the news with reports from the former satellites.
Western observers had a choice. They could regard Gorbachev's very recent railing against a multi-party system and his visit to Lithuania as last ditch attempts to stave off a dreaded result. Or, they could regard all that as skilful use of psychological pressure in order to place him in the position of the French Revolutionary who excused his sudden change of allegiance, saying: "I did my best. But the people are leading. I must follow them."
On Monday, February 5, Gorbachev opened the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union's Communist Party. He dropped his bombshell right at the beginning: The Communist Party must renounce the absolute power guaranteed it by Article Six of the Soviet Constitution. "The crux of the Party's renewal is the need to rid it of everything that tied it to the authoritarian-bureaucratic system .... The Soviet Communist Party intends to struggle for the status of the ruling party. But it will do so strictly within the framework of the democratic process, by giving up any legal and political advantages."
There could be no doubt now: The CP's monopoly was over. Pluralism was in. The multi-party system would be legal and constitutional. As if to prove further how far along the de-Marxizing of the USSR could go, the Central Committee's platform published on February 7 contained an endorsement of private property. This was a surrender not only of the Party's economic dictatorship; it was a repudiation of one of Karl Marx's basic principles and an apparent adoption of the principle on which all true capitalism is built. The CC did not proclaim the principle, however. It just permitted private property. The CC also faced the conundrum posed by private ownership of property in a closed and planned Marxist economy: "how to find an organic combination of planned and market methods to regulate economic activity." And the drafters of the platform spoke of a need for a procedure in which planned, centralized economic management will be exercized through prices, taxes, interest rates, credits, payments, etc.
All of this sounded like capitalism in the making. Gorbachev airily dismissed the wonderment-filled questions of reporters on Friday, February 9: "These changes have been underway in this country since 1985." All of this was a normal evolution, he was saying, in the Soviet democratic process. Why the surprise?
It was score 1 for the "new thinking." There was still more to come as added reassurance.
On February 12, leaders of the Soviet parliament voted in favor of holding "an extraordinary .... in the nearest future" in order to vote on new powers for the Soviet presidency - Gorbachev's post. "A democratic presidential power would be his: to maintain the country's stable development, to speed up Perestroika, to guarantee its irreversibility, to ensure the normal and effective functioning of all state and public institutions in the process of democratization, to ensure law and citizens' security, to protect the Soviet Union's interests, and to represent our state in the international arena."
These were the absolute czarlike powers he needed. What Lenin and Stalin had accumulated by bloodletting, torture, the massacre of millions, lies and propaganda, this Master Craftsman of Statism had obtained unbloodily and by overwhelming vote. It was score 2 for the "new thinking" of the West.
Finally, as score 3, there was the big surprise of February 13. At Ottawa the Soviet Union agreed with the leaders of the West that talks should start immediately, on a rapid schedule, with a view to reunification of the two Germanys into one. The significance of this mutual decision was mighty. It meant that the USSR was directly involved in shaping the future of all Europe, for, in that Europe made whole, the economic hegemony and the dynamic leadership would reside in a reunified Germany under conditions set by the USSR. It meant, even in the short run, the diminishment of US hegemony - and that, also, in a military sense, for no one was fool enough not to realize that Germany would re-arm, perhaps within a European force, perhaps not. It also laid the groundwork for an ancient dream: the Northern Alliance Tier, or Russo-German Alliance. On all those developments, Gorbachev as czarlike leader would have immense influence.
In the "new thinking" now foremost in western capitals, all major government policies and activities would be geared to the thirty-five nation meeting in June and the U.S.-USSR summit at about the same time. The United States and its allies were determined to help the Soviet President and to avoid giving his enemies any handle with which to beat him down.
Gorbachev was given carte blanche to fix the date of the next U.S.-USSR summit when it best suited him politically. Nor did Secretary of State Baker emphasize in any way the U.S. objection to the USSR's sending a supply of new Mig-29's to Cuba and India. He would not publicly reiterate U.S. insistence on the independence of the three Baltic states. Nor would a word be breathed about the thirty million land mines the Soviets had sowed in Afghanistan. For the "new thinking" bids the West to make Mr. Gorbachev's avowed aim - to terminate the Communist Party's totalitarian rule - as easy as possible. This is why many would rather speak of conspiracy between the U.S. and Gorbachev than "new thinking" by the US about the USSR. Many go further and insist that basic Leninism is Gorbachev's motivation, and that behind all the smiles and concessions to "democratization" there abides a cold, calculating eye.
"The western image that Gorbachev is democratic," admonished Lithuania's Bronius Genzelis, a member of the Congress of People's Deputies (the new super-parliament Gorbachev has created in Moscow), "is not correct. Gorbachev is playing with the West the way a cat plays with a mouse .... He is a realist who saw the precipice of decay and destruction, and hurried to the West to avoid an explosion in his own country."
Nevertheless, it remained that at the end of this skilful bout of geopolitical statecraft by Mikhail Gorbachev, the excited mentalities of the nations had predictably accepted the reactive posture on which he had counted. "The West does not fully realize that the Soviets have not won the Third World War, the unarmed war [for economic victory]," said Vytautus Lansbergis, leader of the Lithuanian Sajudis independence movement. "They, on the contrary, have collapsed. But they are talking terms of peace as if they had won. The West talks to Gorbachev as to an equal."
That summed up pithily Gorbachev's achievement. Instead of being relegated to stew in his own Soviet-made, homegrown juice, he and his USSR were now welcomed into the millennium endgame.
Soviet satisfaction was almost oleaginous. Foreign Minister Shevardnadze cast an eye back over the Cold War days when Stalin predicted an "inevitable victory" for Marxism and Nikita Krushchev told the West, "We will bury you." To be frank, Shevardnadze told his Western colleagues at the Ottawa meeting in mid-February, "our country took too much time grappling with the dilemma of truth versus happiness." The Soviets, he said, had thought they should "prefer the anxiety of someone who knows the truth" - that the proletarian revolution would succeed - "and not choose the tranquility of those [the West] who ignore it." But, he went on magnanimously, "Today our country is sick .... We shall become not only a big and strong country but a genuinely comfortable and civilized home for men and women. Such a state has to survive." As a mea culpa, this dripped with delusory self righteousness, which, under normal circumstances, would have been greeted in the West with hoots of laughter and catcalls of "Hypocrite!" But in the "new thinking," this was music in Western ears.
More was to come from the Soviet Parliament, that February. The parliamentary working group, on February 21, came up with a draft law giving President Gorbachev new and extensive powers over the legislative and executive branches of government power to bypass parliament, power to bypass the Politburo, power over the Ministry of the Interior, the KGB and the Red Army. Absolute power, in other words.
One final and effective blow in favor of "helping Mr. Gorbachev" and, therefore, in favor of total U.S. dedication to the millennium endgame was provided by the new president of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel. In his childlike, almost holy man manner, the former playwright addressed the US Congress on February 21. It is doubtful if, when he had finished, he left any dissenters in the tiers.
We enter an era in which all of us, large and small, former slaves and former masters, will be able to create what your great President Lincoln called the family of man .... After World War II the Soviet Union .... was a country that rightly gave people nightmares because no one knew what would occur to its rulers next and what country they would decide to conquer .... Europe turned into a single enormous arsenal divided into two parts." But now, "the totalitarian system in the Soviet Union, as well as in most of its satellites, is breaking down. And our nations are looking for a way to democracy and independence .... These revolutionary changes will enable us all to enter into an era of multipolarity .... and to create the family of man.
"How can the United States help us today? My reply is as paradoxical as my whole life has been: You can help us most of all if you help the Soviet Union on its irreversible but immensely complicated road to democracy."
By that time, Havel had said all his audience wished to hear, a clear unambiguous endorsement of the "new thinking" and of US engagement in the millennium endgame. But there was, in his estimation one other fact they needed to recall. No one could have better expressed Pope John Paul's deep reservation about the situation - and in secular language as effective as the Pontiff's. "Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being," Havel said quietly. Then he put his finger on the central lack. "We still don't know how to put morality ahead of politics, science and economics." Then this retiring, shy man underlined the remedy. "We are still incapable of understanding that the only genuine backbone of all our actions, if they are to be normal, is responsibility, responsibility to something higher than my family, my country, my company, my success."
It only remained, for complete frankness, for Havel to invite all the members of Congress listening to him, to kneel down and worship God and to ask God's blessing and help and divine light. Under the circumstances, Havel knew this was not the thing to do. But he must have regretted - at least momentarily - that the dominant secularism of the age and of the United States precluded such an ending to his remarks.
No doubt, his speech clinched the "new thinking" in many a mind and helped to orient it to the millennium endgame. He himself would be skeptical to the number of those who would in reality place all this within the framework of godliness. For them, the family of man was the result of genetics, evolution and politics. For Havel, for Abraham Lincoln, for Papa Wojtyla, the family of man was a supernatural bonding of all the creatures of God, Creator and Redeemer.
There remained, at the end of this exercise of brilliant geopolitical statecraft by Mikhail Gorbachev, the excited mentalities of the nations now involved in the consequences of his skill, in contrast to the almost detached tranquility of John Paul. For once again, the leaders of the West (and with them their peoples) had dutifully and predictably accepted the reactive posture on which Mikhail Gorbachev had successfully counted. And the source of that difference between the Holder of the Keys and his contemporary competitors in the fateful millennium endgame was to be sought in the radical difference between the visions drawing each side on unresistingly.
Thus, as of winter's last days, in February 1990, the geopolitical vision of the "Wise Men of the West" had been squared and tailored and trimmed to Gorbachev's "common home" of some 800 million Europeans occupying the landmasses and plying the ocean waters between the Urals in Russia and the Pacific coast of California. More peace, more prosperity, more manufactured goods, more trade, more stable currency of exchange, more freedom from threat of sudden destruction, more healthy and happy populations - all within a geopolitical structure beneath whose roof the chauvinist bickering of ideologies and the jingoism of nationalisms would no longer have any voice. None of this was being planned in obedience to the divine precept "Love each other as I have loved you." Nor did the moral law as Christ had revealed it stand as the measure of what was good and what was evil. The visionaries, in this case, will not acknowledge success as dependent on God's providence. He will not be adored and praised officially beneath the roof of the house abuilding.
Mikhail Gorbachev within a relatively short time, will find how far the "new thinking" will permit him to venture - again as chief agent of action - in conducting the already reactive posture of the West. The Gramscian penetration of western culture will be, he hopes, thorough and deep and pervasive. In the light that guides him, he will at any given moment see the opportunity that genuine Marxists believe will surely arise under the irresistible dialectic of material forces. The geopolitical house now abuilding will need very little adaptation - perhaps a thorough house cleaning, followed by some interior decoration and design - in order to fit the frame of universal dictatorship of the Party as the host of the soon-to-come and stateless "paradise of the workers." Mikhail Gorbachev has tranquility, yes, but with ebullient outbreaks of legitimate rejoicing. He has had his way with the society of nations so far.
While the first weeks of 1990 are full of novelty and excitement for all others and lit up by the near-future prospect of further harmony and homogenization of goals within the USSR and Europe, John Paul stands apart. He is tranquil in his unshakeable trust and hope, yet he forever repeats his fundamental message: Not principally fratricide of the body is the capital sin of man against man, but fratricide of the spirit. The only way to avoid that is by a total conversion to God.
He undertook an eight-day trip, January 25-February 1, through five impoverished west African countries: Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Burkina-Faso and Chad. It was a mirror image of his Scandinavian trip during the days of Mikhail Gorbachev's first diplomatic onslaught of Europe. There, speaking among people dedicated to the "good life," he was paternally warning both Gorbachev and all Europeans that their presently uppermost intent - primarily in their negotiations - should be to revivify the spirit of and belief in God as the viable foundation for the "New Europe" and the "new world order" Mr. Gorbachev preached and they envisioned.
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Pavel Negoitsa, a reporter for the Soviet trade union newspaper, Trud, and the first Soviet journalist to go on a Papal trip, wrote that this Pope "is a great moral force" and his method was not unlike "continual drops of water on a stone" - this time "the hard stone of world opinion." Eventually the stone would "wear down" and "give in." But Negoitsa could not explain the constancy in the Pontiff's behaviour.
For John Paul, the wheel of international developments has turned men's gaze definitively on that portion of the globe - Central Europe and the western Soviet hinterland - where, John Paul is persuaded, the foundational events of the veritable new world order will take place, surprising men and women infinitely more than the events of 1989-1990. Immensely secure in his faith as the "complete slave of Mary," he could look on February 13, 1990, as a day of confirmation of his faith and trust. The thirteenth of each month was, and is the preferred day for his patron of Fatima.
Whether celebrating Mass in Oslo, or kissing little children in the leprosy clinic of N'Djamena, Chad, or consoling an old couple in a miserable hut in Burkina Faso's Ouagadougou, or parleying with the Master of all the Russias in his Vatican library, John Paul remained firm in his intent and in his confidence. Neither the secularism of the west, nor the Leninism of the Soviets, nor the neo-Maoism of the Chinese, would or could alter that. For the patterns had been set for the millennium endgame. The society of nations was locked into a set course leading to the final clash of two geopolitical views - that of Heaven and that of men resorting to their own devices.
The Millennium End Game
Thus before the onset of a new spring in 1990, all the patterns were formed and set for the conduct of the affairs of nations in the foreseeable future. Now in these trailing times of the second millennium, the long-standing game of winner-take-all between the two superpowers and their partisans had to all intents and purposes ceased; their great and decisive endgame had begun in earnest.
Everywhere, as John Paul had analyzed the situation, one whole generation passed away, another was born and grew past maturity, and a third had just been born, during the global winner-take-all game.It was seesaw contest or, if you will, a tug-of-war initiated by the utopian dreams of a Lenin and a Stalin, fomented by their henchmen in many lands, and animated by the principle of fratricide. "We will bury you," Nikita Krushchev had screamed, pounding the desk at the United Nations with his shoe.
For close on seventy years, the well-being and progress as well as the suffering and difficulties of all nations have been gridded on the seesawing patterns traced by the varying fortunes of the two superpowers. The West stood for certain basic values: free enterprise, free markets, free trade, all housed in free political institutions; the primacy of the individual socially, ecenomically, politically; the creation of wealth, not its mere distribution or redistribution, as the goal of the economic order. Still one other value ruled the American mind in particular: a sense of its own responsibility as the only power capable of engaging in that tug-of-war; the only power capable of outweighing the Soviet adversary.
Ensuring peace overall was defined strictly in terms of a fratricidal enemy. Peace was the capacity to discourage the enemy's lethal wishes. Each side aimed at outweighing the other on the seesaw. But neither actually succeeded, because neither successfully straddled the center and controlled the two ends. One way or another, all the strains and stresses undergone by the nations, as well as their successes and sureties, resulted from the back and forth veering victories in the relentless tug-of-war between those two giant contestants, who were bent, each one of them, on eventually hauling the other, kicking and contentious but captive, over into its own terrain.
That is all those generations had known, theirs had been a world of dangerous seesaw, of the lethal tug-of-war. The value and safety of their lives as nations came to be measured along that great divide between the two contestants.
Among the successive waves of Cold War, thaw and detente, there ran the never-ending flummery of disarmament talks; the mutual recriminations; the occasional bloodletting; the regularly occurring "tit-for-tat" expulsions of diplomats for "undiplomatic behaviour" because the other side had done just that; the horrid sideshows in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Namibia, Ethiopia; and hanging over all this, the fear of sudden nuclear holocaust.
As a cap on this wearing-down process, there was a constant pressure on all nations to make a choice, to take a side between sides, or to remain neutral - which each side labelled as a covert taking of the other side. Hence those horrid co-ordinates "East-West" and "North-South," which John Paul excoriated. It was the worst of times - so much so that the best consolation offered was that at least World War III was being avoided. "We haven't had a major world war for over forty years," was the comment. As if that was the best man could hope for.
Quite recently and quite suddenly, this wasting global game ended. Unbelievably, but actually, it ended. There was no longer any counter-weight on the seesaw, any tension in the tug-of-war. Nobody could explain precisely why to everybody's satisfaction. Reasoning and fancy vied to explain the sudden change.
Whatever the driving power behind the sudden change, one main fact is clear:
The two main contenders have decided to converge; to seek out, identify and enlarge every possible area of cooperation, collaboration and sharing; to excise all the hardened warts of hate and distrust that have marred the faces they displayed between them; to create trust by opening up to each other their parliamentary processes; their defence and strategic measures, to establish a unity of purpose and of action in various scientific and humanitarian sectors; to introduce among their peoples ways of living, of learning, of understanding and of judging that cannot be tagged either typically American or typically Soviet or Russian but will merit being described as human and common to both. For only thus can you understand what is being said by the leadership of both sides of the fence today.
The decision to seek that convergence and the concrete steps already taken in that direction do outline the basic character of this new game of nations: There are to be moves by one nation, then follow-up moves by the other nation. Then the creation of new mutual relationships and forces, enabling and evoking further moves on every player's part; and all this purposefully aimed at achieving convergence. Every time a forward step is taken, the foot must land on a square of already confirmed trust. President Ronald Reagan's publicly announced principle of his trust in Mikhail Gorbachev has been elevated to a universal principle: "Trust, but verify." On both sides.
Clearly, this also is an endgame. Not so much because its beginning marks the end of the winner-take-all game that wracked the society of nations for two generations. Principally because in this new game, the nations are writing a definitive coda to what they have been as a society for most of this now-ending second millennium.
Its end, barely ten years away, will signal farewell to a nation system of human society that, in its worst paroxysms, had almost decided to commit suicide - by wholesale industrial slaughter of millions of human beings or in a nuclear oven - and, at its very best, enabled the nations to put up with the soul-deadening boredom of perpetual contention because some tasted sweet victory and the rest lived on the hope of victory - as if that were the best man could do for man.
But there are, in high places, no illusions about the nature of this endgame. The heart of it lies in competition. It is still a winner-take-all arrangement. The West has renounced none of the basic values it has defended and propagated for the last seventy years. The Soviet East has not renounced its utopian goal; but, under the pressure of unchangeable circumstances, the leadership has decided to adopt a different way to that goal. They both have agreed to conditions that mean, in effect, that either one or the other will predominate finally and will finally bury the other without the horrors of a shooting war. The Gramscian conversion of Leninism preserves the burning core of Leninism.
There is not one normally aware and normally well-informed member in the various power centers and interest lobbies of "East" and "West" who has not recognized the terminal effect of this endgame, although few can readily imagine the planned society of nations in which the present accepted differences that mark all nations are eliminated. And some find it frightening, even appalling. Nobody expects a world order to evolve that will, as an optimist might say, combine the best of Leninism and capitalism. Neither a 'Leninized' capitalism nor a capitalistic version of Leninism is possible. Neither does anyone know for sure the factors that hastened the end of the old game and, in a certain true sense, imposed the endgame with such ease and such rapidity, dictating the new rules, even fixing the timetable. The endgame follows a new calendar.
Everyone recognizes one salient fact: This sudden, apparently benign changeover started almost simultaneously with the accession of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev to the leading position of power in the USSR and with his meteoric ascendance as the dominant personality and the primary catalyst international life.
From the beginning of his Pontificate, John Paul had been talking incessantly about the convergence of the nations. He had the endgame in view some ten years before other men faced into it; and, for his pains, he has been seen by many in the West as a man of the East, and by many in the East as a man of the West. Deterred in no way by such misunderstanding, John Paul hinged the success of his Pontificate on what was and still remains a gamble concerning the present endgame. He would endow his Papacy with an international profile and, as Pope, move around among world leaders and nations, vindicating a position for himself as a special leader among leaders, because in that competition he plans to emerge as the victor.
He did accomplish his immediate aim. The Papal profile of high international definition was achieved. It was the first step in his gamble. The second step has been more hazardous but is intimately linked to the first. The gargantuan effort he has put forth on the international plane has not even been half matched on his part by an effort at halting the year-by-year deterioration of his Church structure....
His energies, his interests, his time and his talents have been almost exclusively preoccupied with the endgame. And, now that it has started in earnest, more than ever his concentration is focused on the emerging patterns and on the master magician Mikhail Gorbachev. For John Paul's gamble is riding on the back of Gorbachevism.
That endgame, into which Gorbachevism has forced everybody to enter, came as a relief for the generality of people everywhere.
In the "West" where men and women have grown weary of soul in the ceaseless round of tensions, thaws, rearmament, armed clashes and endless fears. In the "East" where every promise of Leninist Marxism has been fulfilled by its direct opposite - imprisonment of mind and body instead of freedom, hunger instead of plenty, dismal backwardness instead of progress, inefficiency instead of high efficiency, privilege-ridden society instead of equality, hopelessness instead of hope.
. . . . . .
For quite a while now and quite and appreciable time before Gorbachevism became the catalyst in international affairs, John Paul has resolutely faced into the inevitable happenings and accompaniments of the endgame.
Certainly the formerly segregated society of nations dubbed the "East" (Eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc) is being penetrated by the technology, the business know-how, the managerial skills of the West, together with the garish panoply of symbols announcing the goodness of the Big Mac, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Nestle chocolate, French Champagne, Italian clothes and wine, and German do-it-yourself over the counter drugs.
But the penetration of the West by the East, while it will include some choice consumer goods, and some panoply of the East's symbols of the good life, will be of a more profound kind. It will take place on the level where culture and human spirit intermingle, and where human sensibilities are moulded through the silent operation of ideas and judgements about the human condition. For this penetration is to be accomplished by the planned convergence of minds and wills.
The West, already profoundly secularized, is going to converge on that all-important level of minds and cultures already impregnated with the officially nourished secularism of the Leninist homeland, and - this much all can be sure of - under the watchful surveillance, the skilful manipulation and the expert monitoring of the Party-State. It would be foolish on the part of any statesman or politician in Europe of the 1990's, with Gorbachevism in full swing, not to realize and act according to the fact that political penetration and control of Europe in its continental institutions as well as in its state-by-state legislatures is the key aim of Gorbachevism. John Paul must now assist at that Soviet penetration and control, and be helpless to prevent it. The ghost of Gramsci will flit triumphantly over the Marxization of European political culture and its first continental institutions.
For John Paul could predict, as early as 1988, that the Eurocommunist parties of Europe (Italy's, France's, Spain's, Germany's and Belgium's) will be accepted and granted equal status in the EEC as well as in other European institutions. With the birth of political alliances between Communists and Socialists on national levels, the European Parliament would be a reality. Under the 'Gorbachevist' liberalisation plans for the Soviet Eastern European satellites, and because of his 1989 proposition (he did not request; he proposed) that at least those eastern nations, if not the Soviet Union itself, be admitted to the "common European home," Europe from the Atlantic - or at least from Calais on the English Channel - to Russian Urals would in a short time, be a Socialist Europe, whose legislators owed ultimate allegiance to the Soviet Union, and whose executive, legislative and judicial functions would be occupied by men and women of the same ideological brand. When Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou announced on July 28, 1989, that "our Socialist Party and the Left [the Communists] must have the opportunity to govern the country democratically, progressively, and patriotically," he was wisely reading the writing on the wall that told how Greek politics and Europolitics would go.
This planned penetration of Europolitics will go hand in hand with the Moscow-controlled "liberalization" and "democratization" within the Soviet satellites. Both "liberalization" and "democratization" will be introduced through the Communist parties, through the cooperation of particular individuals who are already deep Soviet plants
If his contemporary generation of men and women realized how fitted and equipped this one man, this Polish Pope, has been in order to have that vision and fulfills this role, they would already be blessing their destiny to live these Catholic times with him. A later and wiser generation surely will venerate him as his contemporaries would have never dreamed of doing. For his is the vision. For his is that role, as Servant of the Grand Design.
The Vision of the Servant
In the Final Analysis
In the final analysis, John Paul II is a geopolitician-Pope who spent the first part of his Pontificate establishing himself and his Holy See as authentic players in the millennium endgame, which during the same period of time, has become the "only game in town" and in this last decade of the second millennium will absorb all the energies, the efforts and the vital interests of the great powers in our world.
He is a Pope who is waiting. That is the essence of his action. And in the meantime he is busy in all the highways and byways along which the men of his age are moving helter-skelter. They have figured their present onrush as the last stages on the road to a new world order already in view, a true City of Man, built by Man's ingenuity for Man - this, finally, is the avowed goal they forecast for themselves, shimmering on the mountains of the future. John Paul is waiting, but not for that city to be built in order, as it were, to find out if there will be a place in it for him. He knows it will not be built, at least not as men have configured it.
He is waiting, rather, for an event that will fission human history, splitting the immediate past from the oncoming future. It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental landmasses of this planet. It will particularly involve our human sun, which every day lights up and shines upon the valleys, the mountains and the plains of this earth for our eyes. But on the day of this event, it will not appear merely as the master star of our so-called solar system. Rather it will be seen as the circumambient glory of the Woman whom the apostle describes as "clothed with the Sun" and giving birth to "a child who will rule the nations with a scepter of iron."
Fissioning it will be as an event, in John Paul's conviction of faith, for it will immediately nullify all the grand designs the nations are now forming and will introduce the Grand Design of man's Maker. John Paul's waiting and watching time will then be over. His ministry as the Servant of the Grand Design will then begin. His strength of will to hold on and continue, and then, when the fissioning event occurs, to assume that ministry, derives directly from the Petrine authority entrusted solely to him the day he became Pope, in October of 1978. That authority, that strength, is symbolized in the Keys of Peter, washed in the human blood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. John Paul is and will be the sole possessor of the Keys of this Blood on that day.
Just a little over ten tears ago, Karol Wojtyla walked onto the world stage as His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, and eyed each of his contentious globalist contemporaries from a geopolitical standpoint. For it was as a geopolitician he had been elected Pope. And he entered the ranks of world leaders as the Servant of a Grand Design he claimed was God's will for the society of nations.
Rife among his contemporaries, he found, was the persuasion of an imminent sea change in human affairs, and a competition to establish what many called a new world order on the back of that change. The society of nations, in fact, was starting to formulate a Grand Design of its own; but there were many competitors, each with his own ideas. One by one, he examined their proposals. He measured their behaviour with the gauge of his Roman Catholic morality. He appraised their individual prospects for success. He knew, as they knew: There could only be one victor in that competition.
He had already decided to join that competition. For he also had his ambitions in the vital matter of a new world order....
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Over a period of ten years, and among ninety-two nations across the length and breadth of five continents, he established himself as a world leader, one who was free of all disfiguring partisanship, as someone endowed with an all-embracing mind, a rare political savvy, a nimble diplomatic agility; and as the possessor of an international profile of perhaps the highest personal definition achieved by any one individual in recorded history. He became, on those terms, an acknowledged and accepted contender in the competition.
Everywhere and to everyone he presented himself as the Bishop of Rome and the only lawful successor to Simon Peter the Apostle. Everywhere he claimed the authority and the duty to advise, admonish and exhort all men, regardless of creed, race or ideology, on their duties to God and their due place in God's Grand Design for the society of nations. . . . . .
. . . . . .
All that comes by way of suffering , of hardship, of severe dislocation and destruction in the affairs of men will be but preparation for the plan of divine providence: preparation and the negative side of the Grand Design. About that Grand Design in its positive lines, John Paul knows only that his function will be as its servant; that his years of preparation as one of the world's leaders, as a voice and a figure that have received international recognition, will culminate in the apostolic ministrations he must perform in a very different world from the world of the millennium endgame, and among nations that no longer rely on themselves to build on earth a City of Man.
A former Jesuit and professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute, Martin is the author of the best sellers -- The Jesuits, The Final Conclave and Hostage to the Devil.
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