I was so tempted to resume Friday Fun today. Why not? The news cycle has slowed down a bit, it's a dark and stormy day across much of the Old Dominion, and we always can use a good laugh, especially after a long work week. But as this historic weekend in Vatican City begins it is important to reflect on the most influential man of the 20th century: Pope John Paul II. While he was known for his leadership and spiritual guidance to the entirety of a captive Eastern Europe, enslaved by a Godless communist empire, he also spoke and worked as forcefully to defend unborn, innocent life. Like his mission to free half of Europe, he did it unlike anyone before him or since.
In 1996, John Paul II visited Colorado for World Youth Day. Then-President Bill Clinton greeted him at the airport. But this was no standard fare head of state meet and greet. Maybe it was for Clinton. But not for John Paul. His message: You cannot be a moral leader America, despite whatever liberation from oppression you have effectuated in the past, if you cannot protect the least and most vulnerable among you. Freedom without the protection of life is not only not moral, it isn't freedom, either.
Protected by the Holy Spirit, John Paul had defied death at the hands of the German NAZIs and the Soviet communists, among many personal tragedies; Guided by the Holy Spirit, he knew what to say. Speaking the truth publicly to Bill Clinton on live television, in America, could not intimidate him.
At about 13 minutes, John Paul II tells Bill Clinton he cannot defend freedom while allowing the death of millions through abortion.
An interesting footnote: The man holding the umbrella for the-President Clinton was the former mayor of Boston and then-U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Raymond Flynn. A lifetime and loyal Democrat, he eventually fell out with the Clinton Administration over its abortion policy.