Religion: Man Cannot Become a Slave

The first encyclical: a philosophy of human dignity

Popes speak and write continually and are variously heard and taken to heart. After his inauguration last fall John Paul II swiftly showed that he would be an activist teacher. His first speech endorsed both doctrinal conservatism and the reforms that grew out of the Second Vatican Council. Then in Latin America he demonstrated a blunt willingness to confront the theology of liberation and define just how priests should, and should not, pursue social justice. Last week he presented his first encyclical, a formal policy-setting letter from the Pope to the church and the...

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