The Vatican: A Pax on Both Their Houses

A Pax on Both Their Houses

He was nothing if not even-handed. In a 20,000-word encyclical letter, Pope John Paul II last week blasted both East and West for an ideological rivalry that has created a "direct obstacle" to healing the ills of the Third World. That, said the Pontiff, amounted to nothing less than a "betrayal of humanity's legitimate expectations." The document, titled Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (The Social Concerns of the Church), contains some of the most sweeping social pronouncements the Pope has yet made. It was issued as an updating of Pope Paul VI's influential 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio (The Development of Peoples).

Though normally...

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