Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

BonnieBlueFlag continues her series of articles on the Red Birettas

The Red Birettas, Continued (Part 2)

by BonnieBlueFlag

1981 would be a momentous year for both Pope John Paul II and President Reagan, each would narrowly survive an assassin's bullet.

President Reagan would also manage to out live a peculiar US history of presidents dying in office in a twenty year cycle. John F. Kennedy who was elected President in November of 1960, was killed during his first term. Ronald Reagan was elected in November of 1980, and we were all aware and concerned about our new President on March 30, 1981, as he was rushed to the hospital for treatment of a gun shot wound.

Even though it was still very early in the reign of Pope John Paul II, and there had been some successes on the world stage, it was the Russians who first recognized the danger that this Pope posed for the Soviet Union. Lech Walesa the leader of Poland's Solidarity movement, met with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican in January of 1981. So the Russians arranged for the Pope to be stopped before he could exert any more influence in Poland, or any other Soviet controlled country.

On May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square, the Russians sealed their undoing with the attempted assassination of the Pope by a Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca. Pope John Paul II emerged from this near death episode recommitted to the Blessed Mother, and to the downfall of Communism.

By the time of their first meeting on June 7, 1982, both men felt that their lives had been spared by God, because they still had important work to do in the world. They pledged to work for world peace and freedom from Communism.

For the next 7 and a half years (to the end of Pres. Reagan's second term), these two men quietly worked together to end the Soviet domination of Poland and other Eastern European countries.

In West Berlin, Germany, on June 12, 1987, President Reagan delivered his famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" speech.
By December of 1989, the Solidarity-led coalition government of Poland had been formed, and Lech Walesa had been elected President. Followed two years later on Christmas Day 1991, by the lowering of the Soviet Union Hammer and Sickle Flag for the last time over the Kremlin.

It would be another 12 years before the United States would again have as it's president, a man truly committed to the freedom of people all over the world. President George W. Bush has worked to bring Democracy to Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine (another former Soviet Union country), and others.

Who will pick up the staff of St. Peter and Pope John Paul II? Will it be someone with the courage of these two Popes, or will we never see another like them?

On April 18th the Conclave of the Cardinals will begin with a Mass in the morning, and a first ballot to be cast that afternoon. There will be a sea of Red Birettas bobbing up and down as the ritual of choosing the next Pope commences. One of those Red Birettas will be replaced by the traditional Papal Triple Tiara, or the less ostentatious white bishop's mitre chosen by Pope John Paul II. Who will it be?
To be continued . . .

Written by BonnieBlueFlag


At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

How lucky the world was that two such great world leaders should survive their assassination attempts and go on to continue their important work.


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