Le crépuscule d'un souverain pontife

Une fois de plus, le pape Jean-Paul II a été hospitalisé d'urgence, gravement malade. Même pour les non catholiques, dont je fais partie, c'est là l'occasion de réfléchir sur ce que le monde perdra quand le corps du pape succombera finalement à ses affections.

Le portrait qui se dessine est un mélange de couleurs. Pour ceux d'entre eux qui considèrent l'effondrement du communisme en 1989 comme un événement majeur de l'histoire du vingtième siècle, le pape Jean-Paul est un héros. En Pologne, il était le pivot de toutes les activités de la société civile. Tandis que dans d'autres pays, et plus manifestement en Roumanie, mais également dans ce qui était à l'époque la Tchécoslovaquie ainsi qu'en Hongrie, l'alternative au communisme correspondait à un vide ou, au mieux, à quelques organisations isolées dans la société civile, la Pologne disposait d'une autre source de légitimité. Avant et après son élection, celui qui était alors le cardinal Karol Wojtyla de Cracovie était son représentant le plus efficace.

La nomination du cardinal Wojtyla à la papauté avait ainsi une signification qui allait au-delà des confins de l'Eglise. Lui-même n'aimait pas vraiment que son église soit identifiée à une société civile. Lors d'une conversation, il s'est élevé contre ce fait : « Non, l'Eglise n'est pas une société civile, c'est une société sacrée ».

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