Apr 28, 2014

    In defence of Pope John Paul II

    I WOULD like to share my opinion on your article "John Paul II ain't no saint" (My Paper, April 24).

    In Christian belief, everyone is a sinner, including the saints. Christianity also believes in the forgiveness of sins for those who repent.

    Pope John Paul II showed great sympathy and forgiveness to sinners, including Mehmet Ali Agca, who made an attempt on his life on May 13, 1981.

    It was not unexpected that he also forgave the grievous sins committed by some clergymen.

    Whether the sinners truly repented had nothing to do with the integrity of the Pope. Criminal offences are dealt with under the law of the land, not the Church. Pope John Paul II could not have prevented the due process of law where the errant clergies were concerned, even if he wanted to.

    The article quotes noted religion writer Kenneth Briggs's comment that Pope John Paul II made the church into "a more restricted community, putting boundaries up".

    To set the record straight, Pope John Paul II was the first pope who actively broke down the barriers between religions, especially Islam.

    The unprecedented gathering of the world's major religions at the Pope's invitation in Assisi to pray for world peace in 1986 speaks loudly for this truth.