Pope John Paul II, the inspiration for Catholics for the Common Good

John Paul the Great, Be Our Advocate
April 2005

Catholics for the Common Good feels a deep loss with the death of Pope John Paul II. We mourn not for him but for ourselves as we have lost a wonderful gift from God. He loved us, he taught us, and he challenged us. He inspired us to answer his call for an evangelization of culture through a new Catholic Action.

Pope John Paul II has untiringly challenged us for the last 26 years, starting with his inaugural homily, to open wide the doors of Christ’s saving power to civilization, culture, and political and economic systems around the world. Rather than work independently, he encouraged us to form groups or movements committed to formation based on the social teachings of the Church and political action with faith and charity. Catholics for the Common Good is a direct response to his call.

While many will remember the Pope for the collapse of communism, his impact on world politics, his commitment to human dignity — especially for the poor and vulnerable — and his untiring call for a culture of life and civilization of love, his real legacy is not yet evident to the secular eyes the press or the public at large. They focus on the fact he was a great man and was universally loved despite his positions on divisive issues like birth control, abortion and the protection of marriage and the family. They have observed him, but they don’t know him. If they were familiar with his teachings, they would know that they were all based on Sacred Scripture. The things he stood for were not his opinions, but were fundamental truths that the Catholic Church has taught for two millennia. He merely found new straightforward and compelling ways to explain truth for our time and culture. Faithful Catholics who have had an encounter with him or exposure to his teachings know this and it is our little secret for now.

Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ! Open to His saving power the confines of states, and systems political and economic, as well as the vast fields of culture, civilization, and development.Pope John Paul II
Inaugural Homily

So when the media sees pilgrims standing in line for 15 to 24 hours often without food and water for a short glimpse of the pope’s remains, and when youth flock to him like a rock star, it is difficult to explain. The reason is, in this age of relativism and where morality comes in every shade of gray, Pope John Paul the Great stood for and relentlessly communicated the TRUTH with love and our best interest at heart. In a society that fears truth may offend someone, young people rejoice when they hear truth spoken. That is why people responded to him and loved him so and that is why his greatest legacy will be his impact on a generation of young people, and his exhortation to them and other lay Catholics to transform the world through faith-informed participation.

With his passing from life to life, we are rededicating ourselves to Catholics for the Common Good and invite others to respond to his call. We will continue to build this movement and join with other such movements to change our culture through this new Catholic Action. With confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit and the protection of Mary, we pray, through the efforts of many, to become the real living legacy to Pope John Paul the Great, Doctor of Truth.

John Paul the Great, Be our advocate.

William B. May, Chairman and Co-Founder
Catholics for the Common Good

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