John Paul Deserves His Sainthood
He worked a political miracle against communism: Peggy Noonan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2011 11:58 AM CDT
In this 1979 file photo, Pope John Paul II walks outside the home where he was born in Wadowice, Poland.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – John Paul II continues his speedy path to sainthood this weekend, and Peggy Noonan thinks it's well-deserved. You want miracles? How about the political one he pulled off with his 1979 visit to his native Poland. It was simultaneously one of the "greatest moments in the history of faith" and "one of the greatest moments in modern political history," writes Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. Millions turned out in the supposedly atheist state to see him, a fact that government-run TV unwisely tried to ignore.

"Everyone looked at the propaganda of the state, at its lack of truthfulness and its disrespect for reality, and they thought: It's all lies," writes Noonan. "Everything the government says is a lie. The government itself is a lie." Communism never recovered. "Some will speak of mistakes and sins in his papacy, and they are right. But saints are first of all human, and their lives are always flawed, full of contradictions, and marked by stark failures. Yet they are individuals of heroic virtue. As he was." (Click to read why Maureen Dowd disagrees.)