Former US President Jimmy Carter has disclosed that he had angry exchanges with Pope John Paul II about liberation theology and about the ordination of women.
The former president said that he complained to the Pontiff about the Church’s “perpetuation of the subservience of women” while Blessed John Paul II was visiting the US in 1978, and “there was more harshness when we turned to the subject of ‘liberation theology.” Carter said that he classified the Pope as a “fundamentalist,” placing him in that category along with Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini.
In the same interview Carter said that “it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies,” although he suggested—“maybe arbitrarily”—that churches should not be required by law to solemnize same-sex unions.
Carter made his remarks as he introduced a new edition of the Bible with his own study notes, helping readers to follow his understanding of the Scriptures.
Commentary. Jimmy Carter was America’s worst President after Franklin Pierce, but his politics aside, his attack against the late great Pope is simply abhorrent and reprehensible, for if this happened the way Carter said it did – and I haven’t seen any reference to it in many biographies of the late Pope – such an exchange reveals new cracks in the character of the former U.S. President.
Through his myriad of writings, Blessed John Paul went out of his way to explain his vision of God and of man and woman, the virtues of liberty and the moral obligations and responsibilities underlying it. He went out of his way to explain, exhort, and preach by word and example the Gospel of Jesus Christ to millions of people throughout the globe. Mr. Carter’s admissions reveal that he never bothered to ascertain and appreciate the views of Pope John Paul and of his teaching, much less to state his disagreement with Blessed John Paul in a civilized manner, befitting a man of supposed Christian conscience.
Carter appears to have made a quick judgment of the Pope’s character and views back in 1978, sticking with his distorted views of the Pope all the way down to his sunset years. It is the cusp of pretension that the former President now feels himself sufficiently qualified to comment on Scripture. His commentary without a doubt will help assuage the consciences of all “progressives” and justify their repudiation of objective moral truth and follow every whim, now with the sanction of a man cloaked in a supposedly superior “Christian” morality.
I have good friends and even mentors who admire Mr. Carter. I never understood why. I hope they now see my reluctance to applaud this man who has strayed so far from Christian truth and who will now mislead millions more into many a lie.