Ted Lipien, author of “Wojtyla’s Women: How They Shaped the Life of Pope John Paul II and Changed the Catholic Church,” said that Sarah Palin can be described as a New Feminist Christian woman who has followed the most important rules for marriage and families set by the Polish Pontiff. Link to

www.tedlipien.com/index.htm  September 10, 2008, San Francisco – Ted Lipien, who wrote a book about the role of remarkable women in the life of Pope John Paul II, said that the late leader of the Catholic Church would have liked Sarah Palin’s positions on abortion, marriage, family life, and motherhood, and would have approved of her accomplishments as a Christian politician and her work outside of the home.

According to Ted Lipien, Pope John Paul II generally approved of professional careers for women as long as they did not interfere with their duties as wives and mothers. One of the late Pope’s closest collaborators and advisors on the use of contraceptives was a female medical doctor, ex-prisoner of  Nazi concentration camps and victim of Nazi medical experiments on women, Dr. Wanda Poltawska. After World War II, she married and raised a family while maintaining an active psychiatric practice in Krakow. She and Cardinal Wojtyla worked together to establish homes for unwed mothers and she trained women in using natural birth control methods. Cardinal Wojtyla, who for many years was a philosophy professor at the Catholic University in Lublin, also promoted academic careers of several nuns.

Ted Lipien, who interviewed Cardinal Wojtyla shortly before he became pope, noted, however, that the Polish Pontiff was strongly opposed to many Western liberal views on women and did not approve of the use of the pill and other artificial contraceptives. On the use of contraception, Sarah Palin’s position may not be totally in line with the view held of Pope John Paul II.

The Polish Pontiff once said that “social advancement of women has in it a little bit of truth but also a great deal of error,” and was strongly opposed to ordaining women priests. But he also held progressive views on issues relating to marriage and sex and in one of his early books wrote approvingly of the role of sex in marriage and even stressed the importance of female orgasm. He incorporated these views into his theology of the body teachings. He promoted his Christian vision of “New Feminism,” which accepted many of the positions of the feminist movement but also rejected many of the views held by secular feminists, particularly those who supported Marxist feminism.

John Paul II insisted that abortion is not justified even in case of rape, a position which Sarah Palin apparently also shares. He strongly supported legislation banning abortion and did not consider Catholic politicians who are pro choice as truly Christian and Catholic. He would not consider as acceptable a statement from Senator Joe Biden, a Catholic who is a strong supporter of  Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, that personally he is prepared to accept the Catholic Church teaching that life begins at conception but is still pro choice.

According to Ted Lipien, John Paul II would have been appalled that the majority of Catholic politicians who competed in the 2008 presidential primaries have been strongly pro-choice, including:  Senator Biden (D), Christopher Dodd (D), Rudolph Giuliani (R), Dennis Kucinich (D), and Bill Richardson (D). Only Senator Sam Brownback (R) and Alan Keyes (R), among former candidates who are Catholic, are pro-life.

Barak Obama (D), Hillary Clinton (D), Sarah Palin (R) and Senator McCain (R) belong to Protestant Christian Churches. Both Obama and Clinton are strongly pro-choice, while both McCain and Palin are pro-life.

On other social issues, including health care for the poor, social security, immigration, and the death penalty, Pope John Paul II held strongly liberal views, according to Ted Lipien.  John Paul II once said that the United States was “a continent marked by competition and aggressiveness, unbridled consumerism and corruption.” In addition to abortion, John Paul II was particularly troubled by the growing support among Americans for ordination of women priests and social and legal acceptance of gay marriages.

Ted Lipien’s book “Wojtyla’s Women: How They Shaped the Life of Pope John Paul II  and Changed the Catholic Church” is now available on Amazon. Ted Lipien, who has worked for over 30 years as an international journalist and was director of the Polish Service of the Voice of America (VOA), also describes in his book how the Polish communist secret police fabricated a diary in an attempt to convince Western journalists  that Cardinal Wojtyla had an affair with a woman associate. He also describes how communist agents spied on the Pope in Krakow and at the Vatican.

Ted Lipien is now president of media freedom nonprofit FreeMediaOnline.org.  He lives in San Francisco. For more information about the book, visit Ted Lipien’s website: TedLipien.com.

This post may be republished with attribution to TedLipien.com.

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