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By Patrick Novecosky, Crisis Magazine, September 14, 2020

Patrick Novecosky is a media relations professional and freelance writer. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and five children. His new book is 100 Ways John Paul II Changed the World (Our Sunday Visitor, 2020).

Patrick NovecoskyFrom his first Mass as pope to the last days of his life,
 John Paul II often repeated what became a primary theme of his pontificate: “Be not afraid!” At the heart of this call was that all people — Christians and non-Christians — should not fear to open their hearts completely to Jesus Christ, allowing him to transform them from within. It was a call to conversion and repentance. So, when Joe Biden quoted the former pope last week, exhorting Americans to “be not afraid,” it raised the hackles of a good number of faithful Catholics.

“The campaign for the presidency has come down to fear,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh. “But I believe Americans are stronger than that. I believe we’ll be guided by the words of Pope John Paul II, words drawn from the scriptures: ‘Be not afraid. Be not afraid.’” The same quote now appears in a Biden-Harris television spot.  …

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