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By Monika Jablonska, Crisis Magazine, October 16, 2020
Pope John Paul II once said that, “In the designs of Providence, there are no more coincidences.” That is one way to explain why a Polish pope, dedicated above all to defending the dignity of the human person, would step onto the world stage just as the most powerful country on earth was about to elect a president, Ronald Reagan, unwaveringly committed to the cause of freedom. One became the spiritual leader of the world; the other the political leader of the free world. Both of them joined forces to overthrow Communism.
On June 7th, 1982, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II met for the first time at the Vatican Library, where they talked for about an hour. As John O’Sullivan, a senior speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher, observed: “It is almost certain that both men were entirely candid. Each saw the other as a natural ally, and this could have been their only opportunity to compare notes in person … What was important—and it turned out to be very important—was that Reagan had convinced the pope that he was sincerely committed to peace and disarmament and that these commitments would shape his policy.” …