John Paul II,
And Global Mass Mortality
By Gideon Polya
11 April, 2005
Pope John Paul II (JPII) was evidently
a great, good and well-intentioned man who was loved by billions of
people around the world.
However JPII's "holiness" and "good intentions"
should not blind the World to the serious consequences of his actions,
especially in relation to avoidable mass mortality.
In short, JPII's dogmatic positions have greatly contributed to the
HIV/AIDS epidemic and to global mortality in general. Further, by commission
and omission, JPII "softened" or ignored perceptions of holocaust.
As outlined below, publicly-accessible data from authoritative sources
such as the UN, UNICEF, WHO and UNAIDS enable us to quantitate aspects
of horrendous global avoidable mortality of relevance to JPII.
1. JPII safe sex ban & HIV/AIDS epidemic mortality
3,000 years ago the Israelites had a sensible policy of "populate
or perish" that enabled survival in a region inhabited by violently
The primitive and literalist application of this anti-contraception
policy by JPII and the Catholic Church has been misplaced, irresponsible
The ban on condom use by JPII and the Catholic Church has contributed
to the spread of HIV/AIDS and consequent mass mortality on an enormous
The HIV/AIDS epidemic commenced in the early 1980s, shortly after the
accession of JPII (1978).
UNAIDS (2004) provides very detailed statistics via the Web on the AIDS
- 26 million total AIDS-related deaths for the period 1982-2004
- 3 million AIDS-related deaths in 2004
- 5 million newly HIV-infected cases in 2004
- 39 million people in the World presently infected with HIV
HIV/AIDS has flow-on socio-economic consequences and thus further contributes
to avoidable mortality in the World.
2. JPII, anti-contraception & global mass mortality
The resolute opposition to contraception by JPII and the Catholic Church
has had a major Third World impact in relation to high birth rates,
maternal mortality, infant mortality, resource over-exploitation, the
crisis in global sustainability, poverty and mass mortality - as well
as to the spread of HIV/AIDS.
20 million people die AVOIDABLY each year in the World due to deprivation
or malnourishment-exacerbated avoidable and treatable disease.
In a wider time-frame, the total post-1950 avoidable mortality has been
1.3 billion for the World and 1 billion for the Third World.
Further, the total post-1950 under-5 infant mortality has been 0.9 billion
for the World and 0.8 billion for the non-European World (see: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gpolya/links.html).
3. Latin American infant mortality & JPII opposition
to "liberation theology"
JPII repeatedly opposed socially-conscious, "liberation theology"
Catholic priests in Latin America and elsewhere who realized that practical
alleviation of human suffering would involve their participation in
politics and support for socialist remedies. JPII's opposition to "liberation
theology" had the practical effect of supporting US hegemony and
US-backed, human rights-abusing regimes in Latin America and elsewhere.
Despite 4 decades of US economic blockade, Communist Cuba has excellent
adult literacy and excellent primary health care with the result that
under-5 infant mortality in Cuba is among the lowest in the Americas
and indeed in the World as a whole.
Post-1950 under-5 infant mortality can be expressed as a ratio with
respect to the 2004 population for individal Latin American countries
and for the whole of Latin America. Thus the ratio for Cuba has been
0.3 million/11 million (3.1%) whereas the ratio has been 51.9 million/517
million (10.0%) for Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole. We can
readily calculate that US hegemony and the denial of Cuban-style primary
health care and literacy has robbed 36 million Latin American infants
under the age of 5 of the "right to life" (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya061204.htm).
4. JPII & "softening" the Jewish Holocaust
The Jewish Holocaust killed 6 million people. Of the 6 million Poles
who perished in World War 2 about half were non-Jewish - but, unlike
Jews, non-Jewish Poles were not specifically targetted by the Nazis.
JPII repeatedly offended Jewish people through his so-called "Christianizing"
of the Holocaust (and thereby "softening" its anti-semitic
specificity); his urgent support for the beatification of Pope Pius
XII (who is controversial because of his silence in the face of the
Jewish Holocaust); his beatification of Croatian war-time Archbishop,
Cardinal Stepinac (convicted as a war criminal for guilt by association
with horrendous Croatian war-crimes against Jews, Gypsies and Serbs);
and the award of a papal knighthood to Nazi Wehrmacht officer and "minor"
war criminal, Kurt Waldheim.
The response of humanity to any holocaust must be unequivocal in order
to minimize the probability of recurrence. Indeed it can be argued that
"softening" of holocausts (for what ever reason) can be more
insidious and dangerous than explicit 'holocaust denial" which
would attract immediate rejection from decent people.
5. JPII, passive genocide & contemporary holocaust denial
JPII and the Catholic Church have an outstanding record of humanitarian
concern and action around the World. However, as outlined above, actions
of JPII and the Catholic Church - especially in relation to contraception
- have massively contributed to global mortality.
Nevertheless JPII did take political actions against major powers -
thus he is given major credit for the collapse of Communism in Eastern
Europe and he opposed the US invasion of Iraq.
The militarily- and economically-dominant First World (notably the US)
effectively "rules" the Third World and thus has a major responsibility
for the horrendous post-1950 avoidable mortality in non-European countries.
Avoidable mass mortality of subject people through non-provision of
key life-support requisites constitutes "passive genocide"
by the rulers (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-polya110305.htm).
The 0.8 billion post-1950 under-5 infant mortality in the First World-dominated
Third World has been avoidable and thus surely constitutes the greatest
crime in human history - however this horrendous passive genocide is
effectively ignored by Anglo-American mainstream media and the World
in a continuing process of egregious holocaust denial.
JPII was in reality the most important moral authority in the World
over the last quarter century but, like Pius XII, failed to address
the slaughter of the innocents. JPII banned contraception and abortion,
arguing for the "right to life" of the unborn - but he evidently
failed to effectively insist on the "right to life" of "born"
infants. JPII did appeal for global humanity but failed to address First
World passive genocide in the Third World.
JPII's epitaph might well have been the aphorism of Edmund Burke: All
that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
We are responsible for what we do and for what we fail to do.
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific
career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical
Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (Taylor & Francis, New
York & London, 2003), and is currently writing a book on global
mortality (numerous articles on this matter can be found by a simple
Google search for "Gideon Polya" and on his website: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~gpolya/links.html)
Dr Gideon Polya
29 Dwyer Street, Macleod, Melbourne, Victoria, 3085, Australia
Day & night telephone: +61 3 9459 3649