Forty years ago, the man who became John Paul II

His contribution to personalist philosophy is also remarkable. 

On October 16, 1978 “the eminent cardinals called a new bishop of Rome; they called him from a distant country … “: these are the first words pronounced by Karol Wojtyla when, as soon as he was elected Pope of the Catholic Church under the name of John Paul II, he faces a crowded and anxious St.Peter’s Square. Undisputed protagonist of the twentieth century, Wojtyla has known widely and dramatically the meaning of totalitarianism, having suffered both personally and as a Polish nation.  There is no doubt that having known the suppression of all freedom has influenced the thought of Wojtyla as a priest as well as a philosopher. His pontificate is certainly remembered for the numerous apostolic visits made in every corner of the planet, but also for the attack suffered in 1981, as well as for the perseverance with which he continued to lead the Church to the last breath exhaled at 9:37 pm of April 2, 2005. To the most escapes, however, the great contribution that Karol Wojtyla has provided in the philosophical field with his works centered on personalist anthropology: his attention is directed above all to man as a knowing and free subject, in which the subjectivity of the human being emerges and it becomes concrete when man understands what he experiences, that is, he self-perceives himself as responsible for his own actions. In a text of 1972, titled “Man in the field of responsibility”, the future John Paul II says: “The point of intersection between ethics and anthropology is found in the experience of morality which reveals itself as the essential aspect of the person through action “. A concept that unites him to Antonio Rosmini, an imposing nineteenth-century theologian. Man, therefore, as a rational creature, has the ability to know the truth and to search for the good. It is interesting to mention at least three encyclicals in which it is easy to find these concepts. In the Redemptor hominis of 1979 it is written “the need for an honest relationship to the truth, as a condition of authentic freedom; and the warning to avoid any apparent freedom, every superficial and one-sided freedom, every freedom that does not penetrate the truth about man and the world “. In the Fide set ratio of 1998 there is a strong warning not to forget that “the oblivion of being inevitably involves the loss of contact with objective truth and, consequently, with the foundation on which the dignity of man rests”. Finally, in the Veritas Splendor of 1993 the message clear that “the truth illuminates intelligence and informs human freedom”.

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