Peggy Noonan: John Paul II and his prescient Letter to Women

Sometimes you have to take a step back, remove yourself from the moment, and try to ground yourself in what is true, elevated, even eternal. Let’s do that.

The week has lent itself to a feeling of instability. The president has deliberately added to the rancor and tension of his nation’s daily life, lurching in his tweets from mischief to malice to a kind of psychopathology—personal attacks, insinuations, videos from a group labeled racist by the British government. You always want to say he has reached peak crazy, but you know there’s a higher peak on the horizon. What will Everest look like? He has no idea how to be president.

More men of the media have fallen in the reckoning over sexual abuse, most famously a bright, humorous, ratings-busting veteran anchorman, who reportedly had a switch on his desk that locked his office door so he could molest the women he’d trapped inside. He had no idea how to be a man.

Here is something to ground us in the good: Pope John Paul II’s 1995 Letter to Women, sent to the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing. As a document it has more or less fallen through history’s cracks.

Here is something to ground us in the good: Pope John Paul II’s 1995 Letter to Women, sent to the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing. As a document it has more or less fallen through history’s cracks. But it’s deeply pertinent to this moment and was written with pronounced warmth by a man who before he became a priest hoped to be a playwright.

To continue reading this column from The Wall Street Journal, click here.