- John Paul II will be remembered as a great Pope for many reasons, not the least of which will be his standing as the 20th Century's dominating prophet of freedom. In his encyclical Centesimus Annus (CA), for example, the Holy Father insisted that "the good of the individual [cannot] be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil." Elsewhere in CA, he further affirmed that "the transcendent dignity of the human person who, as the visible image of the invisible God, is therefore by his very nature the subject of rights which no one may violate...."
In the economic sphere, John Paul's philosophical and theological commitment to human dignity and freedom, no doubt coupled with his personal experience of Nazi and Communist tyranny, led him to decisively break Catholic social teaching's flirtation with command economies and, indeed, Marxism.
Prophet of Freedom
Stephen Bainbridge explains how the pope steered Catholicism away from Marxism: