With all the death and destruction that he witnessed firsthand at the beginning of the 20th century. I understand why he so fervently opposes abortion. He sees it as a holocaust of innocent children. He projects the sounds of their silent screams and thinks of his friends who he couldn't save from the Nazis.
However, I am still deeply confounded by John Paul's assertion that using contraception is fundamentally an evil act which is part of the "Culture of Death". I don't understand how I am disrespecting life by not choosing to put my body in the position of cranking out babies one after the next. I'm not killing anything by using contraception. I don't understand how a man using a condom to protect himself and his partner from AIDS is not part of the "Culture of Death". How does using a condom to prevent the spread of a dreadful disease offend God?
While I disagree with John Paul about the contraception (and women's place in society), I repect his striving against the biggest moral problems of this century. He used his position as the head of the Catholic church to change the church's teaching on anti-semitism. He taught that anti-semitism is a sin. He has tried to lead us away from the worst aspects of hatred and inhumanity within us.