WASHINGTON (CNS): Two top foreign policy officials in the administration of the late US President Ronald Reagan have said he and Pope John Paul II shared information about the Cold War but did not engage in co-ordinated actions to topple the Soviet bloc.
“We were more interested in having the Pope on our side and not in having him do something for us,” said Edward Rowny, President Reagan’s main adviser and negotiator on nuclear arms talks.
Richard V. Allen, who was President Reagan’s 1981-82 national security adviser, said there was “a convergence of interests” but not an alliance between the United States and the Vatican during the Reagan presidency.
Mr Reagan was president from 1981-89, a period that saw the Soviet Union lose its political hold on its East European allies, which led to the eventual break up of the Soviet Union and the peaceful end of communist governments in the Soviet bloc. Pope John Paul was elected in October 1978.
Both are considered pivotal figures in ending the Cold War. There often has been speculation that President Reagan and the Pope – both strongly anti-communist – worked together to topple communist rule in Europe.