Friday, April 08, 2005

John Paul the Great...

This morning I got up early to watch the funeral for Pope John Paul II. This was a fantastic and fitting ending to such a great man. No other person in our time could have brought so many world leaders to one place for an event. There will most likely never be a person like Pope John Paul II again. He was a man that grew up in a religiously segregated country, lived through the Second World War, saw his friends taken to camps, himself put into forced labor, saw his country fall to Communism, survive an assassination attempt, and go on to visit 130 countries. He was not the disciplinarian that many previous Popes had been. He always saw the glass as half full, not half empty. He connected with the rich as well as the poor, the developed countries and the third world countries, the old and the young.
Who ever succeeds Pope John Paul II will have tremendous shoes to fill. He will have to deal with a shrinking world and an increasing population. He will have to lead the church in a modern era and unstable time. He will have to continue to build on what Pope John Paul II had created. He will have to be a man that the world’s Roman Catholics can turn to in a time of need and crisis. He will face many challenges from both inside and outside the Roman Catholic Church. Many Catholics in the United States want to see priests be able to marry and have families. They also want to see woman allowed to become priests. This is not too likely in the very near future in my opinion, but in our society of instant gratification and equal rights we will hear this issue brought up often. I don’t know if this is a big issue in other countries or not. Right now the American Roman Catholic Church still has a black eye from the priest molestation and sexual abuse scandal and probably have to clean up its image before they begin demanding changes. Already some on TV are saying the financial power of the American Catholics will force these changes. Sounds typically American to try to “buy” a solution to a problem. If and when the Vatican feels it’s time for such changes they will be made. The next Pope will certainly have to hit the ground running.
There is a saying that people pray on our time and God answers them on his…


Blogger Dick Maag said...

Am in complete agreement with your comments. The next Pope, I believe, should come with a similar background, having grown up and taken up his priestly duties in a country that has experienced hardships, and only recently emerged to be part of the more connected world. Such a background would mean a Pope who, too, would reach out to the rest of the world as John Paul did. America reaches out in many fine ways, but often too aggressively. Europeans (the old core - France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Great Britain)move much too slowly.
Dick, Pinehurst

9:25 PM  

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