Monday, April 04, 2005

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

I am not Catholic. In fact I am at the remote reaching ends of the Protestant denomination. I know little of the Catholic Church. The one thing I do know, however, is that the Pope was a good man.

I remember him being voted in and watching on the television in 1978 the white smoke signaling his selection. I remember in 1979 his visit back to his homeland, Poland, and the spark that set off “solidarity”. I remember in 1981 when he was shot by a young Turk, and his forgiving position when he was granted clemency by the then Italian President, and extradited to his native Turkey.

I remember him calling for the U.S. and Soviet Union to end the arms race. I remember him taking a stance on abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human embryos. I remember him facing resentment from leaders as he met with those less accepted in the ‘world stage’.

I remember his attempts to re-unite the church urging reconciliation between the Vatican and the Egyptian Coptic Church, which split with Rome in the fifth century A.D. I remember him going after those in his charge stating there is "no place in priesthood for those who would harm the young."

I remember him for a lot of things, striving for peace and morality, etc. Mostly I remember over the years considering his opinions and thinking that the Catholic Church has a great man for their leader.
Today I remember him for his fight “until the end”. Today I pray him welcome in heaven with the words from God he deserves. “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

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