Thursday, April 14, 2005

I can't believe I forgot to mention the Pope!

Sandra didn't forget to mention the pontiff's passing; and seeing her post reminded me to post.

But what to say that hasn't already been said? Stuff like:

* It's only really when someone dies you get to learn of their impact on history.

* John Paul did the most for the Vatican's foreign relations - I mean, when was the last time the Economist's cover story was about the future of the Catholic church?

* John Paul was a bridge-builder as well as a line-drawer. He made the most contact with Jews and Muslims, as well as continuing the work of ecumenism, while still retaining his strong stances on other issues. That takes guts and a sure knowledge of where you stand on something. What little I've read of him shows he studied to arrive at a position, didn't just decide that was what he believed. I may be wrong there, but that's the impression I get.

* Other media commentators have also noted how the coverage has been almost entirely positive. It's like everyone's a closet Catholic. I can't remember who it was but they were saying when George Bush or Queen Elizabeth die they won't get this sort of media attention.

* Because John Paul paid so much attention to foreign relations, the bar is raised for his successor. Who will be the right person to walk that tightrope between religion and politics?

Should be interesting to watch...


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