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Woza John Paul II

I am not a Catholic. The faith has always fascinated me, but primarily by anecdote, I prefer to hear people talk about it and tell stories to seeking out books to study it. While I was watching the live coverage on CNN, they kept talking about how much the world has changed since he was made Pope and how much more quickly news spreads in this day and age. I couldn't help reflecting on the fact I first heard about his death from reading the journal of a friend in Norway. I also spent time asking Mark what he was thinking and remembered. I finally decided to stop bugging him and bug the world in general with questions like this -

When the Pope dies, is there kind of a feeling of being rudderless? Is there a sense of being without a leader?

Do you remember the Pope visiting your hometown? What was that like? Was the Mass just cooler because HE was there?

Do you think the next Pope will be from Latin America?

Yeah, I feel odd asking things like this. I feel like a little kid trying to suss out the natural world by asking why the sky is blue, but I'm curious how other people feel and think about all this.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)
I can't imagine what it will be like for the next Pope--such an enormous history to follow. How do you make your own mark when such a lasting one has just passed?

I guess I'm still a little shocked to think of who would be next.I am intrigued with the process, though.

Thank you for your comment on my post, too.
Apr. 3rd, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)
I'm catholic, but i guess you'd call me a non practicing catholic.
I go to church for weddings, funerals christening etc.

For the last several years i have thought that the "church" needs to be updated in order to attract the younger people.
Married priests, woman priest etc.

The Pope, was pretty darn cool, he did alot of good. And i think the process will be interesting, something none of us have ever witness because we were all most likely too young to remember.

I guess in a sense its electing a world representative for religion.. its huge.

I felt sad when i watched the coverage. I'm not sure why?
Maybe its about the death, or about how many ppl are saddened.. i dunnno.
Apr. 4th, 2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
I did too - I think it is partly the outpouring of grief, it's hard not to feel empathy for that, and I think it's partly the sense of occasion and the way the media is behaving as though he meant something special to everyone no matter who they are.
Apr. 5th, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
yeah and to see the ppl gathered at the Vatican was unreal too!
Apr. 3rd, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
Rudderless...no, not really. there is such a strong tradition for a smooth transfer of power. The faith doesn't change, just the leader. Catholicism is different from many American Protestant churches because it isn't a cult of personality based around one living person (think Prevo, or Falwell, or Bakker). So, being without a Pope for a while, in this age, doesn't mean everything has to stop. Most decisions as to how to pray and what to believe have already been made, and when things do change, it doesn't happen over night. So, I don't feel lost, but I do feel a loss, especially as an intellectual Polish Catholic who was damn proud of the first Polish Pope. While I'm not fond of his conservative views on the faith, his actions as a humanitarian and champion for human rights and democracy I think he was exceptional and will be a very hard act to follow. The new Pope must now be an intellectual, have pastoral experience,a nd be willing to travel the wolrd to work to bring peace, regardless of denomination. I am very grateful for that change.

As for who the next Pope will be...I think he'll come from Africa. italy and Germany are my second and third bets. An African Pope, and a convert at that, would be the only thing more surprising than a Polish Pope and just look how that turned out.
Apr. 3rd, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC)

Ok, I'm Catholic, but I don't feel rudderless. In fact I was waiting for the day. Not because I wished the man ill-will, but because I thought it was time for a younger man to take over simply because he may have more contemporary views on certain issues.

Let me clarify: I was raised Catholic, but I'm not very fond of organized religion. I also think that only in humankind's arrogance can we presume to tell ourselves what "god" is.

As for your other questions? No clue. The highest ranking priest that I've ever met was an arch-bishop. I have no idea who will be named, but I imagine it's already someone in his inner-circle of Cardinals and Bishops and such...
Apr. 5th, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)
Gee, I've been sort of asking myself this same question(s). Ok, crap, he was the pope, that's a big deal. And yeah he was cool about telling world leaders to try to develop a little morality. I'm not buying the apologist thing though.

Oh he admitted the church was wrong about Galileo and the holocaust and the inquisition, that's so great.


Maybe it is a big deal to admit you were wrong about things - especially out loud. But come on, he apologised for the crusades! Dude, that was 800 years ago!

Understand of course that I'm also a severely lapsed Catholic. In fact I often refer to myself as a recovering Catholic. Don't we all have enought guilt in our lives? Do we really still have to pay for the fact that Eve really wanted to know what the fuck was going on in the world and her dumbass husband just ate the fruit because she handed it to him?

Do I mourn JP? Well, he never backed down from an opinion and you have to admire that. But by the same token he was a strong voice in perpetuating the idea that not just abortion, but birth control is wrong. Not only do I not see a moral basis on which to support the idea that birth control is immoral (even for married couples!!!), but in some ways think not supporting birth control is immoral itself.

I've ranted enough but I hope that may give you some perspective on one semi-sorta Catholic's feelings.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )