Sunday, 4.3.05: Arrivederci, Papa
The Pope is dead. He was a personally conservative man born to
troubled times. He matured under the demon regimes of Nazism and
Communism. He was a surprising pick for Pope -- a Pole who was a
It made for an interesting papacy -- international, with a continuing
rage against tyranny. He reached out to other religions and apologized
for Catholicism at it cruelest or blindest. He was educated and
Still, he was blind to some of the current cruelties of the Church -- no
stem-cell research, no condoms to help prevent AIDS, no women on the
altar. And a refusal to drive out pedophilia among priests by allowing
And so he was a complex all-too-human being. He did good for the world
in broad brushstrokes, while Catholics quietly ignored his conservative
doctrine and became New Agists or Unitarians.
Who will the next guy be? In today's world, I doubt it will be a
liberal. If only for cynical financial reasons, the Church could use
someone who will bring Catholics back to the collection box. But John
Paul may have erred in appointing too many Catholic fundamentalists to
the College of Cardinals. But who knows -- maybe there is a Latin
American Cardinal who could surprise everyone.
The next few weeks will be interesting ones.