Sunday, April 03, 2005


The first time I can remember being told of Pope John Paul II was of the attempted assassination, where he was shot, spent two months in hospital and then went to visit the assassin, and offer forgiveness. How many of our world leaders would do the same? How many of us would? I admit it difficult to imagine myself doing that – but then that’s what makes him the icon and role model he is – to inspire people to be the best they can be, and more and better than they are now. And on the other hand, he has asked forgiveness for the Church for mistakes to the Jewish community, and if I’m not mistaken, the Spanish Inquisition.

Many of the younger generation will likely find the conservative stance and policies difficult to accept, but essentially, I’ve regarded John Paul as a leader, a guide, a good man, more than a determiner of doctrine. He welcomed the young, speaking to them and being open enough for them to ask questions like “What do you call your holy-water shaker, and have you accidentally hit anyone on the head with it?”

His endurance as recent as last week has been amazing – most people in his condition would have thrown in the towel long ago, rather than be seen so publicly as suffering. The media, and even the clergy, have described his current position as being symbolic of accepting suffering, and that there is dignity even in approaching death. I think that his true legacy will be in forgiveness, and the dignity we can all achieve in living.

He earned two doctorates, spoke eight languages, and is loved by millions.


~tengman.k.~ said...


I respect the Pope a lot too. Maybe part of it is as 'scientific chauvinism' in that I think a lot of his stance towards the Church's suppression of figures such as Darwin and Gallileo. But other things, like his endurance, and some of the gestures he's made to other communities are really inspiring.

eg9 said...

...he's been an interesting Pope. And probably as radical as a Pope can be, what with having to still stick to the doctrines and theologicall morass that constitute the backbone of Catholic 'faith' to its millions.

Changing the insular outlook a few things without shaking the foundations from beneath people too much.

Saintedge said...

an interesting write up on an even more interesting, inspiring and beloved leader of the Catholic church.

while his death saddens all, yet there's this sense of peace all around. Pope John Paul II will be missed. Amen.