I remember distinctly being a small child at St. Joseph's and sitting in a classroom watching a TV on an AV cart show the traditional picture of the chimeny smoke signifying his election to supreme Pontiff. John Paul II was a Pope on a mission. I think he had two real goals of which one wasaccomplished and the other was set into steady motion:
- He new from his personal experience with it in his native Poland that Communism was inherently both evil and an unnatural state for a human society. Through both his appearances there and his forcing the building of the cathedral there, he showed all the people trapped in communist countries that they had real power and that the State could not truly kill human nature en masse. This not only what he called the inevitable fall of communism, but also set him as a true world leader in a secular sense of the word, hopefully the new Pope will realize and use the geopolitical momentum that John Paul II gave him.
- He recognized the fractured nature of various religions, christian and otherwise. He was the first to stop trying to evangelize, but instead to pro-actively seek common ground fwith them for building a better world. It will take all religions working together to fight the secularism this world is sinking into. The in-fighting must stop and together we must realize that it is our religious, moral, and ethical principles that must be used to guide our decisions even political ones. Here in the United States we mis-interpret the Constitution's true intent for the separation of church and state. The intent was to prevent the government from squashing religion, but that's exactly what isbeing done through that very provision.
I've been sitting here all night working and watching the coverage on FOX of this story, it saddens me to see his passing. As both a Catholic and a human being, he was a good man.
As an aside...It is my hope that an American is not elected is not elected as the supreme Pontiff. It seems to me that even the Priests of our country are too infected with the self-gratifying search for approval and self-justification that permeates today's United States.