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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by James L White, Apr 2, 2005.
I'm not Catholic but it's still a sad day
let's keep religious talk out of the thread.
My mother just phoned me from work to tell me to tune to CNN. A sad day indeed. He was a wonderful man.
De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.
For a man who devoted his last 26 years to ending factions between faiths and encouraging the world to help the poor; godbless Pope John Paul II.
RIP John Paul II.
My family is amixture of faiths with catholic being one of them. We do not actively practice the Catholic faith but I still admire the Pope, he was truly a good man who despite being very attached to one faith did his best to accept and make peace between all the faiths. He will be remembered.
It is a sad day indeed, everywhere I go today, people are touched by his passing. RIP John Paul II
Man, what a sad day...but in a way I am glad, because he was suffering every single day.
I cant imagine the celebration in Heaven. Wow.
A very sad day indeed. I was still in highschool when he became Pope and remember him for all the good that he did throughout the years. His views weren't always popular, but I think everyone will agree that he was truly dedicated to his faith and to the human race as a whole.
Rest in peace.
Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence -- Pope John Paul II
He truly can be called "Great" for all he did during his life on this earth. May he live forever in the pressence of God.
His first words on taking the throne of St. Peter were, "Be not afraid..." That was also his message in the last weeks of his life. Asked why he didn't step down from his duties and rest, he replied, "Why didn't Christ step down from his cross?"
As a mark or respect, President Bush as ordered that American flags at all United States Government buildings, embassies, military facilities and Naval vessels be flown at half-staff until sunset of the day the Pope is interned.
The president concluded his remarks on the Pope's passing with these words:
I'd say that pretty much sums it up.
Sad day indeed. I too am not Catholic but it saddens me to hear of his passing. To say he was a great Pope would be an understatement. May he rest in peace.
I don't think a man has ever been more perfectly suited for his job than John Paul II.
In 1994 I was privileged to attend a papal audience in St. Peter's square. We had not planned it this way but I decided to attend the audience if only to see the pope in person.
Somehow I was up near the very front, right at the railing that separated the dais on the steps from the square itself. I could see the pope and he was not more than 20 feet away. Immediately to my left on the other side of the railing was a row of disabled (for lack of a better word and my apologies if it's offensive) spastics who required crash helmets and physical restraints to keep them from harming themselves. These were the inmates of an institution outside of Rome.
Toward the end of the audience the pope came down from the dais, into the light rain, his white and scarlet robes blowing in the breeze and all kinds of attendants struggling to protect him from the drizzle. Karol knelt down on the hard stone, in front of each of these disabled people, and talked to them.
I was blown away. No more than 20 feet from me the pope was kneeling in the rain, ruining his robes! He greeted each person with a smile and a blessing, talked to each person for as long as he wanted. The attendants were in a flurry taking the pope's arm to move him along as the audience was obviously going into severe overtime, but Karol would not be moved. He conversed with each person in their own time taking care to be personal, make jokes, and discuss whatever they wanted. For these 5 or 6 people he spent nearly an hour kneeling on the cold stone in what must have been awful pain yet he did not show it. His aides were so exasperated, trying to cover him with their umbrellas and, finally, folding their own coats onto the stone for John Paul to kneel on.
John Merrick, history's "Elephant Man", once said the best day of his life was when he was introduced to a Princess. The princess had been warned about how he looked, was told he was beneath being in her presence but still she wanted to meet the famous Elephant Man. Merrick wrote about this and stated that she was the only woman who greeted him without any sign of disgust. That she smiled, looked him in the eye, and talked to him as she would any other man. All her royal training was put to use that day, she would say after meeting Merrick, but for him, he was astounded and cherished the memory every day for the rest of his life.
For these severely disabled people, shuttered away in an institution, I can only describe their faces as those of people whom had just seen the face of God. As they filed past me their nurses were crying, I could hear that; but the faces! I had never before seen such a look on the faces of anyone nor have I since. That the Pope, one of the most famous and important men in the world, would take time to speak to them, greet them, laugh with them, hug and bless them like anyone else must have just been astonishing. It was such a selfless act of pure grace that I was moved to tears myself. This man was a saint. There is no doubt in my mind he will be canonized.
I may not agree with all his positions or with the theology of the Church he represents, but I believe he was a good man among his common men and spoke for the conscience of the world. His work toward the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, against tyranny in Central America, and for democracy throughout the world makes him a person worthy of respect. So few world leaders are free to speak their heart or have the moral authority to reprimand other governments and John Paul liberally used that authority. If you knew no other Pope, you wouldn't know, but it's far too common for Popes to hole-up in the Vatican, never traveling out, and only waving from a window a few times a year. They have been largely silent figures speaking only to those of their faith, speaking only rarely on world events. John-Paul's rule was a revolution in the Papacy and, overall, a force for good in a world starved of compassionate leadership. May his example stand for all future popes and, indeed, all spiritual leaders in the world at this time of religious conflict.
That's simply awesome, Jason. You couldn't have put it any more eloquently.
Like you, I had the opportunity to attend a mass officiated by John Paul II. It was during his trip to New Orleans in September 1987, and I went with my mom and a couple of friends of hers on a bus with other people to the University of New Orleans, and there were thousands of people in attendance that day. I remember it very clearly, because we were sitting in front of a group of singers who sang extremely off-key and very badly, and we were caught in the middle of an extreme downpour with no protection or cover whatsoever. But I pushed up as close as I could and got to see John Paul go by in his "pope-mobile", and I still have some pictures I took of the event to this day. While I forget what he said at the mass, it was a very rare opportunity for me.
What I also remember about that day was that of everything we took with us, the one thing that didn't get drenched in the rainstorm was my copy of the Pope John Paul comic book produced by Marvel Comics in the early 80's. Call it luck, pure blessing, divine intervention, whatever you want to call it. I still have it to this day.
To be able to say that you got to attend a mass officiated by Pope John Paul II has the same magnitude as meeting and shaking hands with the President of the U.S. (I've done that, too, when I got to meet Gerald Ford in 1976.)
Whoever his successor is, he will have a very tough act to follow indeed.
Rest in peace, Pope John Paul II. You will never be forgotten.
Your story brought a tear to my eye. Thank you.
A man like John Paul II comes by once in a lifetime, maybe. His passing is truly sad, for who knows when the next time we may see the likes of such a special, sensitive and powerful person.
As a liberal protestant I could not agree with a some of John Paul's more prominent pronouncements on theological matters, and yet I still feel a great sadness at his passing. Let's not forget the tremendous courage he showed whilst he was archbishop of Krakow. The Poles, not without reason, hold him as the saviour of their liberation from communist oppression.
I only hope the Church can elect a new Pope worthy to follow in John Paul II's very formidable footsteps.
Not a Catholic, but an admirer of John Paul's just the same. RIP, Karol, you deserve it!
Now that Teri Schiavo is dead, we've now got to move on to another 24h sideshow. What is with the "Pope on display" cam and live streaming video? This is going way too far.
quite frankly, I'd rather deal with issues around the former Pope, than the whole Terri Schiavo mess.
Not because I don't care what went on there (and is going on there), no. I do care, I keep myself informed as I see it a landmark issue.
However, John Paul II had FAR more influence and capability to move humanity towards a better place, and he did so unhesitatingly. For once, news are actually describing good things, not the usual junk about "she's pregnant" and "Prince Charles is getting married" and "next fight in congress: (insert subject any subject matter here)"... but about someone who was a true humanitarian. See Jason_Els' story above. That was the essence of his being, and something we can all aspire to. We may not have agreed with his policies (goodness knows I didn't) but I sure respected him for what he was and what he did for all of humanity.
It would be good for all of us to have insight into what made Karol tick, and perhaps consider adopting even a small part of that. If we did, I truly do believe this world would become a better place.