How do I feel about the death of the Pope? Sad, mostly. Just sad. Sure, I am a Liberal-minded non-Catholic (I stopped going to Mass when I was still in grade school, after taking First Communion). Sure, there is NO part of discouraging the use of birth control, abortions, same-sex marriage, or women in the clergy that I like. NONE of it. Nope, nope, nope. Goes against my most basic cell-deep beliefs about fairness and the meaning of life and not having others control womens' destiny. Also, respect for the earth and the troubling ticking time-bomb of human over-population that threatens all creatures and plants on this earth. No, can't say there is any part of those aspects of Catholic dogma I could agree with. Yet, I mourn the loss of Pope John Paul II, formerly Karol Josef Wojtyla.
I am sad because the Pope was a man who hated war and the Bush brutal Democracy-by-force regimen. I am sad because the Pope was a man who loved human life and dignity and supported faith above all. I am sad because the Pope was a religious man who loved and supported science too. I am sad because the Pope was a man who facilitated the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. I am sad because the Pope was a man who apologized to Muslims for the Crusades, to Jews for the lack of support during the Holocaust, and who forgave and befriended the assasin who shot him. I am sad because the Pope was a man who was a symbol of love and human rights and peace and the potential for better things to come for all mankind.
I hope good will come out of his death. I hope the Catholic church will come around to a more sensible belief about the urgent necessity for the use of birth control. I hope for women in the Catholic church to be priests in my lifetime. I hope for the church to recognize same-sex marriage. All of these reforms I wish would come to pass. Meanwhile, I hope the loving and hopeful and faithful and good side of Catholicism will continue and be recognized even by Liberal-minded folks who believe the way I do. Because times and dogma do change and because the Pope gave us much to love as well.
May the life and the memory of Pope John Paul II be an impetus for good in the world. Amen.