Why the silence?

A great historical and religious figure passes away, yet it is barely spoken of here on SEB. Why? Are you afraid to admit that while he was a bit too conservative and a bit prejudice against gays, he really was a great guy? Are you just lost for words?

Sure, the anti-gay rhetoric pissed me off, but Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, he forgave the guy who tried to kill him!

People want him to be made a saint. That’s silly; he doesn’t need the title ‘Saint’. Giving the meaning of Saint (from Latin Santo, meaning ‘holy’), I’d say he’s holy enough without an extra title.

The conclave (pronounced ‘cone-clah-vay’) begins in one week. Giving historical trends in pope elections, the next pope will probably, hopefully be a bit more liberal.

As long as it’s not an American pope. Then we’d have a 5th Crusade. I vote for the Pope form County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Ireland is Catholic town, it’s time for an Irish pope.

So long, JP2. I’m sure at least a few of us at SEB will miss you.

12 thoughts on “Why the silence?

  1. I haven’t said anything because, honestly, I don’t have anything to say. That’s usually a sign that I’m ambivalent about the topic in question. I don’t think Pope John Paul II was the worst Pope that’s ever been, but I don’t necessarily think he was all that great either.

    I think the next Pope should be named Pope John Paul George Ringo. He could be the Fab Four Pope.

  2. I’ve already commented on his passing elsewhere here (I forget where and I’m too lazy to look it up).

    Like Les, I’m ambivalent.  One thing I will say: it pisses me off to read rightwing paeans to Ronald Reagan for having dealt the deathblow to the Soviet Empire.  Nonsense- RR just happened to be there rattling his sabre when it collapsed under its own weight.  If anyone deserves credit, it’s Gorbachov, Walesa, and yes, JPII.  A definite plus for the papacy.

  3. I’m reluctant to formally title anyone with “the Great” (or “Saint,” for that matter) for at least a decade or four.  History demands that much breathing space to get away from the euphoria (and negativity).

    I doubt we’ll see an Irish pope.  Given the demographics, I’d expect someone from Latin America, or perhaps Africa.  And, sadly, I doubt he’ll be more liberal; all but three of the voting cardinals were named to that post by John Paul II himself.

  4. Not much to say about JPII here either.  Some are calling him “the best Pope the Jews ever had,” although not everyone agrees with that. 

    Some are arguing that, like Ronald Reagan, he actually had little to do with ending communism in eastern Europe.

    Yeah, he forgave his would-be assassin, but he also apparently forgave Cardinal Law (that is, assuming he felt he’d done anything requiring forgiveness). 

    But mostly, I’m sure he meant a great deal to a lot of people, but he’s not MY religious leader.  I note his passing with interest, just as much as others would that of, say, the Dalai Lama, but I think actually the Dalai Lama has inspired me just a bit more by his example.

  5. “If anyone deserves credit, it’s Gorbachov, Walesa, and yes, JPII.  A definite plus for the papacy.”

    I recently did a big poli-sci project on the collapse of the USSR, and not once did I find a reference to the pope having any major role in it.  I may have missed something, but I read about a dozen books, so I suspect the his role is overrated.

  6. If you read a dozen books with no mention of the Pope and Solidarnosc, the authors were missing something.  While the amount of JPII’s influence may be debated, he was deeply loved in Poland, and his support for Lech Walesa and critical stance against the Communist regime of Jaruzelski certainly played a role in the crumbling of Soviet power in Europe.

  7. I found that his death was a good occasion to do a shot of tequila and toast another dead guy.
    To the Pope!
    tongue laugh

  8. It may be suprising to someone that thinks he was a great guy, but he was totally irrelevent/minor nuisance to a lot of Americans. To others he was a contibutor to suffering. The Catholic teachings against contaceptives has been a major factor in the spread of AIDS in some countries. And his total lack of leadership when it came to the abuse of children wasn’t something that brings to mind the word “great”. In my case the lack of comment has been in following with my mothers teaching of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  9. What Valhalla said… and to add that the man was put on a very high pedestal and deserved a deep ditch to stand in.

    Too, a feeling that I hinted at in my “An Irreverent Bet” entry and didn’t make clear, is that he was used and incredibly so. He was a rights giver for dangerous intents and a go-between and basically a tool others used to comfort themselves.

    There’s nothing respectable about a stupid moves enabler.

  10. Geekmom, your links were very appropriate in illustrating the whitewashing that is going on right now.

    And I forgot to mention before, it is conclave (‘kän-“klAv). It may be pronounced differently in a language other than english, but that doesn’t effect how we pronounce the word. Similarly we have the word Volkswagen, in german it is FOlks-V&gen, but that isn’t how we pronounce that word.

  11. I enjoyed Happy Ahmed’s piece on the pope’s passing at Rum and Monkey.  Didn’t go in for the battle fetuses, but the whole race scene had me laughing my ass off.

    They’re on a pope theme right now.

    – On learning that Papal elections aren’t democratic, President Bush threatened to add the Vatican to the Axis of Evil. Mr. Bush said, ‘The citizens of Vatican City do not live in a democracy, but rather an oligarchic, gerontocratic, possibly anarchic, despotic dictatorship. This cannot be tolerated by a freedom-loving country like the United Skates of Americana. Freedom’. People were amazed at his unusual eloquence until it emerged that he was recently given ’Word of the Day’ toilet paper as an early birthday present.

    Rum and Monkey

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