Il Pape!

The Pope has been called home, as you probably already know. And you might recall I’m a Catholic, even a reasonably devout one.

I took the children to a memorial mass and said the Rosary with them for the Pope on Sunday (adding our voices to the din, as it were).

I’m grieving over the loss of the Holy Father, to be sure, but it’s not as heart-wrenching as I thought it would be. Mostly, because I’ve been prepared for it for a very long time– I didn’t think he’d live as long as he had when his health started to seriously decline about three years ago. It’s kind of like watching a loved one quietly pass away after a long illness.

I’ll definitely miss him.. he was truly a great Pope, outshining the merely good ones that preceded him.

Farewell, and go to your home know you have lived a long and illustrious life.
Can anyone ask for more?

I have to wonder at where the Church will go after this. The WRONG move would be to nominate a hard-ass, three steps back candidate that gets mired in the dogma. One of JPII’s great strengths was that he never lost sight of the role of the Church, especially for families.. he did not bend on core beliefs– he was a great Pope, but NOT a liberal one. The Catholic Church is not a democratic insitiution, at the heart of it, and JPII was aware of the position he held and treated it with the gravity it deserved.

So the next guy.. I’ve heard of candidates from Italy, Africa, Germany, Honduras and even America. I rather doubt that the USA will supply a Pope (ever), because of political and balance of power issues that appointment will raise. Germany’s a good choice but if the College of Cardinals has any guts at all they might consider the African or the Latin American pope. I personally favor a candidate from Latin America (if he has the background). Another European (unless it is an Eastern European) is a fairly conservative approach. Personally, I think choosing another Italian would be a big mistake.