The Pope Has Died

John Paul II, the head of the Catholic Church for most of my life, is gone. I’m Roman Catholic — so Roman Catholic that as a little kid I had comic books about the Pope and his life, actual Marvel Comic Books. Yesterday at a business meeting I found myself talking about the Pope for half an hour; all week long I’ve been thinking about him and praying for him. Today I was walking home from the Metro and passed the local Catholic church, and filled with a deep sadness I decided to stop and say a rosary for the Pope. Turns out there was a wedding at the church, and in my cowboy hat and jeans, soaked by the rain, I wasn’t welcome. I walked the rest of the way home to discover that at almost the exact time that I tried to enter the church to say my rosary, the Pope had died.

It’s not the time or the place for a discussion of my spirituality, or of the problems of the institutional church. They’re favorite topics, but right now I’m just mourning the loss of a man whose influence and leadership was clear in my life — Pope John Paul II.

2 Responses to “The Pope Has Died”

  1. Mary Helene Says:

    Do you remember when you were in about 3rd grade and the Pope came to San Francisco? Nan wanted to go see him, but they had only allocated 50 seats or something for the handicapped, so you wrote the Pope – and got an answer. (You’re the ONLY person I know who ever wrote and got an answer. I’ve written numerous times on various issues and have never gotten an answer.) The organizing committee wrote you with two special tickets for your grandmother “and her companion.” In the end, I think Nan was unable to go for other reasons, but you always felt you had a special tie to JPII.

  2. peter Says:

    looking forward to talking with you about this. It would be fair to say that the Pope was a “Great Man,” in many respects, but there are many who say that he was deeply flawed in his theology and his leadership regarding practical matters. Did you catch the Times Op/Ed?

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