Rest In Peace, John Paul

by John Hawkins | April 4, 2005 2:00 am

I’m not a Catholic and I’ve often disagreed with political stands taken by the Vatican, but I wanted to take a moment to say a kind word about the Pope since he passed on this week-end.

During the eighties he was a power player in the war against Communism. This was a man who could have said, “This is none of my business,” but he supported the Polish people, his people, as they struggled to throw off the Soviet yoke and he made a real difference. All people who love freedom owe the Holy Father a debt of gratitude for that.

Also, the way the Pope lived his last few years on earth were inspirational. Here was a man whose body was beginning to fail him and it showed. He often looked sick, exhausted, as if he were about to collapse under the responsibilities placed on his shoulders. Sure, the Pope is supposed to stick it out until the very end, but who could have blamed him had he decided that he had done enough, that it was time for him to go home, put on his fuzzy bunny slippers, eat some chicken soup, and relax in a comfortable chair while an army of staff fretted over his comfort. But there were people who looked up to him, who needed him, and so he persevered for the sake of others when it would have been easier just to give up. There’s much to be said for that.

So, John Paul II, wherever you are up there, thanks for what you did down here.

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