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Saturday, April 02, 2005


Well, he's finally gone.

Despite being a (very) lapsed Catholic, with a low opinion of the Roman Catholic church in general and at times the Pope specifically, I have found myself on "Pope Watch" these last 2 days. Its remarkable how old instincts came to the surface. As it became clear on Friday that His Holiness was not much longer for this world, I found myself clicking Refresh on my browser regularly to track his progress on the BBC. I even increased the refresh rate on my RSS news reader.

I have mixed feelings about the Pope. On the one hand I have watched with increasing frustration and even anger as the Catholic church refused to countenance the use of condoms in AIDS-ridden Africa. Yet on the other-hand, this Pope has been the most politically important for centuries. He may not have brought down communism in Eastern Europe, but he sure gave it a bloody good push.

His papacy was a mixed bag to say the least, but he's the only one I have ever known and it will seem strange for there to be a new man called "pope" from now on. In the end, like the majority of Catholics, I no longer wished for him to pull-through this last illness. I hoped for him to slip away peacefully and in no pain. I have had elderly relatives pull-through such serious illnesses in the past, yet in the end almost wished they hadn't. Better that he finally leaves, apparently lucid to the end.

God Bless you Karol Wojtyla, Rest in Peace.



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