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Musings About The Pope..


BrotherRog
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Whether he is dead or alive at this time, this Protestant will pray for Karol Wojtyla (I have no role for "popes" in my understanding of Church) - as part of my prayers for the rest of the sickly people in the world.

 

This said, who will replace the pope?

Here are the candidates and their opinions on Catholic issues:

 

http://www.cardinalrating.com/sort_country.htm

 

 

I hope that the next pope finally issues approval of contraception and will allow priests to get married and/or allow women to be ordained.

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Thanks for the link! I also pray for the pope along with all who are in need (in other words, all of us.) "God bless us, every one" - perhaps the best movie line of all time :)

 

I also hope that the next pope will bring people to God, in a way they can respect. How sad and disconnecting to be loyal to a religion/culture such as catholicism and be unable to behaviorally respect it's leader. I think it forces people into guilt and hypocrisy... and away from God. As does all legalism.

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Thanks for the link. I learned a little about the process of getting a new Pope from reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. I think the process is very interesting.

I grew up Baptist and now I'm UCC. 2 congregational protestant churches that supposedly have no central heirarchy, although the Baptists seem to be a lot less congregational than even when I was a kid. The UCC does have the general synod that makes policy. However the general synod and the southern baptist convention is not quite like the vatican and so I really have no idea of what it's like to have so much church power and authority in one man.

I know it must be a heckova job, being the pope. Lots of responsibility. I know I wouldn't want to do it.

I will pray that grieving people find peace and that transition will be smooth.

Dillo

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Whether he is dead or alive at this time, this Protestant will pray for Karol Wojtyla (I have no role for "popes" in my understanding of Church) - as part of my prayers for the rest of the sickly people in the world.

 

This said, who will replace the pope?

Here are the candidates and their opinions on Catholic issues:

 

http://www.cardinalrating.com/sort_country.htm

 

 

I hope that the next pope finally issues approval of contraception and will allow priests to get married and/or allow women to be ordained.

I've been seeing all the CNN coverage of the pope's death today. I'm not Catholic-heck not even really a church-goer, but I was touched by the coverage. It struck a universal chord for me-not because he was a "pope;" rather it was because he was a human being who, like the rest of us, was trying his best to figure out what God & Life was all about-but NOT the final arbiter of what God & Life was all about. Fortunately/unfortunately, that's up to each of us. God bless him & may he find eternal bliss. Earl

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Dan Brown is an entertaining author, not sure that he *really* has all there is to selecting a pope. But I understand there is quite a bit of back door adealin'. For example, I have heard that there would not likely be an American (Australian or English) pope, for political reasons. I wouldn't expect the ordination of women any time real soon. (Maybe some leniency on birth control first, though not expecting that exactly next week.) I vaguely remember the last time around. (I've heard that half the population has only experience with John Paul II, that's how long the guy has been around.)

 

FWIW, I think UCC is a very low on the bureaucratic organizations scale. They have a synod, but it only meets for a couple days very couple years. There are funds that UCC churches can pay into and so on, if they want to. Since Southern Baptists established very clear mandates (and lost some members in the process-- high profile in some cases, like I believe Jimmy Carter and Bill Moyers), I consider them quite a bit more authoritarian, but still... This is not quite like the R.Catholic church. For one thing, you can go out and form your own synod, which was done. (There are other Catholic churches though-- I was surprised to find there are about six different ones in my pretty small city. I mean aside from Eastern Orthodox. Names like Liberal Catholic Church, Charismatic , etc. I don't know what there relation to the Vatican is, if any. I imagine they are naughty naughty! :-))

 

I bet Simon Peter would be very very surprised if he would find out that he is considered to be the first pope!!

 

--des

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i talked with a catholic lay minister this past summer at a conference and he said he would not be surprised if the next pope would be from africa or south america

 

the RCC is growing fastest in those areas - a brown/black pope would send a huge message to the world - however, the church in those areas tends to be more conservative than RCC here in the us - so the new guy may well be more conservative than either karol wojtyla

 

what does the world need the most - a pope of color or one who is more moderate?

 

also, how much more conservative can the RCC turn before schism with the church here in the west?

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Certifico che Sua Santità Giovanni Paolo II (Karol Wojtyla) nato a Wadowice (Krakòv, Polonia) il 18 maggio 1920, residente nella Città del Vaticano, Cittadino Vaticano, è deceduto alle ore 21.37 del giorno 2 Aprile 2005 nel Suo Appartamento nel Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano (Città del Vaticano) per

 

* Shock settico

* Collasso cardiocircolatorio irreversibile

 

In soggetto affetto da:

 

* Morbo di Parkinson

* Pregressi episodi di insufficienza respiratoria acuta e conseguente tracheotomia

* Ipertrofia prostatica benigna complicata da urosepsi

* Cardiopatia ipertensiva ed ischemica

 

L’accertamento della morte è stato effettuato mediante registrazione elettrocardiotanatografica della durata di oltre 20 minuti primi.

 

Dichiaro che le cause della morte, secondo la mia scienza e coscienza, sono quelle su indicate.

 

Città del Vaticano, il 2 Aprile 2005

 

Il Direttore della Direzione di Sanità ed Igiene

dello Stato della Città del Vaticano

 

Dr. RENATO BUZZONETTI

========

 

 

 

Or English fixed by me to be readable;

 

 

 

 

 

I certify that Its Holiness Giovanni Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) NATO to Wadowice (Krakòv, Polonia) 18 May 1920, resident in the Vatican City, Citizen Vatican, has passed away at 21:37 of day 2 April 2005 in his Apartment in the Apostolic Palace Vatican (Vatican City) for

 

* Septic shock

* Irreversible cardiocircolatorio collapse

 

In subject affliction:

 

* Morbid Parkinson

* Pregressive episodes of acute respiratory insufficiency and consequent tracheotomia

* Complicated benign prostate hypertrophy from urinary-septic infection

* Hypertensive and ischemica cardiopathy

 

The assessment of the body has been carried out by means of electro-cardiogram recording of the beyond 20 minutes.

 

I declare that the causes of the death, second my science and conscience, are those on indicated.

 

Vatican City, the 2 of April 2005

 

The Director of the Direction of Health and Hygiene

of the Vatican City State

 

Dr. RENATO BUZZONETTI

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Though not a Catholic myself, I admired the past pope's dogged consistancy and bold use of his seat of power - esp. re: the following! ; )

 

==========

Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity: Neoconsevative ...

... La Repubblica that the Pope's high-profile opposition to a war on Iraq has... George Weigel, arguing against the Pope that a war on Iraq would be just ... http://www.cjd.org/paper/jp2war.html

 

BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope warns against Iraq war

Pope John Paul II makes a Christmas plea to avoid a war in Iraq as UN weapons inspectors visit more suspect Iraqi sites.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2605367.stm

 

Pope appeals to Blair against Iraq war

... Pope appeals to Blair against Iraq war Pope John Paul II held a private audience on Saturday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, offering the ... http://www.cathnews.com/news/302/121.php

 

Pope says Iraq war threatens humanity

... Pope Says War in Iraq Threatens Fate of Humanity (Voice of America) ... Pope Prays for Iraq War Victims (Voice of America) ... http://www.cathnews.com/news/303/124.php

 

Pope Presses Bush on Iraq Violence (washingtonpost.com)

... Pope Presses Bush on Iraq Violence Pontiff Mixes Personal Praise, ... Iraq and in the Holy Land," said John Paul, an ardent critic of the war in Iraq. ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-dyn/articles/A14823-2004Jun4.html

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Hey all! Catholic girl here. Thanks for your prayers.

 

Cynthia mentioned:

 

"I also hope that the next pope will bring people to God, in a way they can respect. How sad and disconnecting to be loyal to a religion/culture such as catholicism and be unable to behaviorally respect it's leader. I think it forces people into guilt and hypocrisy... and away from God. As does all legalism."

 

I deeply disagreed with John Paul II on many things, particularly sexual / reproductive / gender issues. But over the years, I grew quite fond of him, and did not find that my disagreement with him led me into guilt, hypocrisy, etc. It's kind of like when you have a family with an older generation that has very traditional ideas on certain ideas, and convictions that clash with yours. My parents and grandparents, for example, had very traditional (and to my mind, archaic) ideas on women's roles and sexual issues. But I love them despite the disagreements. They loved me and nourished me and helped to make me who I am today. And like John Paul II, our elders -- and we -- are inevitably products of our cultural conditioning. Sometimes our conditioning keeps us from developing beyond certain levels. We are all flawed and broken. That is what it is to be human.

 

As much as I would rail against John Paul II's immovability on gender/sexual issues, he would periodically and repeatedly act in a way that deeply touched my heart. Like when he prayed at the wailing wall in Jerusalem and worked to heal relations between Christians and Jews. And when he begged the Missouri governor to spare a condemned prisoner's life. When he spoke explicitly against nuclear proliferation and, most recently, the war in Iraq. His fostering of interrelgious dialogue. And his life as a contemplative, a man of prayer. The humility and radiance of his presence, and his deep love for people.

 

Part of what I love about the Catholic Church is its ability to hold people of widely varying backgrounds, political persuasions (from archconservative to radically progressive), cultures, classes, nations. There is this sense of all of humanity-- messy, wild, broken--wrapped in a compassionate embrace. We Catholics do have our divisions, our in-fighting, our horrible mistakes, our sins, and, sometimes, surprisingly, our occasional breakthroughs . . . But we are all on a spiritual journey, one that connects us to past and future, one that evolves over time. John Paul II was a part of that unfolding.

 

Peace,

curlytop

Edited by curlytop
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>I deeply disagreed with John Paul II on many things, particularly sexual / reproductive / gender issues. But over the years, I grew quite fond of him, and did not find that my disagreement with him led me into guilt, hypocrisy, etc. It's kind of like when you have a family with an older generation that has very traditional ideas on certain ideas, and convictions that clash with yours. My parents and grandparents, for example, had very traditional (and to my mind, archaic) ideas on women's roles and sexual issues. But I love them despite the disagreements.

 

 

Sure, I had a rather racist uncle. He had lived his whole life in the deep south. He was still a good hearted man, he even gave to black children if they were part of some other cause-- say the Boys Club. I went thru a period of disliking him as he was kind of a good old boy, in that the more he drank the more racist he got. But as an adult I grew to like him anyway. I would just try to head him off at the pass, so to speak.

 

My parents disapproved of homosexuality. Since I didn't personally deal with that it wasn't a huge issue. But I see them now as clearly a product of their times.

 

 

>As much as I would rail against John Paul II's immovability on gender/sexual issues, he would periodically and repeatedly act in a way that deeply touched my heart. Like when he prayed at the wailing wall in Jerusalem and worked to heal relations between Christians and Jews.

 

I heard a Jewish guy interviewed that was also very touched by that, as was I.

 

 

--des

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The pope, Terri Schiavo, and moral consistency - Jim Wallis, Sojourners

 

It's sadly rare for a church leader, or for the leaders of most of our dominant institutions, to demonstrate a spirituality that attracts millions of people around the world - particularly so many young people. But the scene of millions lining up to simply pass by the body of John Paul II in Rome this week is remarkable indeed. The enormous attraction to this pope goes far beyond agreement with all the positions of the Catholic Church or even all of the decisions of his papacy. Indeed the "ecumenical" and even "interfaith" attraction to John Paul II reflects his own practice of reaching out to more people in more faith traditions than any other pope ever has.

 

One of the great attractions of Pope John Paul II's spirituality was his consistency. At the core of Catholic social teaching is the idea of a "consistent ethic of life," an ethic that seeks to protect and defend human life and dignity wherever and whenever they are threatened, and which challenges the selective moralities of both the political left and right.

 

As I've been watching the non-stop coverage of the pope's death, I have been struck by how many people - especially political leaders - would like to claim the pontiff as their own, as someone who affirmed their causes and commitments. At the same time, they tend to ignore the other things this pope said and did that directly challenge their own political decisions.

 

Many conservatives are pointing to the pope's clear teachings on abortion, euthanasia, and sexual morality, which are often contrary to the positions of many liberals. But they seem to forget the strong and passionate opposition of this pope to the war in Iraq, capital punishment, and the operations of a global economy that neglect the poor and deny human rights for millions. This pope helped bring down communism, but also was no capitalist and constantly lifted up a vision of economic justice. Promoting a "culture of life" was the language of John Paul's papacy before it became the rhetoric of President Bush, and its meaning goes far beyond the narrow interpretations of the Republican Party. Yes, Pope John Paul II certainly opposed John Kerry's views on abortion, but the White House did not get the photo op they wanted when the president visited the Vatican and the pope shook his finger disapprovingly at George W. Bush over the American war in Iraq.

 

Consistency is deeply attractive to people who long for public integrity - particularly to a new generation. The same lack of consistency in the politically selective eulogies of the pope also characterized the highly politicized responses to the sad story and death of Terri Schiavo.

 

Personally, I cannot understand why parents willing to take care of their disabled daughter were not allowed to by a husband who had moved on to another life and family. Terri Schiavo was severely mentally disabled but was not dying, and we don't decide to end the lives of many similarly disabled people, even children, whose mental capacities greatly diminish their quality of life. As my wife, Joy Carroll, put it, "the issue is not their quality of life, but the ethical quality of our society." And in situations of medical, scientific, or legal complexity, the morally safer course is always to err on the side of life. However, it became painfully clear that for many political partisans the issue wasn't so much the life of this young woman but other related political issues and agendas. And a leaked Republican memo about firing up the conservative base of the party and even defeating Democratic opponents in Florida were way out of line.

 

Again, the issue is consistency. Will Schiavo's defenders now also care more about the loss of civilian lives in Iraq or prisoners (even innocent ones) put to death on death row? Will they refuse to accept the silent tsunami that takes the lives of 30,000 children every day due to hunger and disease, or even support the Medicaid funding for vulnerable people that helped sustain Schiavo's life for many years? Somehow I doubt it.

 

Consistency is spiritually and morally attractive. We didn't see much of it in the tragic drama of Schiavo. But the life of John Paul II is a lesson of its truth and power for all of us.

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Wallis seems like a nice, even tempered man. I've seen him on TV and felt the same way. This article, however, is one sided. If the issue is CONSISTENCY, as Wallis writes, then ALL sides need to assess their views in light of the Pope's...whether that be anti-war, poverty, sexual immorality, abortion. Does Wallis agree with the Pope's views on abortion and homosexuality and women's roles? Doesn't the challenge to not pick and choose which of the Pope's views we agreed apply just as much to him and others as it is to Bush et al? He doesn't mention it, if it doews. Will Wallis begin to see these issues as the Pope did? In his words, "Somehow, I doubt it."

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I don't think Wallis is "claiming the Pope" - - - and hence doesn't have to take all his views although, except for the role of women he may agree. (his wife is ordained)

 

The difference, I think, is respecting the Pope as having a consistent world view that guided his life, decisions, and policies vs. saying that the Pope supports your own position. :rolleyes:

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Ok, but Wallis does more than just value the Pope's consistency...he focuses on where the Pope's postitions align with his--poverty, anti-war, etc. He doesn't seem compelled to challenge his own views on other topics, as he would have supporters of Terry Schiavo do. Just seems slanted to me.

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Well darby, I don't think you can please everybody. I was actually kind of annoyed by his comments on the Shiavo case, as I think it was much ado about not so much. (Though I did wonder why the heck the husband didn't give up already!)

 

The other thing is that this "consistent morality" issue is a nice concept on paper, imo. It might even be an admirable one in some respects, but, imo, it does not deal with the complexities of life in the year 2005 (and beyond). We can continue the life of anybody, including someone who would otherwise have died long ago, should we? We can take an embryo with 180 cells and potentially make all sorts of useful organs, should we? We might be able to clone, should we? If the mother has a 80% chance of dying (or close), should we do an abortion to save the mother's life?

 

"Consistent morality" demands a single possible answer to each the above questions. That's perhaps a topic for another thread, but I think the questions- if there even are any-- are incredibly complex.

 

Therefore, since I was a bit irked by Wallis' comments, I would guess they are not so terribly one sided. :-)

 

--des

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I've reread the article a couple of times. Perhaps I'm not getting the deeper meaning behind Wallis' words. What I take away from the article is this:

 

Although not agreeing with the Pope on EVERYTHING, he admired the Popes consistency. The Pope didn't condemn abortion and then support war. Life is life is life.

 

The fundamentalist right, as a whole, is not consistent. Falwell, Robertson, etc ... condemn abortion, but support war and capital punishment. For them, life is not life is not life.

 

I don't agree with Wallis that Shiavo was "severely mentally disabled but was not dying", but I see his point that those who were so vociferously defending her right to live probably don't defend the rights of children and civilians in Iraq to live.

 

I guess a good question would be: "Does the New Testament teach a consistent morality?" Des has started another thread where this question might be addressed.

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Yes, I prob. agree with what you said Aletheia on about everything. I think Wallis takes some stands that I really agree can agree with, though I don't buy this consistent morality argument.

 

For example, I think abortion can be/ usually is a lesser of two evils decision. I think few would say, oh it's such a great thing lets have more. What he advocates is really taking to heart/ action that "we should make abortion rare". NO one has really tried to do this. There are a whole host of things that would do this.

 

 

--des

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Hi all --

 

I think the question of the pope's "consistent morality" is a really good one to ponder. Perhaps it could be seen as consistent from within the context of the pope's particular cultural conditioning and worldview.

 

But as des put it, does this morality square with the demands of the 21st century? Is this morality effective in a world in the midst of an AIDS pandemic, when Catholics in Africa (even married couples in which one spouse is HIV positive!) are told that it is a sin to use condoms? Aren't their lives precious too? Or is it that once you have HIV, you're simply never supposed to have intercourse again? Older men who have been celibate for most of their lives might not see this as so much to ask, but what about those of us who are living a life that include loving, sexual expression?

 

These are the kinds of issues that I hope and pray the next pope will be able to face with wisdom and courage.

 

Thanks to all for the thoughtful insights,

 

curlytop

Edited by curlytop
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There was a letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register the other day, I thought the fellow brough up what needed to be said about "policy";

 

 

Pope an inconsistent 'champion of freedom'

 

I was surprised to read William C. Stosine's letter in the April 4 Register ("Bigoted Positions Contributed to Overpopulation"). I didn't think the media were allowing anything but utterly blind praise of Pope John Paul II.

 

When a man dies it's not the time to dump all over him and his supporters, but the media's Reagan-like whitewashing is giving the pope's legacy an undeserved gleam. And in an irony that will make your mind freeze, George W. Bush called the former pope "a champion of human freedom."

 

I don't dispute that John Paul did some good things, but "champion of human freedom?" Tell that to the women he burdened with unwanted pregnancies by declaring contraceptives a sin. Tell that to the advocates of equality when he refused to changed the ridiculously sexist ban against women priests and then condemned feminism. Tell that to the victims of priest sexual abuse, which John Paul only reluctantly addressed after intense pressure. And of course tell it to the gays whom he has demonized like no Catholic figure in history since Paul.

 

The man started off well taking on the Soviets, then slowly became a rather nasty bigoted religious-right clone.

-Brandon Ledford,

Cedar Rapids.

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I think Brandon (from that letter in Ani-man's post) is overstating JP II's "demonization" of gays and lesbians. While he was certainly no gay rights advocate and had definitely archaic notions on sexuality, neither would he wear "God Hates Fags" signs at gay funerals. He (wrongly, in my opinion) thought homosexuality to be a disorder, but he did not think homosexual people themselves were intrinsically evil.

 

Here's another article involving thoughts about John Paul II:

 

The Church After JPII

by Father John Dear

 

“War is never inevitable,” Pope John Paul II said two years ago before the U.S. bombed Iraq. “It is always a defeat for humanity.” When I met John Paul II in 1995, I realized that such anti-war statements were at the heart of his spiritual life, and that he was passionate about peace.

 

Over eight hundreds members of Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement, had gathered in Assisi for a week of meetings. Afterward, a delegation of some one hundred and fifty of us traveled to Rome for an audience with the Pope.

 

“Movements like Pax Christi are precious to the Church,” he said to us, calling upon Catholics everywhere to work for peace. “They help draw people’s attention to the violence which shatters the harmony between human beings.” He was so taken with our group that he spent several hours walking around the room, meeting each one of us. When I gave him a copy of my book, The God of Peace, he looked at it, then raised his right hand, bringing the tips of his fingers together, and said out loud in his thick accent, “Ah! Peace! John Dear! The God of Peace! God bless you.” It was quite a reaction.

 

While I mourn for John Paul II, I lament that he did not ordain women, support liberation theology, or defend martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero. But I recognize that he was clearly against war, poverty and nuclear weapons. This conviction, I think, holds the key to the future of the church.

 

Given the dramatic shortage of priests that will hit the Church in the next two decades, change is inevitable. Sooner or later, whether in ten years or one hundred, the Church will ordain women, allow clergy to marry, permit local communities to elect bishops, welcome gays and lesbians and respect other religions. The tide of history cannot be stopped. The changes will help the Church become healthier, more faithful, and more loving.

 

But while these changes are crucial, even deeper changes are needed. The future of the church, I submit, depends on the Catholic community’s full embrace of the Gospel of peace, renunciation of the just war theory and renewed adherence to active nonviolence in the tradition of the early Christian martyrs.

 

Someday, the Church will move from its focus on power, domination, and control to forgiveness, compassion and equality, so that it is not so much Pope-centered, or Vatican-centered, as Jesus-centered, peace-centered. It will act as a grassroots, decentralized movement of creative nonviolence empowering everyone to serve God’s reign of peace and justice, and resist the forces of war and injustice. In the future, the college of Cardinals will be made up of people like Daniel Berrigan, Thomas Gumbleton, Roy Bourgeois--and Helen Prejean, Joan Chittister and Kathy Kelly.

 

The Church is supposed to be the peacemaking community of followers of the nonviolent Jesus. Its task is to walk in his footsteps, to do his work, to implement his teachings, and to take up his cross in the struggle for justice. Those Gospel teachings are clear: love your neighbor, be as compassionate as God, serve the poor, hunger and thirst for justice, forgive seventy times seven times, put down the sword, take up the cross in the struggle for justice, become peacemakers and love your enemies. This is the work of every Catholic, and the institutional Church exists to serve us on this journey of discipleship to the nonviolent Jesus. It is supposed to help us shake off our fear, announce God’s reign, take up the cross, and lay down our lives for suffering humanity. The Pope is supposed to model the peacemaking life, even by entering war zones and demanding peace.

 

As John Paul II understood, the question of war is the crux of the matter. Can Catholics support war and still follow the nonviolent Jesus who commanded us to love our enemies? I believe we cannot serve both the false gods of war and the living God of peace. War is the ultimate sin. We are called to love our enemies, not kill them. Just as John Paul II vigorously denounced war, especially the Bush Administration’s slaughter of the people of Iraq, Catholics everywhere must renounce war and add their voice to the global peace movement.

 

Everyone has to undergo this deep spiritual conversion from violence to nonviolence. We can no longer just spend one hour a week at church, and then go about our business in a world with thirty-five wars where 40,000 people die daily from hunger while the nuclear arsenal grows every day. We have to engage in public work for justice and peace for the rest of our lives. We cannot remain passive or silent or leave these big issues to the Pope. Each one of us has to become like John Paul II. As a people, we have to reject the culture of war, practice the nonviolence of Jesus, and join the struggle for a new culture of peace.

 

I think this is the hope of the Church, indeed, the hope of the nonviolent Jesus for the Church. Just as Pope John Paul II apologized for the crusades, the Inquisition and Catholic support of Nazi genocide, one day in the future, the Catholic Church will apologize for its support of war, renounce the just war theory, and return to the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ teachings on nonviolence as the blueprint for Christian living.

 

On that new day, Catholics will move closer to our Mennonite and Quaker sisters and brothers. We will no longer bless war, pay for war, or fight in war. We will understand nonviolence as the key to the Gospel and our own Christian faith. We will refuse to make nuclear weapons, execute people on death row, or practice interpersonal violence. We will feed the starving, give away free medicine to those with HIV and AIDS in Africa, and end poverty. Every Catholic will be part of a local, grassroots base community of Gospel nonviolence, to pray, study and act together for justice and peace. We will resist the structures of war and corporate greed through the methods of active nonviolence until war, poverty, hunger and nuclear weapons are abolished.

 

This transformation will not be easy. It will require that age-old Gospel business of the cross, our participation in the paschal mystery. As the Gospel instructs, we will pursue God’s reign of peace, resist systemic violence, and prefer to suffer violence rather than retaliate with further violence. Through our suffering love, we too will become saints, prophets and champions of justice and peace.

 

On this journey into the future, we all have to become like Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker and shelter the poor and defend the marginalized. We all have to become like Sister Helen Prejean and work to abolish the cruel and inhuman punishment of the death penalty. We all have to become like Sister Joan Chittister and advocate for women’s rights. We all have to become like Kathy Kelly and defend our sisters and brothers in Iraq and Palestine. We all have to become like Bono and campaign to cancel the third world debt and ship massive quantities of free drugs to Africans with AIDS/HIV. We all have to become like Roy Bourgeois and work to close the SOA and all U.S. terrorist training camps. We all have to become like Daniel and Philip Berrigan and speak out against war and nuclear weapons, even to the point of arrest and imprisonment.

 

Instead of a grim future, I see a bright future where the global church wakes up to the wisdom of Gospel nonviolence. Like those daring, early Christian martyrs, everyone will give their life as part of the Church’s mission of transforming nonviolence. The Church will lead the way to a new world without war, injustice, hunger or nuclear weapons. Not only will we share in the cross of Jesus, we will also share the new life of his resurrection, and become the light of the world. And like that early Church, we will stop the empire’s wars and lead one another into the spiritual depths of peace.

Edited by curlytop
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I don't know what exactly the pope's views were or how deep they were for example against homosexuals, but I have read similar sentiments about the "demonization" of gay people, then of course we have the very reluctant actions by the pope to address the pedophilia issue, and then he only got involved under considerable pressure to do so.

As a victim of such a pedophillic clergy member at St Patrick's Cathedral in NYC when I was about 8 or 9, I think this should have been firmly and positively addressed by the church leadership long ago and without hesitation. Of course my experience occurred before John Paul became the pope but still, he should have addressed this without hesitation immediately.

 

While I mourn for John Paul II, I lament that he did not ordain women, support liberation theology, or defend martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero. But I recognize that he was clearly against war, poverty and nuclear weapons.

 

Given the dramatic shortage of priests that will hit the Church in the next two decades, change is inevitable.

 

I think it's safe to say most EVERYONE is against war, poverty and nuclear weapons and all three are 100% unnecessary! You can't prevent earthquakes, tsunami's, or floods, but there is little excuse for the other man-made problems. The pope was no martyr when it comes to that line of thinking, I don't know anyone who thinks "I feel we should have more people living below the poverty line" or "I think war is just GREAT it helps tell the world to watch out for the USA- make way, we're coming thru, peasants!!"

 

I find it amazing how we can spend all this money on Iraq and everywhere else, but OUR poverty, healthcare, fuel prices, roads, bridges falling apart, schools closing, you name it goes on unchecked. We have a President more concerned about bashing Iraq into the ground and going to the pope's funeral when he should be HERE addressing energy prices, the economy, drugs, meth, and OUR people.

 

There is not only a dramatic shortage of priests (a 150 year old church not far from here closed when they couldn't get a prist to move to their little town to live)

I can show you half a dozen salvage/antiques outfits that deal with nothing but salvage artifacts and furnishings from closed or demolished churches, some 1,100 churches in the UK have closed in recent years alone. The smaller congregations sometimes dwindle to the point where they can't maintain these big expensive buildings, so two close one and merge into one, but that's a stop-gap because as the oldsters die off, they are not being replaced by new members enough to keep the numbers up.

 

That means smaller congregations will disappear and what will be left is the richer congregations like shadyside Presbyterian who can afford to pay their pastor over $100,000 a year salary plus $30,000 housing allowance, even so it took them some 3 years to find a replacement pastor!

And the rest will be mega-churches like the Crystal cathedral and Billy Graham

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Ani-man, that is horrible that you were abused by clergy as a child. I cannot imagine the sense of betrayal you must have experienced, but I am deeply sorry to hear about it. The church has yet to really face this issue--it seems like we hear of such abuse every decade or so, and each time it comes up again you wonder: well, didn't they do something about this last time? Didn't they learn? I think that John Paul II was simply unable to address this issue that has long needed attention because it was so alien to his experience and his cultural worldview. Even my mother, rest her soul, who was born a year before the pope, always had trouble even believing that child sexual abuse occurred. One has to be able to admit that such things happen before they can take steps to stop it and work to help victims heal. . .

 

In pondering your remarks on John Dear's letter--unfortunately not everyone is against poverty, war, and nuclear weapons. In fact we have people in serious positions of power who are most definitely FOR these things, particularly war as a means to "solve" conflict. And I recall stats from 2003 and 2004 showing that most "church-going people" supported the war in Iraq, even as most mainline churches took official stances against the war. . .

 

Nobody may overtly claim to be "for" poverty as such, but they will go and support policies that perpetuate poverty--cut health care funding, push mentally ill people out on the street, keep wages low, making life more difficult for the working poor, neglect funding for schools in poor areas, so that children living there receive an inferior education, so that the cycle of poverty contines, and so on, and so on . . .

 

True, there are more "mega" churches forming, but they don't appeal to everyone. I like the idea of house church, small christian communities, and contemplative communities for non-monastics.

 

Peace to you,

curlytop

Edited by curlytop
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