Blog Master G

Word. And photos, too.

Blog Master G random header image

Patriotic Papal Laziness

Monday, April 4th, 2005 · 3 Comments

If only this headline applied nationally: House Condemns Patriot Act:

Montana lawmakers overwhelmingly passed what its sponsor called the nation’s most strongly worded criticism of the federal Patriot Act on Friday, uniting politicians of all stripes.

I understand it’s a big deal that the Pope of 26 years has died (conveniently, on my birthday, so that my special day will now be forever linked to the passing of John Paul II), but how long will the 24 hours of news coverage go on? Pope dies, people mourn, selection process for new Pope begins. He was 84 and in ailing health. Was anyone really surprised that he died? Maybe it’s that I didn’t grow up Catholic and that I don’t practice religion now, but I just can’t relate to or understand this worshipping of a single man.

Around the time John Paul II became Pope, my dad was writing a daily column for the Sacramento Union (now an online magazine, then a daily competing with the Bee). The Pope was a skier, so my dad wrote a tongue-in-cheek column about having run into the Pope while skiing at Heavenly. A student at CSUS took the columnn seriously and was amazed that my dad had skied with the Pope. She got an exlusive interview with my dad about the experience. He ran with it. She published a piece in the student newspaper about the Sacramento columnist who skied with the Pope.

Anyone researching lazy Americans will find me king of the lazy heap. What an honor.

Tags: the world

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonty // Apr 4, 2005 at 12:01 pm

    Well, I’m Muslim, so not only do I not follow the Pope, I don’t agree with him. That said, I have tremendous respect for his faith and many of his actions. I think that what’s important to remember is that the largest religion in the world is Christianity, with 2 BILLION followers, and that about HALF of those people are Catholics. That means that 1/5 of the population are Catholics.

    Again, I can’t really related to the Pope, as Islam is a very decentralized religion, and our holy men are viewed more as information resources than spiritual/moral guides (that’s an over simplification, of course), but as I understand it, the Pope is holding Jesus’ place until he returns.

    At any rate, I don’t *QUITE* understand the sentiment, but I can appreciate the importance of the event, and I understand why it’s getting such wide coverage.

    All that said, most “people of the book” who are religious tend to rejoice upon death, as then the individual returns to God, and basks in His glory, and experiences His eternal paradise.

    The one thing that confuses me most about the coverage is the overly somber tone. Of course, a person’s passing is sad, but in this religious context, I’d expect some bittr-sweet joy as well.


  • 2 Phil // Apr 4, 2005 at 3:51 pm

    I’d much rather see 24/7 coverage of the Pope than the endless coverage of Terri Schiavo the media previously fed us.

  • 3 Dan // Apr 4, 2005 at 4:47 pm

    The WSJ has a great story on the Pope today: basically, who is Pope impacts more lives on this planet than any other single office with the exception of the American presidency. And this Pope had a long reign and was charismatic enough to hold the Church together despite the strains it is under (too few priests, in the West too few parishioners, in the Global South a slew of them, etc etc). No one knows if the next guy can do that.

    And, don’t forget, this is a Polish man who used the Papacy to free the Poles and others from the Soviets. That is a huge part of his popularity.

    Also, interestingly, this upcoming Conclave is the first time in hundreds of years when a Pope Of Color might be selected (a Nigerian and three Latinos are considered finalists). That would be no small thing.