I can’t say that I am glad that the Pope is passing, but I can’t say that I am sad either. John Paul II did much in the course of his reign to alienate me from the Catholic Church. He brought the Church back to the days of Pius XII and treated good men as if they were monsters. I remember, for example, Archbishop Quinn of San Francisco who was railroaded into a mental ward and forced into retirement because he championed the cause of Dignity. I remember, too, how John Paul II overlooked the plight of the poor in Central America and how he allowed members of the Curia to put the entire blame on homosexuals for the sex scandals. It’s not OK for priests to sodomize boys but it is OK if they rape girls?
John Paul II is often extolled as a man of courage, but I do not think so. I find him cowardly in the extreme, a man who bent to ultra-conservative forces because they had the money. He could not bear to trod new ground and he failed to live up to his promise of continuing the work of his predecessors John XXIII and Paul VI, both of whom were far greater men than he. Paul VI made one mistake and that was to proscribe the use of the pill. Otherwise he was a great pope and a true saint. John Paul II lied and should not be accounted among the blessed, among those whose lives we should emulate as human beings.
John Paul II was quick to canonize questionable characters such as Maximillian Kolbe and the founder of Opus Dei. He didn’t have a clue about the damage he did to human beings. Using 19th century pop psychology, he attempted to treat the ills of the 20th century. He encouraged self-abuse through his support of Opus Dei and he failed, utterly, to make the Church into a Christian organization. Instead, he perpetuated what was most vile about the Church and crushed what was most loving and liberating.
Given his extensive politicization of the granting of bishoprics and cardinalships, I doubt that his successor will be any better. He has ensured that none of the remaining liberals in the church may vote in the election of his successor or succeed him due to age. Unless a miracle waits in the wings, the Catholic Church will not be reformed from within. I expect more failure to witness in the manner of Christ out of the Holy See.
And, for me, John Paul II will not be missed. They will call me a lost sheep, but I think I have found the Meadow. From time to time, I get to nibble.
He has passed on. I note that he did not go to the hospital. Probably he was scared that they’d stabilize him and stick a feeding tube down his throat. Then, given the recent Church’s ruling on that matter, where would he have been?