The Legacy of Pope John Paul II

Some might say this was the perfect pope for the end of the Soviet Union’s empire. The first non-Italian pope in 455 years, and we end up with a guy right from the religious heart of Eastern Europe, able to speak with a clarity to his people and to the whole Eastern sattelite system.

He was a man of great compassion and intelligence. An acknowledged peacemaker willing to travel more than any previous pope to visit people (Catholic, non-Catholic, etc.) throughout the world.

He was also deeply “conservative” within the Catholic-church meaning of that term, and he really pushed to get sainthood for the Opus Dei founder, an organization that remains very controversial within the Catholic Church. However, he also remains a leader who had to deal with the Latin-mass folks publishing books saying how he and every pope since John in the early 60s are a bunch of Vatican II patsies.

What legacy do you think befits Pope John Paul II? 50 or 100 years from now, what do you think people will feel when they hear his name?

I think he’ll be remembered for reaching out to leaders of other faiths, as well as for being a factor in bringing down communism in Eastern Europe, and for being the first non-Italian pope. He might also end up with a cult of devotion of his own, especially if he gets canonized.

The Pope in the IP forum? As I do not want to be banned by the Star Chamber, I think I better do not speak out what I think of a guy that takes a dedicated Alitalia flight visiting vastly over populated and poor countries where people are starving and dying of Aids to tell them not to use condoms!

As a former catholic, I must say: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: .

I saw the pope at St. Peter

[quote=“smerf”]I saw the pope at St. Peter

I just felt like I wasn’t really getting it, if you know what I mean. So many people around me were having this deep emotional and, perhaps, spiritual experience upon seeing this man, but I felt nothing (except fear and anger at being pushed by the mob behind me).

I was pretty much out of the church by that time, but that scene was a clincher for me. I thought that I should look elsewhere for guidance in a spiritual sense.

This afternoon I noticed flags in front of Taibei Main Station flying at half mast. I guess that is to mourn the passing of the pope, or has any important Taiwanese person just died? Perhaps in recognition of the sentiments of Filipino migrants?

I saw the pope from a distance in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day 1993. I was surprised how few people went to hear his Christmas greetings, which he delivered in numerous languages, including Chinese (“shenk dan kvai le”). The biggest cheers came when he said it in Spanish. I reckon about a third of the crowd consisted of curious tourists like myself.

Many have speculated that part of John Paul II’s legacy may well be a successor who shares many of his views. The pundits did not do very well last time around in predicting the next pope, but I gather that the length of John Paul II’s term has resulted in an unusual concentration of cardinals who, to a large extent, share his views.

Here is one of many current lists of often-mentioned contenders. I wonder if we will see a surprise…

The Vatican is Taiwan’s last remaining political friend that carries any weight and not looking for checks. Nothing to do with any migrant workers. Like if you watch F1, Ferrari painted the front of their cars (nose) black for yesterday’s race in Bahrain.

I agree that telling them not to use rubbers in the face of AIDS was stupid, but what a load of shite about population. Apart from Bangladesh, Taiwan has highest populatin density on the planet? Is it overpopulated?

Ah but you say, it is developed and can manage this population. These poor countries cannot! they should wait until they are sufficiently developed.

And again I think you have taken 1 + 1 and made 3 or 4. Why? Because all developing nations have undergone population expansions as part of the development process. You need people to develope countries. You will also notice that the populations in the countries stabilised as the economics made sense. No need for government population control campagins in Europe or the US, or Japan, or Hong Kong, or Singapore… Go to places like Ethiopia and you will see that underpopulation is possibly more of a problem as this leads to a chronic lack of infrastructure. People are so spread out that they live in virtual isolation, days walk from the nearest road, let alone the nearest hospital.

BTW if the overpopulation thing is really such a major factor then helping to thin it out a bit by preventing the use of condoms should sem like a reasonable idea.

Sorry, copetely :offtopic: I know.

So to the Pope. i think he will be remebered as the man who took the church back to the people, made the papcy approachable, was too conservative and not conservative enough depending on your view and the issue, but most importantly of all, drove the church much more into the politics of the poor (ie debt relief).

[color=red]BLASPHEMER! [/color] You’ll burn in Hell for that!!! :fume:

Do agree that Taiwan has a very high population per square foot but the infrastructure can afford them, i.e. clean water, etc. Like starting a family, you only have children when you can afford to feed them. Sure not those people’s fault but by having more and more children they are not having a chance to get a better life! You see pictures of countries that religous guy visited on his countless trips, blessing families with a dozen kids, all starving, mother pregnant again with the next one, no jobs or work, land that is dry and yet they should not use any birth control. His blessings did not cure their pain of not having clean and sufficient drinking water and food.

Where does it say in the Bible people shouldn’t use condoms? Sorry, OT, but I have either forgotten or never knew.

It’s somewhere in the “thy rod and thy staff” part…

And throwing your porridge on stony ground or something.

Thank Heavens! I found it.

From Gospels According to Monty:

[i]There are Jews in the world.
There are Buddhists.
There are Hindus and Mormons, and then
There are those that follow Mohammed, but
I’ve never been one of them.

I’m a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics is:
They’ll take you as soon as you’re warm.

You don’t have to be a six-footer.
You don’t have to have a great brain.
You don’t have to have any clothes on. You’re
A Catholic the moment Dad came,


Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.[/i]

I feel very sad about the Pope’s passing. Although I am not a Catholic, I admire him a lot. His spirit and love was the best gift to the world. He will be remembered forever.

Hope we can make this world better, full of peace and love as he wished.

I agree that telling them not to use rubbers in the face of AIDS was stupid, but what a load of shite about population. Apart from Bangladesh, Taiwan has highest populatin density on the planet? Is it overpopulated? ).[/quote]

Is Taiwan overpopulated? Heck no, the whole world should be covered in concrete and shopping malls just like the western half of Taiwan. Sorry butcher boy. I am enjoying out philosophy debate over in the open forum, but Holy smokes I never thought I would hear anyone question whether or not Taiwan was overpopulated.

[quote]A majority of U.S. Catholics surveyed want the next pope to have a theological outlook similar to that of Pope John Paul II, but they would also like to see changes on issues such as birth control, stem cell research and allowing priests to marry, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Sunday.
As the article notes further down into the piece …

Seventy-eight percent said the next pope should allow Catholics to use birth control, 63 percent said he should let priests marry and 59 percent said the next pope should have a less-strict policy on stem cell research.[/quote]

plus 55% said he should allow women to become priests

So they want him to have the same theological outlook, except for disagreeing with everything he ever said about sex and the Church.

Ain’t theology wonderful

Don’t take me for an apologist, but:

This pope came from a country which was incredibly conservative, and from this perspective, to have reached out as he did to different religions and attempt to heal ancient wounds is already a step forward. The Church had not previously acknowledged its shortcomings during the Holocaust, nor its crimes during the Crusades, and JPII was big enough to stand up and be the first Catholic leader to apologize for these historical shortcomings. In such an inflexible and traditionally arrogant, unrepentant institution, these were MAJOR steps forward, and it is likely that he had to fight major internal political wars in order to do so. He really deserves credit for this.

This pope did not speak on the possibility of returning to the tradition of promoting women and married men to deaconhood, which in itself is a step forward, given the current debates on dogma and discipline in the various orders. I foresee movement forward on these issues in the next half century.

This pope could never have made such a massive and tradition-bound institution such as the Roman Catholic Church turn 180 degrees on a dime and accomplish everything that every Western liberal might wish. To imagine otherwise is naive. The pope is no more all-powerful than is the US President.

I am one of those Western liberals who would like to see, but never dared hope for such drastic turnaround from such a fossilized medieval entity as the Catholic Church in which I was raised and brainwashed.

I am suprised by the global reaction to the Pope’s passing. He was certainly a towering figure in recent world history, and deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize if anyone ever was. The doctrine of the Church under his guidance was equally disappointing in terms of the equality of women and gays as well as the practical need for things like condoms for both population control and control of AIDs.

But overall, I will say he was a great man, of the kind the world rarely sees.