This is SICK. Sick, sick, sick.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
(But seriously, as callous as our sarcastic senses of humor (humour for those who know how to spell, unlike we American and or other heathens), let us all pray for the pontiff. He is UNDENIABLY a man of peace, a man of letters who has mastered more languages than probably any of us, and an important spiritual leader for vast numbers of people across the world, even if we do not count ourselves amongst them.
I have heard that even Muslim spiritual leaders are praying for him. He has made an attempt to reach out to Orthodox and Jewish leaders. It is at times like this that an opportunity to create understanding, compassion and bridges between religions truly exists. Given the amount of strife and misery that conflict between religions has caused, are not such attempts to reach out good things?
I am not a papal or Catholic apologist. I’m sure you can come up with damning counter-arguments. Yes, he has been a conservative leader, and this is deeply disappointing, as it does involve a certain amount of intolerance, bigotry, sexism, and outdated beliefs. You’re free to post slams in this regard; I, in advance, protest not.
But I maintain that to promote progress in this world, it helps to reward the positive, while punishing the negative. Call it Skinnerian shaping, if you wish. So, when you see a Muslim or Catholic leader willing to apologize to or pray for the other, or another religion, please praise it. When you see the opposite, I hope you will oppose it. This pope’s legacy will be judged for what it is, and deservedly so.
That said, I do admire the man, for his scholarship, his phenomenal mastery of languages, his attempt to reach out in a more populist manner for what has traditionally been a stodgy, overly conservative, even medievalist institution. And his determination to push ahead with his role, with his duties, despite his great difficulties, his medical setbacks.