Saturday, April 02, 2005

More on the illness of JPII

EWTN offers a Q&A on how the Vatican is operating with the Pope being so ill as to be incapacitated. Writer Amy Wellborn has published a letter from one her readers that gets to the heart of it:
Don't get me wrong: I love the Pope and he is one of my heroes. But at the same time he is an old man, and old men die eventually. And if they are holy old men, as I believe the Pope to be, they go to be with their heavenly Father. So I don't worry about John Paul's health. I know that he will die some day, and I know that if he does the church will live on with a new pope. There's no reason for anxiety. Is this crazy? Am I abnormal or unfeeling? Years ago I read that this phenomenon is nothing new --- every time a pope gets ill the media always go out and shoot pictures of people -worried Catholics, supposedly - lighting candles in churches. The writer, a Catholic, pointed out that had the cameras gone into the same churches on any other day they would have captured --- people lighting candles. It's what we do, for reasons that might not have anything at all to do with the Pope's health. In short, the media seem convinced that Catholic faith depends on the Pope alone, as if we should be worried that if the Pope dies our faith dies.
Still, knowing this, it is not easy for those of us who are fond of this Pope to see him like this. His visit to Toronto for World Youth Day was one of the events that got me to thinking about Catholicism. Before that, I was just another vaguely secular conservative. Should he pass away, he will be missed.

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