The Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic church is dead. Requiescat in Pace.
Now, as I’m sure it’s been drilled into your little heads over the past week or so by every news channel, Pope John Paul II was the first Slavic pope in 455 years, the most widely traveled pope ever (~1.25 million miles, 129 countries), and with a long reign (26 years). Certainly, like figures such as Mother Theresa, he’s done many good things in his life. He is credited (like Ronald Reagan: damn, even more similarities!) with helping ushering Communism’s demise in eastern Europe, but at the same time noting the failures in western capitalism (similar to many current liberals). He pressured wealthy nations to feed the hungry and aid the poor.
However, there are some things for which I cannot laud John Paul. For instance, his stance against contraception is not only archaic, it’s asinine. Who knows how many more cases of AIDS in Africa’s epidemic were caused by missionaries preaching that condoms are sinful? Add to that the stain of sexual abuses by priests (which, naturally, can’t be tied to the pope, but which is indicative of a deeper underlying problem) and the inherent stupidity of the Catholic hierarchy. Church, Inc. That the pope is supposedly infallible strikes me not only as heretical with regards to Christian dogma, but logically fallacious as well.
Before he became pope, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla played a major role in writing “Humanae Vitae.” Probably the most controversial document in church history, it reasserted the Vatican’s opposition to birth control.
Once Wojtyla became John Paul II, he staunchly reinforced that doctrine and others that prohibit premarital sex, female priests, and marriage for priests. And, to the chagrin of both liberals and conservatives in America, he is unwavering on matters of life and death, labeling abortion and the death penalty as immoral or, more succinctly, sin. [Phillyblurbs]
Well, at least his consistent when it comes to the value of human life, unlike many American conservatives, who are anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment. Still, you see how these sorts of rules are devastating to the church. I don’t think that Roman Catholic priests are more likely to be pædophiles. I think that going so many years celibate will get to anybody. So here’s to John Paul II, man in a silly hat in a Barbie Malibu Summer Home in Italy, who was both a humanitarian and a dinosaur.