Saturday, April 02, 2005

A death in the family


It has at last come to pass that Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, has gone to meet his Maker, and your blogstress is very sad.

How can that be, you may ask, that a feminist of mutable sexual orientation should feel such sadness at the passing of a leader who rejected the full empowerment of women and condemned the lives of gay people.

To this, your écrivaine can only say that the beliefs of her own grandfather matched those of the pope's, and she still felt tremendous grief when he passed on. She grieved not only the loss of her grandpa, but the loss of a charming raconteur, gifted gardener, avid reader and lover of all things beautiful.

John Paul was, without a doubt, a stubborn traditionalist in matters of church doctrine, including that which has caused grave harm to members of his flock. But that was not all he was. Through the force of his own will, he hastened the demise of Communism, which was a very good thing. In the dizzying whirlwind of his travels, he demonstrated the adage that a good king serves his people.

This writer, however, does find herself troubled by all the talk of making him a saint, for it was in his humanity, by definition a state of imperfection, that the man's complexity and magnificence made itself evident. Make John Paul II a saint, and we reduce him to something simple but distant from us.

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