Saturday, April 02, 2005

R.I.P Karol

Though not a Catholic, I really liked Pope John Paul II. The role he played in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe cannot be denied, and for that alone he earned a place as one of the great moral leaders of the 20th century.

I went to see him at World Youth Day in Toronto two years ago, which I suppose puts me among the millions who the media keeps saying he 'met' during his papacy. Given the size of the park, my distance from the stage and, of course, the fact that I am not a believer, I can't honestly say that I took anything away from my experience with the pope. But I respected the fact that, despite his state of poor health at the time, he made the journey to Toronto. It will be interesting to see if the next pope continues in his tradition of travelling the world.

He has been pope since the year I was born, so it is weird to think that there will be somebody else in the role. It is unlikely that any other pope could have as much of an impact on the world at large as Karol Wojtyla. He will be missed.

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