The title of 'Pope' is an informal one
Most news agencies are reporting that Pope John Paul II is gravely ill and losing consciousness. To that end, all of the 24 hour news channels are on location at the Holy See covering the Vatican 24/7. I have to admit, as a Protestant, I don't understand the prominent role the Pope plays in many Catholics' lives; take my grandmother, for instance - since the Pope fell ill, she's been beside herself, spending most of her free time at church. (granted, she pretty much does that anyway, but now she's practically sleeping there.)
While looking for some background information, I ran across this interesting tidbit at Wikipedia:
The title "Pope" is an informal one; the formal title of the Pope is "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God," although this is rarely seen or used in full...
Gee, I wonder why....
On a more serious note, wherever you happen to be in the world today now, be it Topeka or Tokyo, Brisbane or Baghdad, Nairobi or Nome, when Pope John Paul II passes, I'm sure you'll hear the bells toll. I doubt there has ever been a more widely acknowledged event in the history of the world. Fitting for a man is arguably the most widely celebrated of our time.
Posted by jkhat at April 2, 2005 11:48 AM
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|# April 2nd, 2005 5:31 PM james|
|# April 2nd, 2005 5:32 PM james|
|INTERVIEWER: When you saw the Pope, what did he say?
YOGI BERRA: Ya know, he must read the papers a lot, because he said, "Hello, Yogi."
INTERVIEWER: And what did you say?
YOGI BERRA: I said, "Hello, Pope."
|# April 2nd, 2005 5:33 PM kris|
|As a Catholic (and one with a "ski" on the end of her name), maybe I can add something here. I think it's important to note that Catholics believe that Cardinals elect a Pope with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Pope is God's chosen representative on Earth, not the choice of the Cardinals. And, maybe that's why the men considered the favorites to be Pope rarely get elected when the ballots are cast.
You also have to consider the history of the papacy. While throughout the Renaissance the Pope was more of a political office (Popes had scores of mistresses and children), the first Pope was Peter (yeah, that Peter). So, John Paul II was in the same position as someone who literally knew Jesus. That's pretty heavy.
|# April 2nd, 2005 5:33 PM james|
|# April 2nd, 2005 5:35 PM james|
|# April 2nd, 2005 5:37 PM james|
|# April 2nd, 2005 5:38 PM kris|
|I like this story about the Pope. He came to central Wisconsin before he was Pope. I'm sure he felt very at home there because that's a heavily Polish area of Wisconsin. They even had a Polish language paper and radio station up until at least the 1970s. This quote is cool:
Mary Jane Zdroik remembers his words that August: "I am sick of sidewalk America. I want to see the green of America." The future pope had come to attend the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, and then for lectures, banquets and a Mass in Wisconsin.
It's weird to read the name "Frederick Freking" as I can remember sitting in Church and listening to letters from Bishop Freking as I grew up in the Diocese of LaCrosse.
|# April 2nd, 2005 6:41 PM JohnTant|
|Well, although I'm formally Lutheran now I was raised Catholic and yes, my family is quite upset over this. But it's tempered with the knowledge that whatever else, John Paul II is now with the Father.
|# April 2nd, 2005 6:48 PM kris|
|I don't think this Pope's legacy rests with Catholics. Catholics are the ones who are going to have more problems with some of his teachings.
I think his legacy is going to be in his actions and compassion to the rest of the world, whether they were Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. He didn't just preach freedom and justice for the Catholics of Poland and Eastern Europe, those were the natural rights of every human.
|# April 2nd, 2005 8:21 PM james|
|i saw one quite progressive-looking woman on tv that said, of the Pope,
"I'm a Catholic, but I didn't agree with everything the Pope stood for. I'm saddened by the the loss."
why would you take the time, when asked about the Pope's death, to state that you didn't agree with the Pope 100%? to me, this looked like a woman that can't separate her politics from any other aspect of her life. she is probably a very obnoxious person.
|# April 2nd, 2005 11:06 PM mbrlr|
|I honor the man, but I'm as American as I am Catholic, so I feel obligated to point out that I disagreed with him on some points both personal and theological. It's just one of those oddities we Americans tend to have and it's one of the reasons we're so disliked in Rome. Nonetheless, the Church has lost a great and good man, a complicated man who managed to take us back a bit theologically and politically but also come closer to Jews, Muslims, and the Anglicans and the Lutherans and other Christians. All in all, not a bad trick. But we also had the scandal over pedophilia and the doctrinal retrenchment with the College of Cardinals being packed with conservatives.
BTW, the Pope is deemed head of the Church because Peter was the first Bishop of Rome and Jesus told Peter that he was the "rock upon which I will build my church" if I remember the quote correctly. I actually lean a bit toward the Orthodox position on the independence of bishops and the idea that the Pope's honor as head of the church isn't meant to be taken quite as literally as we've taken it over the years. And there's that nasty filioque clause and the papal infallibility bit from 1870...oh, well. I married another Catholic and so Catholic I'll remain. I just don't' say "and the son" at mass. It just means my wife and my boys will be in heaven with God and I'll either roast in hell or spend one heck of a lot of time in purgatory.
If you would, please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of John Paul II and also for Catholics, even those American Catholics who keep mentioning their differences with him even after death, who mourn him and will miss him.
|# April 2nd, 2005 11:25 PM kris|
|you know, today is not the day for "buts"
let us celebrate the man's life before we bury him with criticism.
|# April 3rd, 2005 5:07 PM Laura|
|mbrlr - It perplexes me that so many Catholics stay in a religion that they don't agree with on some major points; not nitpicking things but major issues like abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, evolution. I don't mean to offend, but it seems like kind of a buffet mentality, make your own custom religion - only at that point it's not really Catholicism anymore. Why not attend a church whose doctrine you agree with? Can you give me any insight on how this works? Again, I'm not looking to pick a fight; I really do want to understand. |
|# April 3rd, 2005 5:16 PM Laura|
|On second thought, (in an Emily Litella voice) never mind; you *did* mention in your post that "I married another Catholic and so Catholic I'll remain." The whole issue still perplexes me, but it does seem like I asked you a question you had already answered. |
|# April 7th, 2006 10:34 AM mbrlr|
|I started out Baptist from a Baptist/Methodist family and became Catholic as an adult because I was looking for "the" church. The Bible-only doctrine never made sense because there was no bible in the early church and so how was the church governed? The only two valid possibilities seemed to me to be, based on readings and research and feelings, Catholicism or Orthodoxy. I opted for Catholicism, in retrospect, culturally. Orthodoxy was just a bit too different. However, it's hard to ignore things like the "filioque" clause and some of the later embellishments, mainly in the 19th century, such as the claim of infallibility. I'd feel more comfortable, theologically, in Eastern Orthodoxy but since I've married a Catholic and have baptized my kids as Catholics, I'll stay Catholic. And probably go to hell, giving some comfort to conservatives who bear grudges.
Can you really do Emily Litella's voice? Way cool, and I'm not kidding.