A John Paul II audience at the Vatican, 2004
Here is part of a reflection by a Catholic Chicago lawyer who made a pilgrimage to Rome with other Americans. They went to the Vatican and had a private audience with Pope John Paul II.
If the U. S. President were:
• 84 years of age
• Unable to talk publicly since 2003
• Unable to walk in public since 2002
• Had Parkinson’s for the past ten years
Would you have confidence in and be guided by a President so frail? What about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U. S. Armed Forces?
Wouldn’t you have expected that a person in such condition to step down or retire, and allow another in better mental and physical health to exercise the post or position?
Rare is the 84 year old who has not noticeably slipped in abilities at all levels, strength or the lack thereof termed frailty, attention, clarity of thinking, stamina, ability to recognize deception or avoiding being duped or controlled by others - witness the amount of scams perpetrated upon the elderly.
Pope John Paul II in a letter to the world’s elderly released on October 1 1999 par. 17 thereof stated:“
It is wonderful to be able to give oneself to the very end for the sake of the kingdom of God. At the same time, I find great peace in thinking of the time when the Lord will call me: life to life”.
On other occasions he likened his continued stay upon the throne of St. as a trial undertaken willingly, accepting suffering not unlike Christ on the cross.
Enduring the suffering, he was likening himself to Christ, but at the expense of the Church, which he had long since been unable to lead, his advisors calling the shots.If Christ would not abandon the suffering of the cross, neither would he abandon his suffering.
No, he forged on…..unfortunately, at our expense and the expense of the Church as a whole!Kind of reminds me of the story of the grandson, who shows up at work with a sad face.
Upon being queried by co-workers as to the source of his apparent distress, the grandson relates that he just returned “from a funeral having buried his grandmother”.
Displaying appropriate empathy, the co-workers offer their sympathies while also inquiring as to the age of the grandmother. “She was 91”, comes the reply.“How did she go?” “ She died in her sleep”, the grandson replies.
Hearing this, the co-workers reply: “Well if you have to go, that’s the way to go…in your sleep!”
The grandson replies: “Yah, good for her; but not for the other 3 passengers in the car”.John Paul II died in his sleep somewhere starting ten years ago…not good for the rest of us in the car……who he was driving (leading).
The culture of the Church starting with recruitment, lack of vetting procedures, to remaining exclusively all male, to the the scriptural based defense of witless policies that defy all good reason and common sense is the problem.