Friday, April 01, 2005

The Passing of a Champion for Life

Pope John Paul II has died.

As Michelle Malkin says, these words from the Pope are Words to Live By:

We are coming to the end of a century which began with confidence in humanity's prospects of almost unlimited progress, but which is now ending in widespread fear and moral confusion. If we want a springtime of the human spirit, we must rediscover the foundations of hope. Above all, society must learn to embrace once more the great gift of life, to cherish it, to protect it, and to defend it against the culture of death, itself an expression of the great fear that stalks our times.


Apparently Fox jumped the gun.

Regardless, please enjoy accounts of an incredible life. Michelle Malkin has an excellent resource list, and the folks at NRO's The Corner are sharing memories and thanks for a great man.

From Kathryn Lopez:

It's a great thing he's been here as long as he has. Really an amazing life--from fighting communism, to being a thinker (way before he was someone we all knew), devotion to the dignity of human life... Thank God we've had him. And you don't have to be Catholic to be grateful for this gift of a man.


I have always been struck by the Pope's tragic childhood. He was eight when his mother died and 12 when he lost his beloved older brother to scarlet fever. He lived alone with his devoted father. A priest in the parish where Karol Wojtyla was an altar boy said he saw "the shadow of early orphanage on him."

And this:


I suppose I'm with Ramesh. Though I am not a Catholic, I can muster many emotions at the the thought of John Paul II passing away. But grief really isn't chief among them. The man has been suffering for a long time and he has endured that suffering with greater dignity than most of us could dream of mustering. He lived a long life of great courage and conviction, acting nobly when acting otherwise would have been much easier and less dangerous. Through his actions and his example he left the entire world a better and safer place than when he left it. When his time comes, be it in hours or days or whenever, few will say he hadn't done more than his fair share. This is no tragedy. His life isn't being brought short by the hand of man. There's no cause for rage. But there's room for gratitude and the sort of remorse one feels when the world is made a little less by the loss of someone it sorely needed. So why overly grieve for a man who is surely worthy of reward in the next life?

Perhaps the answer is simple, because it is human to do so.

Lastly, an email follow-up:


Lo[ts] of this sort of email:


Although I am not Catholic in exactly the same way you are not Catholic, I think I will take the time to grieve Pope John Paul II. Because it is human to do so, yes, but also because after being constantly reminded over the past couple of weeks how less than ordinary most of us are, it makes me sad and lonely to lose someone that is extraordinary.

More, I'm sure, throughout the day at The Corner


Jawa and Hyscience provide more details on how earlier reports were mis-reported.

A tip from Hyscience who tells me that earlier reports based on mistranslation. Word was 'dying', not 'died'

And Kevin at Wizbang! calibrates us all:

As Vatican watchers will tell you there is a protocol for announcing (or rather signaling) the death of a pope. It doesn't involve The Drudge Report or the Kentucky Lake Times...


We lose a great man on this earth.


Don Singleton has a great photographic history.