MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
Visit me at my new blog, MsGeek.Org v3.0

Heard the Word of Blog?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pax vobiscum, old man...

I am definitely of two minds when it comes to thinking about Pope John Paul II. Yeah, he's gone now, finally. The last of the many death watches the US has seemed to be on is mercifully over.

1.) The end of the Warsaw Pact definitely was helped along by John Paul II. For that, I suppose, he has assured himself of a place in history.

2.) John Paul II was the first pope to pray at the Wailing Wall as a symbol of solidarity with the Jewish People, although he stopped short of apologizing for the Vatican's damnable silence during the Holocaust. I guess you can give him half a point there.

3.) John Paul II was a consistent voice against war. In his entire papacy, there was no war that was fought that met his standards for a "just war." I'm sure he went to his grave upset that the Iraq War and the genocides in Sudan were still going on.

and yet...

4.) John Paul II's stands on women's rights and on contraception were abominable, and in his long reign he appointed enough traditionalists to high places in the Vatican hierarchy to insure the Catholic Church's troglodytic stance continues for a long time to come.

5.) John Paul II stood foursquare against married priests. When you cut off something as basic as sex to those wishing to be priests, it should come as no surprise that the sexual urge resurfaces in stuff like the molestation of children. The Catholic Church only mandated celibacy for its priesthood to prevent the hierarchy from deeding Church property to their sons.

6.) In suppressing Liberation Theology, John Paul II tacitly gave his approval to hundreds of years of colonialism, economic oppression and political repression in the Third World. Apparently towards the end of his life he reversed himself about one particular exponent of Liberation Theology, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Archbishop Romero is now on the fast track to sainthood...I suspect that the Catholic Church need look no further than the Salvadoreno community of Los Angeles to find miracles that have taken place in his name.

7.) "Homosexuals are evil"...WTF is up with that? That is something John Paul II said recently. To write off 10% of the human family as evil is...well...evil, IMHO.

So yeah, I'm totally conflicted about him. I'm not going to dance on his grave, mind you, but I'm not going to blindly sing Hosannas to his memory. I'm not a Catholic, I'm not even a Christian, I'm a thelemite and Neo-Pagan and that's where my spirituality is at. I was born Jewish and raised more-or-less secular. Celebrate the good that Pope John Paul II did, but don't forget the regressive aspects of Catholic dogma, especially since he had a hand in strengthening many of them.