the pope has died

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Original poster
Feb 7, 2002
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serendipity
it's official. apparently he died late saturday (apr 2) evening (vatican time). no major news source seems to have a write up yet, all of it is just breaking news headlines.

EDIT: now nytimes has a story, and obviously by the time many read this it will have gotten to more sites

but a catholic news website has a bit of detail about his passing

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=36242

Pope John Paul II has died



Rome, Apr. 02 (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II (bio - news) died late on Saturday night, April 2, ending one of the longest and most influential pontificates in the history of the Catholic Church.

The Holy Father remained "extraordinarily serene" during his final illness, according to his spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. He had suffered heart failure the previous evening while being treated for an infection of his urinary tract. As his condition deteriorated rapidly during the day on Friday and then Saturday, with his body wracked by septic shock and kidney failure, the Pope remained in prayer with his closest aides, losing consciousness only late in the evening before his death.

Pope John Paul was 84 years old at the time of his death. He had been afflicted by Parkinson's disease, causing a serious curtailment of his activities, for several years. In February 2005, he was hospitalized twice for severe respiratory problems. Doctors at the Gemelli Hospital had inserted a tube in his throat to ease his breathing, and earlier this week the Vatican had disclosed that a feeding tube had also been inserted to provide him with supplementary nourishment because of his difficulty in swallowing.

The Pope's last public appearance came on Easter Sunday, when he came to the balcony of his apartment in the apostolic palace to deliver the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. During that public appearance the Pope was in obvious pain, and unable to speak.

In October 1978, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland, was elected the 264th Roman Pontiff-- the youngest Pope of the 20th century and the first non-Italian to serve as leader of the Catholic world in over 400 years. He took the name John Paul II, and in a memorable first appearance as Pope, immediately won the hearts of the Roman crowd as he greeted them with the words of Jesus, which would echo throughout his 26-year pontificate: "Be not afraid!"

Only two Popes-- Blessed Pius IX, who served over 31 years, and St. Peter himself-- have held the papacy for longer than John Paul II. During his extraordinary pontificate, he became the most widely recognized man in human history, traveling to greet millions of people all around the world, and earning credit as one of the principal architects of the fall of Soviet Communism. His years in the papacy saw a series of "firsts," and an astonishing output of encyclicals, apostolic letters, and other writings.

Born in Wadowice, Poland, on May 18, 1920, Karol Wojtyla was raised primarily by his father, a military officer also named Karol, after his mother's death in 1929. When his father died in 1941, he was left alone, as a student in Krakow's Jagiellonian Unversity. During the occupation of Poland by Nazi forces in World War II, he was pressed into labor as a stonecutter, then in a chemical factory, but worked with the Polish underground and maintained an avid interest in theater.

In 1942 the young Wojtyla entered a clandestine seminary, and after the war, in 1946, he was ordained by Cardinal Adam Sapieha of Krakow. He continued his studies in Rome under the famous French Dominican, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, and earned degrees in theology and philosophy, with a dissertation on the mystical works of St. John of the Cross. He returned to Poland to teach at the Krakow seminary, while also serving as a parish priest, and forming friendships with a number of young families-- friendships that remained intact throughout his life.

At the age of just 38 he was named an auxiliary bishop of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and in 1962 he became the city's archbishop. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope Paul VI at the age of 47.

The scholarly young Polish prelate was an influential figure in the deliberations of the Second Vatican Council, taking a particularly active role in the writing of Gaudium et Spes (doc) , the dogmatic constitution on the Church and the modern world.

In August 1978, he took part in the conclave that elected Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice to become Pope John Paul I; when that Pontiff died abruptly after just 33 days, he again entered the conclave-- to emerge as Pope John Paul II.

During visits to his native Poland, John Paul II proved to be a lightning-rod for the growing opposition to the country's Communist regime. On May 13, 1981, he was shot and severely wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca in an assassination attempt that took place immediately after a public audience in St. Peter's Square. Vatican officials immediately suspected that the leaders of the Soviet Union had authorized the attempt on the Pope's life-- a hypothesis that appears to have been confirmed by documents recently discovered in the archives of the East German secret service.

Alongside his historic role in the fall of Communism, John Paul II has also been the world's most influential defender of the dignity of human life; his memorable calls for the development of a "culture of life"-- and his parallel denunciations of the "culture of death"-- have been instrumental in rallying opposition to abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and embryonic-tissue research.

The Polish Pontiff was an ardent exponent of Christian unity, who made special efforts to reach out to other Christian churches. He was especially insistent on the need to bring together the Eastern and Western Christian traditions, saying that the Church must "breathe with both lungs."

By far the most traveled Pontiff in history, John Paul II made 104 trips outside Italy during his pontificate, as well as 146 inside the country. His long papacy saw a huge increase in the number of saints formally recognized by the Church; he beatified 1,338 people, and canonized 482. He was the author of 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, 45 apostolic letters, and five books that appeared during the time he served as Pope.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
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I'm not Catholic, but death is always sad. Watched coverage of his death on TV, apparently occurred at 10:27pm local time. It brought tears to my eyes. A man that truly deserves to be honored. He died as in life with strength. May he now be with the Lord, "Well done my good and faithful servant." With a good response, "Have mercy on me a sinner." My prayers are with me, may he now rest in peace. :( :(
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
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My wife was monitoring the BBC live via the Web. ABC now has live coverage on TV. :(

I'm listening to some classical music. :(
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
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This is what happens now...

Read an interesting summary today of the events that will take place over the next few days.

From The Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1450757,00.html

---------------------------------------------------------------------------0

Ancient rituals to find a modern leader

When a pontiff dies the cardinals go into conclave to choose a successor. But, unlike in the past, they will not be forced into a quick decision

John Hooper in Rome, Stephen Bates and Rory Carroll
Saturday April 2, 2005
The Guardian

The death of the Pope will set in train an anomalous interlude in which the world's 1 billion Roman Catholics will be without a leader.

It will also herald a period in which mourning for the dead pontiff will coexist uneasily with fevered preparations for the election of his successor. Archaic ritual will be much to the fore, masking the Vatican's growing use of modern technology and communications.

Two men will play the key roles for two to three weeks - a Spaniard close to the conservative Opus Dei fellowship, and a German who for more than 20 years has been the church's theological watchdog.

Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo holds the title of Camerlengo, or chamberlain, of the Holy Roman church, and that only acquires substance the moment the Pope draws his last breath.

At that point, the Cardinal Camerlengo becomes a sort of interim administrator, though in no sense an "acting pope". His first duty will be to decide that the Pope really has died.

Traditionally, this has been done in the presence of the papal master of ceremonies and various other members of the pontifical household, by tapping the Pope on the forehead with a silver hammer and calling out his baptismal name three times to see whether there is any response.

Cardinal Martínez is more likely to rely on the judgment of the Pope's team of doctors. But his chamberlain's silver hammer will not be idle, for its other use is to break the Fisherman's Ring - the pontiff's individualised signet ring - to ensure that no instructions can be given out under his seal after his death.

The Cardinal Camerlengo's other duty is to inform the Cardinal Vicar for Rome - who, in turn, will announce the death to the people of Rome - and tell the other main figure in the "interregnum", the dean of the College of Cardinals, whose job it is to inform his fellow cardinals, heads of state and the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See.

Since 2002 the dean has been Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a former archbishop of Munich and the head of the "ministry" in the Vatican that helps shape Catholic doctrine and keeps an eye out for maverick theologians.

The chamberlain arranges for the death of the Pope to be certified and for his body to be removed. He then locks up the pontiff's apartment in the Vatican to ensure that his possessions do not fall into the wrong hands.

There was a time when there was a danger of the people of Rome looting the pontiff's residence after his death. That risk may have disappeared, but there are intelligence chiefs and newspaper editors who would pay handsomely for a peek at some of the most private documents in existence, and souvenir hunters who would no doubt do the same to own something that was once the property of St Peter's successor.

The chamberlain arranges for nine days of official mourning and the lying in state of the Pope's body in St Peter's Basilica. The Cardinal Camerlengo will also arrange the funeral, which in normal circumstances takes place between four and six days after his death. At this point he will start to coordinate his work with the cardinals who will go into conclave.

The word comes from the Latin cum clave ("with key") and refers to the fact that the Roman Catholic church's most senior prelates used to be locked in the Sistine Chapel and the immediately adjoining buildings. The idea was to make them as uncomfortable as possible to force a choice.

It first took hold in Viterbo, a town in central Italy that was the site of several papal elections in the middle ages at times when Rome itself was judged to be too turbulent. In 1271 the cardinals had spent no less than 33 months failing to make up their minds, largely for political reasons, when the people of Viterbo lost patience. They persuaded the local authorities to lock the cardinals in a fortress, cut their food rations and take off the roof of the fortress to expose them to the elements.

The cardinals soon chose Gregory X who, three years later, introduced new rules for the election of popes, including one that said the cardinals had to meet in seclusion on a gradually reduced diet until they were living off bread and water. His successor was elected in a single day and the next pope in seven.

Right up until 1978 when John Paul II was chosen, a conclave was something to be approached with as much dread as reverence. The mainly elderly cardinals were lodged in a walled-off space within the Apostolic Palace, divided into small, bare rooms.

The next conclave will be the first to be held since the introduction of rules approved by John Paul himself in 1996, which give the cardinal-electors comfortable accommodation in a new guesthouse within the Vatican, a sizeable complex of 108 suites and 23 single rooms, all with private bathrooms. The prelates will travel by bus to and from the Sistine Chapel, where the voting takes place beneath Michelangelo's fresco of the last judgment.

Nowadays, not all cardinals take part in a conclave. Anyone who has been nominated in pectore (ie, anonymously, so as to protect them from reprisals or for some other reason) is excluded. So are the many cardinals who are over 80.

The rules state that at least 15 days must pass after the death of a pope to allow for the cardinal-electors to assemble in Rome. The College of Cardinals can vote to wait a further five days, but after that the electors must go into conclave. By the time the conclave begins, there is likely to be at least some consensus over the leading contenders. But Catholics believe that, once behind the shut doors of the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals are guided to their decision by God directly in the guise of the Holy Spirit. Anything becomes possible.

Certainly, there have been some remarkable shocks in the 2,000 years of the papacy, few more unexpected than the election of Karol Wojtyla. Favourites are only rarely chosen and there is a saying that he who goes into the conclave a pope invariably comes out a cardinal.

The cardinal-electors are forbidden to exchange messages of any kind with the outside world for the duration of the conclave. A dominant concern of John Paul's 1996 edict, Universi Dominici Gregis (The Shepherd of the Lord's Whole Flock) was to ensure that deliberations remained secret, even after they had reached a decision. Anyone in the Vatican City who should happen to meet one of the cardinal-electors during the election is forbidden to engage in conversation of any sort with the cardinal.

Universi Dominici Gregis also stipulates that "careful and stringent checks" must be made to ensure that no audio-visual equipment has been secretly installed in or around the Sistine Chapel "for recording and transmission to the outside".

Both the electors and the officials who assist them have long had to take solemn oaths binding them not to disclose details of the voting. But the age limit for cardinal-electors introduced by Pope Paul VI unwittingly created a loophole.

After the 1978 conclaves, some of the older, non-voting cardinals were told by their younger colleagues what had happened and, having not taken an oath of secrecy, felt at liberty to pass on the information to journalists.

The oath set out in John Paul II's ordinance includes wording aimed at blocking any future insight into the way that the leader of the world's Roman Catholics is chosen.

In the past, at the end of each vote, the ballot slips were burnt in a stove whose chimney extended through a window of the Sistine Chapel. When there was no result, straw was mixed with the ballots to produce thick, black smoke as a signal to those waiting outside. Sometimes, the difference between black and white smoke could be difficult to discern.

In 1958, when John XXIII was elected, Vatican Radio's reporters got it wrong and told the world a pope had been chosen a day before the decision was actually reached. The new set of rules makes no reference to the smoke signals and one of the many question marks hanging over this conclave is whether they will be used again.
 

MacNut

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Jan 4, 2002
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This is uncharted territory as this is the only Pope that I have ever known.
 

yoda13

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Sep 26, 2003
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What a sad day, the only Pope that I have every known, and I am not even Catholic. But he was such an important world religious leader and IMO a very compassionate man. He will be missed. May he now find peace with God.
 

clayj

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Jan 14, 2005
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The really curious thing now will be whether an Italian is chosen to be the new Pope (as was the case for 450+ straight years before Pope John Paul II), or whether the Catholic Church will select another "foreigner"... some of the candidates I've heard mentioned are a German, an Austrian, and a Nigerian. (No Americans, which is fine with me.) A black Pope would definitely be a milestone.
 

Sweetfeld28

macrumors 65816
Feb 10, 2003
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this is truely sad.

I remember when our youth group from church, made the trek to colorado to see him back in 1993. It always amazed me of how humble his is, and how devoted he was to god and peace.

here is a picture taken of the pope. it was taken in rome, when my parents went to visit my cousin who was studying in rome to become a catholic priest. my cousin took this picture for my parents, whom are in the crowd.
 

Attachments

minesgeek

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Feb 25, 2005
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clayjohanson said:
The really curious thing now will be whether an Italian is chosen to be the new Pope (as was the case for 450+ straight years before Pope John Paul II), or whether the Catholic Church will select another "foreigner"... some of the candidates I've heard mentioned are a German, an Austrian, and a Nigerian. (No Americans, which is fine with me.) A black Pope would definitely be a milestone.
i also heard of a south american cardinal in the running. when i read a brief blurb of a resume on each of the prospective candidates, i couldn't help but think how great it would be if some of these guys were running for president of the united states.
 

Macaddicttt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2004
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minesgeek said:
i also heard of a south american cardinal in the running. when i read a brief blurb of a resume on each of the prospective candidates, i couldn't help but think how great it would be if some of these guys were running for president of the united states.
Where'd you see these blurbs? I would like to read them. But before seeing them, my money's on the Archbishop of Vienna.
 

minesgeek

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Feb 25, 2005
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Macaddicttt said:
Where'd you see these blurbs? I would like to read them. But before seeing them, my money's on the Archbishop of Vienna.
i wish that i could remember. it was quite awhile ago. sometime during the democratic primaries or something. nobody really likes to publish too much on the topic until the pope has died. none of the cardinals like to campaign all that much during this time either...that would be in pretty poor taste.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
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Macaddicttt said:
Where'd you see these blurbs? I would like to read them. But before seeing them, my money's on the Archbishop of Vienna.

Here's a round-up from The Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1450759,00.html


The leading contenders
Saturday April 2, 2005: The Guardian

Claudio Hummes, 70, Archbishop of Sao Paolo

One of 15 children of a family from the south of Brazil, Hummes is a former radical sometimes accused of trimming his views to further his career. But his moderation would only be seen as such in the context of the intense social commitment of the Brazilian church, and anyway say friends, it could be more apparent than real. Has a doctorate in philosophy and did specialist ecumenical studies. As bishop of Santo Andre from 1975 to 1996, he opposed Brazil's military regime and backed workers' action, including the 1978 metalworkers' strike led by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the union boss who later became president.

Qualifications
A white, developing world candidate who could appeal to liberals without terrifying conservatives. Hummes has vast pastoral experience (the archdiocese of Sao Paolo has a population of 6 million) and what Lula once called "a beautiful character".

Handicaps
Popes who are monks or friars are a rarity and Hummes was ordained into the Franciscans. Could be too socially critical for comfort. Has indirectly defended land invasions and once refused to arbitrate in an industrial dispute on the grounds that the church "is firmly behind one side - that of the workers".

Has said "Private property is defended by the church as a secondary right. The primary right is the universal destina tion of the goods, meaning that earthly goods are for all."


Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, 62, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa

Where do you start? Speaks seven languages. Plays piano, organ, bass, guitar and saxophone. Holds master's degrees in moral theology and clinical psychology. Once taught physics. And has a pilot's licence to boot. As head of the church in Honduras, has campaigned against corruption and headed a commission that recommended the abolition of the secret police. Unquestionably the anti-globaliser's choice for pontiff, Maradiaga calls debt "a tombstone over Latin America". A former president of the Latin American bishops' conference, with vast moral authority in his native land.

Qualifications
Dizzyingly clever. Socially committed, yet theologically orthodox. Outstanding language skills. Brilliant pastoral record: since he was made auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, the number of seminarians in the diocese has risen from two to almost 150.

Handicaps
Has shown he can lose his cool. Said media coverage in the US of the paedophilia scandal reminded him of "the times of Diocletian and Nero, and, more recently, Stalin and Hitler". Could be too young. Could be too radical.

Has said "Latin America is up against the greatest subversion of all time - the subversion of poverty".


Francis Arinze, 72, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship

Long touted as candidate for first black pope. Born an animist in what was the breakaway state of Biafra, a member of the Ibo tribe. Studied in Rome and London before embarking on a career in teaching.

John Paul II appointed him to head the Vatican body which handles the church's links with atheists, then put him in charge of the department which keeps in touch with other religions, particularly Islam, before promoting him to one of the top jobs in the church.

Qualifications
Genial, modest and astute. Expert at holding his own within the Vatican. His understanding of Islam would make him the obvious choice if the cardinals decide the main challenge facing the church is the threat of a rift with the Muslim world after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.

Handicaps
No recent pastoral experience. Seen by some as too much in the theologically conservative mould of John Paul II. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's chief theologian, signalled his support for a black pope in 2002, but other insiders question whether there can be an African pontiff so soon. The continent may have a huge Catholic population but is riven by internal rivalries.

Has said "When I see young men with pony tails, earrings and lipstick, I want to wash their heads with holy water."


Christoph Schönborn, 60, Archbishop of Vienna

The scion of a noble Bohemian family that had already produced two cardinals (among 19 bishops and other clergy) before he was given his red hat at 53. A member of the Dominican order and a theologian, trained by Cardinal Ratzinger. John Paul II entrusted him with the important job of preparing a new catechism, the document that sets out the church's official teaching. Won admiration for his decisive handling of a scandal involving his predecessor, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, who was accused of paedophilia.

Qualifications
Speaks English, Italian, Spanish and French as well as German. Theologically sound. Practical experience of holding together a divided church.

Handicaps
Not popular in Austria, where he has been accused of being shifty and evasive in personal dealings. Lost some support in 2001 by appearing to move from the centre to the right as he distanced himself from calls for greater democracy. Young, though his health is suspect.

Has said [of reporters] "Am I being too pious?"


Dionigi Tettamanzi, 71, Archbishop of Milan

Probably Italy's best hope of recapturing the papacy. Memorably described by the late Archbishop of Glasgow, Cardinal Winning, as "that wee fat guy". Frontline warrior in the crusade against what the last pope identified as the "culture of death", being vociferous in his condemnations of the death penalty and abortion. Once said that "a single black child with Aids counted more than the entire universe". Has embraced anti-globalisation, yet remains an admirer of Opus Dei, which he described as being "among the church's best-loved institutions".

Qualifications
Holds the top pastoral job in the country that has supplied all but a handful of the last 263 popes. Occupies the middle ground.

Handicaps
Seen as an able, rather than brilliant, administrator. Critics wonder if he is bright enough for the top job. Passion for Opus Dei could repel more than attract.

Has said "The G8 should become a sort of G-all. The job starts with us, in our own streets, in our own square; it starts with recognising the poverty around us, and the poverty that is migrating towards us."


Angelo Sodano, 77, Secretary of state

Vatican super-diplomat. Son of an Italian MP. Taught theology before being sent abroad. Served in Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile. Returned for 10-year stint in the Curia before being dispatched by Paul VI to be his representative in Pinochet's Chile. Helped to broker an agreement between Chile and Argentina in the Beagle Channel dispute. Called to Rome to head the Vatican's foreign service in 1988, he played a key role in persuading General Manuel Noriega to surrender to US forces after he fled to the Holy See's mission in Panama City. Raised eyebrows when he spoke of a papal resignation after the Pope was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties.

Qualifications
No papal punter should underestimate the chances of the outgoing Pope's "premier". Angelo Sodano has held the top job in the Curia since 1991 and built a considerable power base. Elderly, but fit, he is the obvious stopgap candidate.

Handicaps
Over the age at which most popes are chosen. A long stint at the head of the secretariat of state breeds enmities as well as loyalties. Short on pastoral experience. Dogged by claims that he was too cosy with Pinochet's regime.

Once wrote [to General Pinochet] "His Holiness retains an emotional recollection of his meeting with the members of your family on the occasion of his extraordinary pastoral visit to Chile."
 

minesgeek

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Feb 25, 2005
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i like Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga so far on character but i think that overall, Claudio Hummes is the most qualified. it all depends on where they are sitting in the sisteen chapel during the voting...
 

clayj

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Jan 14, 2005
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Macaddicttt said:
Where'd you see these blurbs? I would like to read them. But before seeing them, my money's on the Archbishop of Vienna.
I'd agree with that... Schönborn has a BIG advantage in that he's *only* 60, the youngest of the most likely candidates. Sodano is too old, and Tettamanzi is too "hard core" (support for Opus Dei, etc.) for the new world that the Catholic Church now finds itself in.

One question, though: What does Nostradamus' list of Popes have to say about the next Pope? If you believe in his prophecies, there may be a clue there. EDIT: OK, the Malachy/Nostradamus item for the next Pope is "the glory of the olive".
 

MacNut

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wordmunger said:
All I want is a pope who will at least *consider* the idea of sanctioning birth control.
I don't see this happening anytime soon.

Very informative post Blue Velvet.
 

Macaddicttt

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Apr 22, 2004
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clayjohanson said:
I'd agree with that... Schönborn has a BIG advantage in that he's *only* 60, the youngest of the most likely candidates. Sodano is too old, and Tettamanzi is too "hard core" (support for Opus Dei, etc.) for the new world that the Catholic Church now finds itself in.
Actually, I think his young age goes against him. I don't think they want another young pope because if he's not very good, then you have to wait a long time to replace him. Imagine if John Paul hadn't been very good. It would have been 26 years of mediocrity, at best.
 

MacNut

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Macaddicttt said:
Actually, I think his young age goes against him. I don't think they want another young pope because if he's not very good, then you have to wait a long time to replace him. Imagine if John Paul hadn't been very good. It would have been 26 years of mediocrity, at best.
I think a Pope that is to old is no good either. The church does not want to have to go through all of this in another 5 years. Plus I think it wants to find a new identity, so a younger Pope can give the church direction.
 

feakbeak

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Oct 16, 2003
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wordmunger said:
All I want is a pope who will at least *consider* the idea of sanctioning birth control.
This would be nice, but probably won't happen.

I am not Catholic, or even religous in any way. Actually, I have quite a few issues with the Catholic church as an institution (not Catholics as individuals) - however, this is not the thread to discuss such things. Even with my reservations about the church, I admire John Paul II. I believe he has moved the Catholic church forward, hopefully that continues. He was devoted to many great causes and was very consistent throughout his time as Pope, many churches struggle with consistency.