In honor of the passing of Pope John Paul II

By | April 4, 2005

In honor of the passing of Pope John Paul II (or how the Catholics are kicking our butts):

The amount of worldwide respect paid to the late pontiff I have found to be quite interesting. Though I might not totally agree with the Roman church’s view of the papacy in general, I none the less recognize him as a leader in the church. I find it intriguing that this person, who is leader of no country, and whose death was expected, has received more attention than perhaps anyone save for the untimely death of the queen of England or the current President of the United States would. I find this to be a wonderful sign of God’s kingdom in the world. The late John Paul II is being credited with being a major influence in the fall of communism in Poland and subsequently the rest of the eastern bloc. All of this again without having political influence (at least in a way) or violence.

Another way in which he showed God’s kingdom was the ways in which he honored those from all parts of the world. That’s at least one thing about the Catholics: they have leaders from many countries (and hence cultures and races). Many protestant churches now days don’t have any leadership beyond the walls of their building. (I have mixed feelings about this, as I think having accountability is good, as well as recognizing in a real way that the church is much bigger than our own fellowship. However, having a large structure of leadership can lead to things getting stuck in the status quo way of doing things.)

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  • ladyofglass

    It is interesting. I’m friends with a catholic family and we’ve had many discussions about this matter–the fact that the Catholic church has a centeral human leadership structure and the pros and cons. The Protestant church has, I think, become so widely factioned between it’s denominational walls and yes, even between the walls of each of it’s own buildings, that our witness to the world is sorely damanged. I don’t agree with some of the doctrines within the Catholic church, and I can see some of the risks in having a central leadership structure like that (history has shown a few of them pretty clearly), but at the same time, I think that it could do something to help promote unity and accountability within the Protestant side of the Church.

    And I thought John Paul II was pretty cool, from what I knew of him. =)


  • Ron_Juan

    I am going to go out on a limb here, and sound like a moron, but did Queen Elizabeth die? Not to take away from the point that you were making, but that part puzzled me. I have two tv’s in this house, and I don’t watch a lick of television…

  • slburton

    Hey Doug, we miss you around GG, but it’s good to see you are still the deep thinker you always were. Disunity in the church is a very sad thing. In my learnings, it seems the best way to overcome any barrier (racial, socioeconomic, whatever) is to spend genuine time with those who are not like you. Realize they are still people, too (imagine that), and expand your level of understanding. It takes time, effort, and as you said, probably initiating the bridge-building in an intentional way. Thanks for bringing this to light; it is always good to be reminded of topics like this. We should all consider them and think about how we can impact the Kingdom for God’s glory. –Stephanie