Saturday, April 02, 2005

Rest in Peace, John Paul II

Although not a Catholic, one must respect the man who stood so tall against the evils of Communism (folks forget the Sovet-backed attempt to assasinate him in 1981). Remember that the Solidarity movement against the government of Poland was manned by factory and contruction workers, miners and dockman, all of who had easy access to explosive devices that could have made the revolution into a bloodbath. But the religious nature of these people, of whom John Paul was a leader, did not allow for this (unlike other religious leaders who command the murder of innocents from their mosques), and the revolt remained relatively peaceful.

Being Jewish, I appreciated his visits to various synagouges, as well as finally establishing formal ties with Isreal in 1993, and his visit to the Holy Land (in which he left a note expressing sadness for suffering of the Jews) in 2000. I was less comfortable with his meetings w/Arafat, but compared to someone like Bill Clinton (who met the killer 47 times), the Pope was practically a hardliner.

May the Catholic Church in its wisdom find a leader who can continue his works.

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