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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sunday Morning

Besides Christine and Dina, I only really miss Sunday Morning on CBS whenever I'm not in New York. This morning I enjoyed all three. The circumstances were somewhat odd, however, because of the death of Pope John Paul II.

Most of Sunday Morning was dedicated to the pope's passing, of course. Interestingly there were diversions towards Monaco and the ailing Prince Rainier, and England's upcoming wedding between Charles and Camilla. More than anything, this highlighted the fact that the papacy is a sort of royalty with the pope as supreme monarch and the cardinals as princes.
Pope John Paul II lying in state.
The pontiff is now lying in state at the Vatican until his funeral on Wednesday. I think that too much has already been said about his life and death over the past few days, so I'll hold off on adding my thoughts on him until Wednesday or Friday. Respect for the dead is a no brainer.

My blog allows all readers to add their own comments. My saving my own comments until later should not stop anyone from posting their own words about John Paul II's passing and/or the Pope's visit/s to Malta.

Blogger Robert Micallef said...

Discussing the mixed legacy of Pope John Paul is not a straightforward affair. For most of us this is the only Pope we have ever known and he leaves a hole that is not easy to fill - not just from a religous perspective but also in terms of international policy. While the Pope's positions on social issues have not been popular, he still leaves a lasting impact globally.

An interview with Michael Gorbachev I have just watched on CNN gives an interesting insight of the impact the Pope had on world affairs. The former Soviet leader spoke about how Wojtyla opposed both communism and capitalism and described how the Pope had insisted with him that Europe must breath with both it's lungs. He mourns his loss even if ironically the Pope may have contributed to his (Gorbachev's) own downfall.

In my view, a crucial issue that must be faced by the new leadership of the Catholic church is the future relationship between Christianity and Islam. This is particlarly pertinent for the European continent where in a few years there may be more Muslims praying in mosques on Fridays than Christians attending mass on Sundays (may already be the case in the UK). I blogged about this yesterday on Wired Temples - the following is how I concluded my post:

"It is true that this Pope has chosen to consistently accomodate Islam seeing it as an ally in the war against abortion and birth control. With growing Muslim populations in Europe and elsewhere the nature of this dialogue will certainly have a bearing on the policies of the new leadership of the Catholic church. The problem as I see it is that Islam is not united and there is no institutional equivalent to the Vatican in the Islamic world - it reminds me of the difficulties US secretary of state Kissinger used to have in engaging in dialogue with Europe ("When I want to talk to Europe I don't know who to phone"). So, Dialogue with which Islam?"


2:07 AM, April 04, 2005

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