There are few more recognizable individuals than Pope John Paul II; his passing yesterday at the Vatican is certainly one of those moments when we realize, as a society and as the human race, we have lost a legend.
Though his conservative views were a bit controversial and his papacy most recently has been plagued with scandals within the Catholic Church, the Pope has remained a beacon of hope and a strong advocate for peace. In his life he made significant contributions in the efforts of advancing human rights and for the first time, maybe ever, in the Catholic Church, began soothing the ill-feelings of anti-semitism.
Elected by the College of Cardinals in 1978, Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in nearly 450 years. His experiences in WWII and the Holocaust, as a young man in Poland, brought a sensitivity and consideration to the papacy that the Church had not seen in many years.
I am not Catholic, but I can understand the magnitude of his passing and respect the millions of mourners world wide who have lost a dear part of their lives.
Karol Józef Wojtyła
(Pope John Paul II)
5/18/20 - 4/3/05