Saturday, April 09, 2005

A few more thoughts on Pope John Paul

During a lengthy visit to the blogosphere this morning, I have found some more articles about the late Pope, whose funeral, of course, was yesterday. (I was unable to watch it live, but did manage to see part of it on tape delay on CNN Friday evening.) Anyway, here are the articles:

Peggy Noonan writes about John Paul's triumphal visit to Poland in June of 1979, the same one I mentioned at length in one of my previous posts.

The online edition of National Review has this symposium, wherein a number of dignitaries, members of the clergy, and more or less ordinary people share their impressions of this Pope. Although it is rather lengthy, I encourage one and all to read the entire article. I did, and it was time well-spent.

Jerry Johnston wrote this column in today's Deseret Morning News. He, like me, is a Latter-day Saint who deeply admired John Paul and what he stood for.

Greg Crosby weighs in with this comparison of Pope John Paul and Ronald Reagan. Meanwhile, in the same edition of Jewish World Review, Jeff Jacoby praises the late Pope for his vigorous and principled stand against anti-Semitism -- one of the truly monstrous crimes of the ages -- and includes a story which, taken alone, would have provided abundant reason for one to admire this man. (An aside: In this column, Mr. Jacoby briefly mentions Pope John XXIII, which reminds me of one of my favorite anecdotes about him. Pope John, whose name originally had been Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was once introduced to a delegation of rabbis who had come to the Vatican to meet him. He greeted them by opening his arms and announcing, "Io sono Giuseppe, vostro fratello" -- that is, "I am Joseph your brother." For the benefit of my readers who may not be intimately familiar with the Old Testament, these were the words used by Joseph in making himself known to his brethren, who had sold him into Egypt many years previously, and who were now come into Egypt to seek relief from an ongoing famine. Joseph, by this time, had risen to become in effect Pharaoh's right-hand man, his prime minister, as it were. I would imagine that the rabbis were quite touched to be greeted in this manner by the Pope.)


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