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AWArulz
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#1 Posted on 1.3.05 2039.36
Reposted on: 1.3.12 2050.22
It looks to me like Pope John Paul II is on his last legs. Obviously, religious leader or not, John Paul wields a lot of political clout. He says the word and political leaders do the job to him. He says the word and people all over the world do his bidding. people completely out of the Catholic realm react and are influenced by much of what he does.

I don't recall Pope Paul VI having that much influence (I'm not counting John Paul I). Can a new pope have this much influence? Will a return to an Italian Papacy return the Church to mediocrity. I think it will. I believe the Church HAS to select a third-world Cardinal as pope, and I think it will be a south or central American. If that is not their choice, then the Roman church will fade even more as a force in the modern world.

I doubt that John Paul will resign, but clearly, he is fading. I wonder what the future holds for the Catholic church?
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redsoxnation
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#2 Posted on 1.3.05 2107.28
Reposted on: 1.3.12 2116.14
The favorite according to the European bookmakers is an Italian Cardinal, but, once the College of Cardinals meet, who knows. Probably a better chance of an African Pope than a Central or South American Pope getting through the College.
As for impact, I think it is highly doubtful the next Pope or any of the next several have the impact of John Paul, as his position as a Pope from a Communist nation that played an influential role in the demise of Communism will be tough to match. Plus, he brought the PopeMobile to the world, one of the greatest vehicles of all time.
DrDirt
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#3 Posted on 2.3.05 0759.27
Reposted on: 2.3.12 0800.23
It is also important, IMO, to select a Pope who is as vital and active in the real world. The scenes of a Pope schussing down a ski slope, hiking around, and really getting out among his flock ALL over the world was a huge factor in his power and influence. He is a bit too conservative for my tastes but I consider him a man of deep conviction, faith, and compassion.

Other factors that contributed to his papacy are the "mysterious" death of JPI after a very brief time in office and his being shot. Much like Reagan he was the right man for the times to help rebuild and restore the Church.
Grimis
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#4 Posted on 2.3.05 0855.14
Reposted on: 2.3.12 0859.01
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    He is a bit too conservative for my tastes but I consider him a man of deep conviction, faith, and compassion.
Are you Catholic doc? I know lots of Catholics who complain that this pope was too liberal and allowed too much to change.
DrDirt
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#5 Posted on 2.3.05 0936.48
Reposted on: 2.3.12 0942.48
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      He is a bit too conservative for my tastes but I consider him a man of deep conviction, faith, and compassion.
    Are you Catholic doc? I know lots of Catholics who complain that this pope was too liberal and allowed too much to change.


No Grimis, I'm Methodist but raised Disciple of Christ. My Catholic friends are pretty much split on the issue of JPII.

The Catholic Church fascinates me because at the same time it is ultra progressive and ultra reactionary. My concerns with JPII involve stands on the priesthood, the role of women, and birth control. However, not being a Catholic, it's really none of my business.
Grimis
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#6 Posted on 2.3.05 0945.30
Reposted on: 2.3.12 0949.37
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    The Catholic Church fascinates me because at the same time it is ultra progressive and ultra reactionary. My concerns with JPII involve stands on the priesthood, the role of women, and birth control. However, not being a Catholic, it's really none of my business.
Understood. To a certain extent, it is none of our business as non-Catholics in the spiritual sense, but I look at the Papal Election the same way as I did elections in France, Spain, etc. The Papacy also the role of a Head of State and as a leading international Statesmen, so the office is of vital interest and importance to Catholics and non-Catholics a like.
El Nastio
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#7 Posted on 2.3.05 1001.13
Reposted on: 2.3.12 1002.08
He continues his journey here on this realm facing struggles and hardships like the rest of us, although his are for all to see. His body may be failing, but his spirit remains strong, stronger than anyone else I know. I wouldn't bet against him in anyway shape or form. To me, he remains a bastion of morality, courage, and forever will be a role-model for not just myself, but for many other Catholic (or non-Catholic) youth and adults.

The current Supreme Pontiff is not the only recent pope who had influence. Pope John XXIII had some influence I believe, what with the Second Vatican Council happenning and all. The next Pope will also hold considerable power and influence, simply because he'll be the Pope. What do I hope for in a Pope? Orthadox in a docterinal and litergical sense, compassionate, and also a few other things too. At any rate, those of us who are practicing Catholics recall in Matthew when Jesus speaks to St. Peter (the first Pope) and says "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against you" (Matthew 16). It'll all be good.

On a related note, I got a feeling that at World Youth Day, JPII will be there. In closing, the following;

JPII I love you!
DrDirt
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#8 Posted on 2.3.05 1120.49
Reposted on: 2.3.12 1124.07
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      The Catholic Church fascinates me because at the same time it is ultra progressive and ultra reactionary. My concerns with JPII involve stands on the priesthood, the role of women, and birth control. However, not being a Catholic, it's really none of my business.
    Understood. To a certain extent, it is none of our business as non-Catholics in the spiritual sense, but I look at the Papal Election the same way as I did elections in France, Spain, etc. The Papacy also the role of a Head of State and as a leading international Statesmen, so the office is of vital interest and importance to Catholics and non-Catholics a like.


Grimis, I agree that the secular side of the papacy is our business in the sense that it effects how we interact with the world. I simply mean that what their church agress to as a church while interesting to me is up to them.
too-old-now
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#9 Posted on 2.3.05 1536.05
Reposted on: 2.3.12 1536.06
I appreciate this particular pontiff's sense of humor.

Recently I read somewhere - I forget where - that when recovering from his recent illness he couldn't speak and wrote down the question - what did the doctors do to me?

Another story goes that a few years ago he was walking through a construction/renovation area and a worker having a particularly troubling day dropped something and said "God damn it!", provoking the pope to come ask him "Can't you just say "merde" like everyone else?"

When this pope dies, will the new one get to order a new, customized popemobile? Imagine what the old one would fetch on E-bay? Think of the listing:

Want a heavenly ride? This baby has had only one previous owner, it's bulletproof, and offers a great all around view.

One thing for certain, Sinead O'Connor will NOT be the next successor to Peter.

The concerns I have with the pope, as I am a non-practicing Catholic, center around the exclusionary nature of the doctrine. I may pretend to respect the Church's position and those that believe, but I don't agree with a lot of it. All of the wealth the Church has, and is not using, could really be put to great use solving many of the world's problems. Curing cancer - improving water supplies, AIDS, etc. Instead the focus is on birth control, abortion, coverup of sexual abuse, and the all important titheing. Historically, the doctrine has changed several times to suit whatever whim the papal bull comes up with.

I am just an old hippie at heart, but why can't the focus instead be on Jesus' legendary message simply translated as "Peace".
AWArulz
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#10 Posted on 2.3.05 1745.19
Reposted on: 2.3.12 1747.13
    Originally posted by too-old-now
    I am just an old hippie at heart, but why can't the focus instead be on Jesus' legendary message simply translated as "Peace".


Jesus' disciples wondered that too - and he said, "don't think that I come to bring peace - I didn't come to bring peace, but a sword, to set parents against children and sibling against sibling." Christianity as He preached was divisive.

I'd be happy if JPII's succesor was along those lines. We (even we non-cathlics) need a Pope willing to stand up against unneeded change. I have been happy with the current Pope's stands and hope they name a worthy succesor when the time comes.
Roy.
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#11 Posted on 2.3.05 1826.01
Reposted on: 2.3.12 1828.57
As a Catholic, I'm a little worried. The next pope has a lot to live up to, and he's also going to have to balance new expectations from both sides (the conservatives and liberals inside and outside of the church).

I also think whoever takes over is going to have to address the fact that priest recruitment is down. My mother knew several boys in her high school (public school) 40 years ago that went into the priesthood, and I don't know any. Plus, we only have one (by my count) priest under the age of 30 in my home parish. Is allowing marriage the solution? I'm not sure. Some argue that the celibacy thing was simply a product of the church not wanting to take care of a priest's family (thus saving money), but I'm not sure I buy that argument.

Somebody has to become more honest about the sexual abuse scandals. The media loves priest scandals, and there have been some serious missteps in that department. A relative of a relative of mine (got that?) is a defrocked priest who was accused (and convicted) of abusing a minor for several years. Apparently, it was fairly common knowledge, and he was ferried away from the boy (who he had a "relationship" with for about 5 years starting when the boy was about 12) until the boy made everything public. Why not go to the police early in the abuse, if it was known?

I also have the pleasure of knowing a TON of different kinds of Catholics. My old roommate's father is convinced that after JP2 dies, there is going to be some chaos of biblical proportions. I also know some people who don't believe that Vatican 2 was even legit, and no pope since then was a "real" pope. Then there's a lot of young Catholics that I know right now that have some non-church views on abortion, gay marriage, pre-marital sex, birth control, the death penalty, etc. who go to church/confession every week. I suppose every religious youth goes through something like that in their life, but it'll be interesting how religious views and political views are melded today.

As for the politics of the Vatican, Vatican City is one of the few countries that have representatives in pretty much every part of the world. Everybody has a stake in who's in charge next.
Jaguar
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#12 Posted on 2.3.05 1838.10
Reposted on: 2.3.12 1838.29
The Church turns a blind eye on too many of its priests. While the sex scandals are bad, the rampant alcoholism is much more widespread. Both are covered up, and the priests are moved away. The Church has been in a state of denial over this for a long time now, and I think a move to clear the air and get their priests some help would be a step in the right direction.

-Jag
geemoney
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#13 Posted on 2.3.05 2101.19
Reposted on: 2.3.12 2106.31
    Originally posted by Roy.
    I also think whoever takes over is going to have to address the fact that priest recruitment is down. My mother knew several boys in her high school (public school) 40 years ago that went into the priesthood, and I don't know any. Plus, we only have one (by my count) priest under the age of 30 in my home parish. Is allowing marriage the solution? I'm not sure. Some argue that the celibacy thing was simply a product of the church not wanting to take care of a priest's family (thus saving money), but I'm not sure I buy that argument.

Funny...a priest from our parish was trying to convince me to go to be a priest (probably because I'm one of the few people my age that still actively go to church and am involved in it). If priests were allowed to marry, than I might consider it. I wonder how many people are in the same boat.

(edited by geemoney on 2.3.05 2202)
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#14 Posted on 3.3.05 0748.26
Reposted on: 3.3.12 0756.22
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    The Church turns a blind eye on too many of its priests. While the sex scandals are bad, the rampant alcoholism is much more widespread. Both are covered up, and the priests are moved away. The Church has been in a state of denial over this for a long time now, and I think a move to clear the air and get their priests some help would be a step in the right direction.

    -Jag


Jag, I agree although I don't know if it is a state of denial or that the heirarcy of the Church doesn't know what to do within the strict limitations of what the priesthood currently is. I really don't know what they can do in alot of areas unless the Vatican is willing to revisit the laws governing the priesthood.

Being a Catholic priest must be one of the hardest jobs (callings) in the world, much harder than for protestant clergy.
tarnish
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#15 Posted on 3.3.05 0815.29
Reposted on: 3.3.12 0815.35
I'm a recovering Catholic who went to church almost every week for the first 18 years of my life.

My Dad and I used to get into it over the Pope and the Church and what I thought they could be doing to join the rest of the world in the 21st century.

After years of arguments, I finally was able to understand what he was saying: the Church and the Pope head up one of the largest religious groups in the world. As we've seen in this thread, even non-Catholic Christians very often view the Pope as a figurehead of sorts. For the Vatican, making any kind of statement that goes against 2000 years of scripture and tradition is immensely difficult.

One must remember about the Catholic church that the strongholds of new "recruits" lie mostly in Africa and South America. In both cases, the missionaries who have brought Catholocism to these areas have been tremendously old school about it, teaching a very conservative Catholicism.

If the Pope were to make a statement on, say, Birth Control, he would risk alienating a large percentage of Catholics who have been taught that by definition Birth Control is wrong.

It's almost a similar effect as with the political climate in the United States right now. Urban areas are full of people who have a different, and generally more liberal, outlook on life. But the more conservative folk in the less populated areas still have a voice; and that voice was heard loud and clear in the most recent election.

The Pope and the Church know that while there are still plenty of Catholics in Western culture, those areas are also where they're losing the most followers on a year-over-year basis. And although it's probably also known that easing up a little on some aspects of the faith might bring some people back, the risk of what it might do in, say, Africa, is too great.

Pope John Paul II is a great man. I say that as a former Catholic and ancestral Pole. I don't agree with him on everything, of course, but I cannot imagine anyone having done a much better job over the last 20+ years. The work he has done with the Youth of the world has been immmense; I hope his replacement will continue that focus. I may not choose to be part of the Catholic church any more, but any organization that encourages young people to live active, involved, and "good" lives should be commended for it.
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#16 Posted on 3.3.05 0920.26
Reposted on: 3.3.12 0920.44
    Originally posted by too-old-now
    When this pope dies, will the new one get to order a new, customized popemobile?

Pope My Ride!
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#17 Posted on 3.3.05 0941.45
Reposted on: 3.3.12 0943.27
Tarnish, you speak of 2000 years of tradition and while that is true regarding some dogma, it is not true of all. Things such as celibate priests were not present at the inception of the Church. And things have been dropped over the centuries.

And it is the conservative nature of this Pope, not adherents in Africa and South America dictating policy rulings.

(edited by DrDirt on 3.3.05 0942)
tarnish
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#18 Posted on 3.3.05 1119.25
Reposted on: 3.3.12 1119.25
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Tarnish, you speak of 2000 years of tradition and while that is true regarding some dogma, it is not true of all. Things such as celibate priests were not present at the inception of the Church. And things have been dropped over the centuries.

    And it is the conservative nature of this Pope, not adherents in Africa and South America dictating policy rulings.

    (edited by DrDirt on 3.3.05 0942)


Even if it's not technically 2000 years of tradition, it might as well be. The Pope up and saying, "Well, 1500 years ago priests weren't celibate, so I'm going to eliminate that requirement from the priesthood," would go over like a lead balloon. People are aware of the rules as they are now and have been in recent memory.

And I totally disagree that the huge populations of Africans and South American Catholics have nothing to do with current conservative leanings in the Vatican. You've got a nexus of fervent Catholics who have been taught things like "birth control is wrong; have more kids, more Catholic kids." By negating that critical part of the Catholic dogma the Pope would risk alienating a huge number of people who have been taught opposite. And the teachings were along the lines of, "God wants it that way." Suddenly God doesn't want it that way? Every couple married in a Catholic church anywhere in the world today has pledged to have children and raise them Catholic. They don't get married in Catholic churches otherwise.

You have to remember that the church is a massive organization with constituents in all walks of life, in all countries around the world. You can't shake them up by reversing something they believe is central to their faith. The Vatican has to look at the world through a lens that sees hundreds of countries and thousands of years, not just this one.

You'll never see a "liberal" Pope. Not one so liberal as to allow Birth Control or allow Priests to marry. Ain't gonna happen in this lifetime, anyway. And you can blame it on the man himself, but that won't get you very far, I'll warrant, as the man himself is answerable not just to the Vatican, not just to the hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world, but to God. And last I heard there haven't been any public dispatches from Him/Her lately.
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#19 Posted on 3.3.05 1330.56
Reposted on: 3.3.12 1332.57
tarnish--You keep bringing up birth control, but the Church's stance is not that birth control is wrong (and hasn't been for 40 years). Rather, doctrine holds that artificial birth control (any so called barrier method) is wrong. Moreover, part of the marriage is not to promise to have kids and raise them Catholic. Instead, the promise is to be open to having kids. A subtle but important distinction.

Also, you had mentioned that the Church is losing a lot of followers in Western culture. That may be true in Europe (I don't have numbers to prove or disprove that for Europe), but in the U.S., the Church is growing. The problem is that the number of priests is shrinking.

Lastly, JP2 was conservative long before he received any influence from African and South American Catholics. I would argue his beliefs were shaped to a far greater extent by living under the Nazis (first) and then behind the Iron Curtain. Since he became pope, he has been very consistent.
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