Thursday, October 02, 2003

Pray for the Pope

Seems Pope John Paul II may be nearing the end of the road here on Earth:

More concern about Pope's health

One of the Vatican Cardinals was quoted as saying: "He is in a bad way. We should pray for the pope."

I'm not much for Catholic prayer, so how about a cheer instead?

Go, Pope, Go!
Die! Die! Die!
You can do it!!!

No, I don't really want the Pope to die. Apart from Carol Channing and radical Muslims, I don't really want anybody to die.

But shouldn't Catholics be rooting for the Pope to kick it? In fact, shouldn't the Christian desire for all good Christians be that they die as soon as possible?

The whole Christian experience is built on the idea that life here on Earth prepares you for eternal life, which for proper Christians is a swell gig. Heaven is the ultimate goal.

And it's standard practice at Christian funerals for the minister to talk about how the dead person is "at Jesus' side", "in a better place", "starting his life of eternal joy", etc.

Once somebody dies, it's an easy comfort mechanism to say it's a good thing for them that they are dead. Sure, it's painful for us left behind, but he happy for Mr. Dead Guy, who's having brunch with Jesus as we speak.

So if dying is a good thing if you're a right and proper Christian, we should hope Christian folk die as soon as possible. No suicides, of course. Jesus don't like that.

Seems pretty logical. Of course, logic and Christianity do not work very well together.

But here we have the Pope. Obviously a good Catholic, 83 years old, suffering through Parkinson's and maybe cancer ... and that nagging ache from being shot in the gut 22 years ago.

Even if there is no afterlife, a peaceful death would not be a tragedy for J.P. at this point.

And if there is a heaven, he's got a first-class ticket. He's paid his dues as a Christian; he's old, and he's suffering.

It probably won't count, because I'm not a Catholic, but I have posted a prayer request for the Pope, and I encourage you to do the same.


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