Mike Cope's blog

Friday, April 08, 2005

We've put a couple pieces about the life of Pope John Paul II on the Wineskins website. Anytime my buddy Darryl Tippens writes something I wonder, "Why can't I think/write like that?" (There was also an interesting discussion yesterday on Greg Kendall-Ball's blog.) What an amazing man he was. It was hard to co-opt him to promote your own causes because he didn't fit into neat little American categories. He denounced the war in Iraq, capital punishment, abortion, stem cell research, birth control, and Western greed that tramples on the poor. I don't want to put a damper on his powerful influence for peace. AND YET . . . I just wonder what his legacy would be if he had forcefully led in a direct, honest, compassionate response to the revelations of sexual abuse from within the church's clergy. The sense of downplaying and cover-up was strong, wasn't it? I'm sure I have no idea how complex the issue was. But there was a chance to say that all records would be released, all predators would be removed, and all victims would be compensated even if the Vatican had to be sold to pay for it. Nevertheless, I hope my worst moment isn't the central topic on the day of my funeral. It's clear that hundreds of millions of people were impacted by his kindness, compassion, and intelligence.

7 Comments:

  • Amen. I pray that I'm remembered for who I was, not necessarily what I did or didn't do.

    By Blogger Chad, at 4/08/2005 06:29:00 AM  

  • Pope John Paul II had a very close relationship with his father. Born Karol Wojtyla in 1920, he referred to his father as the most important human influence on his life. John Paul’s father, a captain in the Polish army, was “a gentleman whose integrity, diligence and honesty were hallmarks of his career.” Biographers have noted that, above all, John Paul’s father was “a just man who believed he had a responsibility to transmit that commitment of living justly to his son.”

    In John Paul’s autobiography, he remembers his own father as “a man of constant prayer.” He would often find his father at night and in the early morning praying on his knees. They read the Bible together regularly and as the future Pope would remark, it was through his father’s example that he gained the insight that “the life of faith has first to do with an interior conversion.” In his autobiography, he expounds further about his early religious formation, saying, “We never spoke about a vocation to the priesthood, but my father’s example was, in a way, my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary.” (These quotes come from Witness to Hope by George Weigel and from Ken Canfield of the National Center for Fathering)

    By Blogger David Michael, at 4/08/2005 06:43:00 AM  

  • Mike -- I don't know if you read Texas Monthly, but you might check out the story of Irene Garza in the April issue.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 4/08/2005 07:35:00 AM  

  • Mike, your comment, "even if the Vatican had to be sold to pay for it" really made me regret my thinking you would have made a great Pope. It is clear you just don't get it. You can change the little dunce hat thingy to something different - like say a ... baseball hat. You can make Mel Gibson a saint. You might even be able to add a few beads to the Rosary thingy.

    But sell the Vatican?

    You are just too extreme!

    I, Joel Quile, hereby renounce my nomination for you to become the next Pope.

    You do make a pretty good Cope though.

    God bless the Cope!

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 4/08/2005 08:33:00 AM  

  • Mike - great blog today! I live in a place that worships men - to the point that if you don't believe in Joseph Smith - regardless of what you believe about Jesus - your salvation is suspect at best! Be careful little heart who you worship! See Acts 14:15!

    By Blogger Randy, at 4/08/2005 09:19:00 AM  

  • Pope Cope? Sounds funny. But not as funny as if the Italian Cardinal Cicolla were chosen pope. Then he'd be Pope Cicolla. Say it fast three times and then vote for your favorite soft drink: Coca Cola or _________?

    By Blogger MarkS, at 4/08/2005 11:43:00 AM  

  • I can certainly appreciate where you're coming from on this, Mike. I live where many such abuses took place. Even now more are coming to light, so your question is asked daily by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It just goes to show, we all must be careful not to extend graceful discipline to the offender at the expense of protection and healing of the victims (or vice versa).

    By Blogger James, at 4/09/2005 07:58:00 AM  

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