"What did you say?"
"Nothing." I've always prided myself on speaking my mind, which is why I often respond to that "What did you say?" question with, "Nothing." So here goes nothing.
I'm going to try and avoid reading other blogs - not that I read so many, but I want to avoid those that spark my snark. Nevertheless, there are a few I keep returning to because they are very good, even though I don't always agree with them. Take Athanasius Contra Mundum for instance. He is such a smart guy - and he has finally revealed his name to his readers, although I knew it before from his emails. He and his wife had a baby not long ago and he is cuter than cute.
Anyway, Philip posted on John Paul the not so great for the anniversary of the Holy Father's death. Philip has posted similar views in the past, and people seem to become easily upset by what he writes. What I love about his posts is that Philip dares to explain why he doesn't think JPII was a "great" pope. (However, I doubt this means Philip doesn't esteem or respect the Pope, I think he does.) Most of us have been so devoted to JPII, and caught up with his charisma and personality, we have difficulty seeing beyond the "cult" which has surrounded him. (Proof of cult is another criteria for canonization by the way.) In addition, the volume of his writing is another aspect that captures our attention, while impressing us with a sense of the Holy Father's greatness. He certainly was prolific.
Having said that, Philip compares JPII's accomplishments to his predecessors, not only the 3 popes who bear the title of great, but popes as recent as Pius XII. Philip also mentions several issues that are easily dismissed by those of us who revere JPII - kissing the Koran, permissiveness as regards the American Church, and so on. I don't want to waste a lot of space on this, but I encourage you to read Philip's post, "John Paul the Great?" - he makes some valid points. But be forewarned, if you don't like criticism of JPII, don't read it, although Philip's tone has definitely softened after baby-bear was born.
I personally think John Paul II is a saint, he did wonderful work, accomplished a great deal, suffered a great deal, and touched untold numbers of people. I look forward to his canonization. Is the title "Great" appropriate? I think history must decide that, not one's contemporaries, especially in our age when people think someone is great just for attracting huge crowds wherever he goes. (Think Obama.)
"What did you say?"
(Photo: The photo above has nothing to do with this post except to show "my soul" - my dear friend Cathy said that one of my posts revealed my soul - but this photo does it better. )