April 9th, 2005 by Rightsideup

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks with all the commentary on the death of the Pope. It’s been especially interesting to compare the reaction of those who honour what the Pope stood for and those who struggle to understand his role in today’s world.

Among the best pieces of commentary were those from Mark Steyn and Peggy Noonan.

Mark Steyn insightfully points out that progressives (liberals) can’t cope with the idea of absolute values and a refusal to compromise. Peggy Noonan (as she often does) recounts very movingly how the Pope helped bring about the fall of Communism in Poland.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of trash too. The American media focused disproportionately on the opinions of liberal American Catholics on the Pope, and their view of him as a reactionary and an authoritarian, and barely covered the growth of the Church outside of the US and the love Catholics outside the US had for the Pope.

And there was plenty of commentary from those who believed that the Pope should have been more responsive to demands for changes in policy. Much of this came from those who were self-described lapsed or semi-active Catholics. Isn’t it interesting how those who are not willing to put themselves in a position to commune with God presume to lecture a man whom they claim to believe speaks for God?

Whatever our religious beliefs, those who honour God should honour John Paul II.