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RIP

Agnus dei, qui tolis pecata mundi
miserere nobis

Agnus dei, qui tolis pecata mundi
misrere nobis

Agnus dei, qui tollis pecata mundi
dona nobis pacem

I don't think 'German intellectuals' have very much to do with it. John Paul II made some big mistakes - but he mattered. JPII was a major figure in the fall of the communist bloc. I am trying to think of the last 'German Intellectual' who matters or mattered anything like as much.

I suppose Hitler was an intellectual of a kind - and he certainly mattered. Before that don't you have to go back to men like Max Weber, Karl Marx, or Friedrich Nietzsche?

'German intellectuals' seem to be very passionate that their opinions matter - they must have global influence. But it would seem that the 20th century has been a constant disappointment for Germany and it's 'intellectuals'. Kaiserine Germany was a superpower, but present-day Germany is not. It's merely a middle-sized European country with an enormous economic dilemma which it can't work out. Germany does not project power and influence to the extent that even France or the UK can - much less Russia, China, or the US. It's about on a par with Canada or Spain in that respect....

@Don

"It's about on a par with Canada or Spain in that respect...."

Come on Don! Germany at least towers above Canada. Germans are blessed with their beer. Canadians drink rot gut in the form of Molsons and La Batts.

@ George M.

Well, as much as I dislike Canada nowadays, I'd drink a Molson or a LaBatts any day over the 'beer-flavored' water made and distributed by Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Co, et al.

And speaking of the Canadians, here is a link from August 2004 on that stupid b**ch Carolyn Parrish:

http://www.cultureby.com/trilogy/archives/000179.html

He should also be remembered for his wrong-headed comments on capitalism and his opposition to the liberation of Kuwait and the export of freedom to Iraq. If he had had his way in 1990, and the first Gulf War had not taken place, Saddam would now have nuclear weapons and would still be in power.

Those counterbalance the good he did in Eastern Europe.

Well, as much as I dislike Canada nowadays, I'd drink a Molson or a LaBatts any day over the 'beer-flavored' water made and distributed by Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Co, et al.

I'll second that.

Carolyn's tourette outbursts are a constant source of amusement. You gotta love elected officials who don't make much effort to mask their bigotry. Well, actually you don't, but I guess Canadians do.

Well put Niko.

@ Lemmy:

Molsons is merging with Coors. "Beer flavored water" will be "in" on York St. Toronto and und Rue St. Cahterines, Montreal.

True story: I employed a distant relative of Jean Chretien. (Yes, many Chretiens went south of the border to look for work during the depression.) If this person was any measurement of the Chretien gene pool, the Bushes have no worry

Hasn't anyone noticed that the Pope's death is yet another straw grasped and used for anti-American propaganda by the German media? Just zapping through German TV channels I saw at least five of six reports on news shows stating that President Bush's comments on the death were highly inappropriate and must have been an excuse for using this sad event for propaganda purposes having to do with election campaign (I wonder which elections they are talking about). Also, they never fail to mention that George W. Bush and the Pope were on rather bad terms since the Pope's opposition to the Iraq war. All of this is nothing but sick.

Exactly, I !
In a report on N24 they've shown footage of GWBs meeting with JPII and commented like "GWB needed these pictures because public opinion was turning against him". As if GWB could have told the Pope "c'mon Papa, meet with me and make a friendly face!". Liking or disliking GWB and/or his politics is one thing, but using the death of a religious leader to broadcast blunt anti-americanism is nothing else but sick!

"This giant was the arbiter of our times, and as such he is not to be judged as a politician."

Wrong Niko. If he makes statements on political issues, trying to influence them, he should be judged as a politican. (Apart from anything else, he is the head of state of an independent country.) Just as trashy celebrities who make political statements get well-deserved criticism from this site amongst others. And on that test, in the 1990's, he failed. Luckily, Bush I and others realised that he was muddled and wrong, and ignored him. Had Bush I been a strict Catholic, we might be watching Iraqi troops in Kuwait now.

"This giant was the arbiter of our times, and as such he is not to be judged as a politician."

Wrong Niko. If he makes statements on political issues, trying to influence them, he should be judged as a politican. (Apart from anything else, he is the head of state of an independent country.) He is rightly praised for his stance on Communism, though the Catholic Church has long been fairly reliably anti-Communist. Trashy celebrities who make political statements get well-deserved criticism from this site amongst others. So should religious leaders. And on that test, in the 1990's, he failed. Luckily, Bush I and others realised that he was muddled and wrong, and ignored him. Had Bush I been a strict Catholic, we might be watching Iraqi troops in Kuwait now.

Apologies for the multiple post - the second version is authentic.

Has anyone watched German TV lately? The Pope had been dead but a couple of hours when several news shows (at least three or four that I happened to come across) jumped at the opportunity to discredit President Bush by commenting that, given the differences of opinion between him and the Pope on the Iraq issue, he should not be among the first to state their comments. I do not recall the exact words, but it went somewhere along the lines of, how disgusting, how could anyone have had the nerve to do that. He would better have shut up, etc. etc.

> I do not recall the exact words...

Right ;-)

According to our last ambassador to the Vatican, the Pope highly admired GW Bush for his moral stances on many subjects from the Schiavo case to elections in Iraq.

The Pope did buy off on the Weasel European idea that Hans Blix's inspections, no matter how too late or uneffective they were, were preferable to bloodshed. I know that many Americans did not like the Pope's stance on this subject: especially coming during the time where Pedophilia was being investigated throughout the American Catholic Church.

I don't think that the Pope appreciated the Pontious Piolot attitude of Schroeder or Fischer...to wipe their hands of Iraq. Indeed, Christians, as well as Jews, were targeted by the so called "Wiederstehungs Bewegung," which the German press do admires.

There is a poisonous attitude in Europe towards Jews: as if they were responsible for all troubles in the Middle East. I don't think the Pope died happy that anti-semitism was alive in Europe again.

"GWB needed these pictures because public opinion was turning against him".

Considering the obsessive fascination with America in Germany, and the vaunted analytical skills of German intellectuals, you would think they could figure out that a Protestant President with a supposedly Protestant base is hardly going to to get much mileage out of some photo-ops with the Pope. How provincial.

Have there been any claims that America is responsible for the Pope's death? If not, the BusHitlerFlewPlaneIntoPentagon freaks need to get busy and come up with a conspiracy theory they can masturbate to.

The Pope's anti communism would have been as inefectual as his anti birth control, [which incidentally was right] had it not been for the Reagan rearmament. The Pope's Divisions were in Reagan's Armies.

Anon: "He wouldn't be happy to be part of your political spiel either."

And you know this because...?

The Pope was very loud and clear about anti-Semitism, stating that it had no place in a civilized society. That is the basis of George M's comment.

What is the basis of yours?


Something's wrong at Democratic Underground. I've just spent an hour and a half there, and I can't find a single theory pinning the death of the Pope on Bush.

You, German intellectuals, up there in your ivory towers, INTELLIGENCE IS NOT WISDDOM.

Lacking the latter, the former leads to dismal systems of control, such as communism, fascism, national socialism, etc. In other words, it leads to death on an ambitious scale.

Pope John Paul II was also against the Iraq war.

Of all possible photographs of this Pope, Stars&Stripes has chosen one that shows him in a situation in which it is quite difficult to imagine an Ayatollah - unshielded from her hair rays?

But then again, for the dhimmified Catholic church to come out explicitely against the Hijab, it will probably require somebody to make that word a condom brandname.


May His Example Guide Many Generations!
John Paul II (1920-2005)
by Kevin Hannan

One remarkable aspect of the media coverage of the passing of John Paul II is the revelation that great numbers of people throughout our planet say they feel a personal loss. Quite a few individuals, myself included, preserve some personal memory of this noble man, who already is being called John Paul the Great. Over the years I participated at papal Masses in San Antonio, Texas, in Poland at Krakow and Skoczow, and in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, as well as attending a private audience for Americans of Polish ancestry in San Antonio in 1987. That afternoon in San Antonio, following the public Mass and before the evening audience with Polish Texans, crowds lined the streets of downtown San Antonio waiting for a glimpse of the unconventional Pope in his popemobile. Near the city’s historic riverwalk, I spotted the approaching popemobile, and then I jumped up on the concrete base of a nearby lightpole. I waved vigorously at John Paul as he passed me, standing erect in his popemobile, some fifteen feet away, and I had the distinct impression then that he looked directly at me, smiling, and waved back. Of course, as we’ve heard in recent days, some feeling of meaningful personal contact with the Pope was experienced by many over the years.

As I look back at a quarter century of my own life, I see that I am able to measure personal events according to the timeline of John Paul’s papacy. His election as pontiff in 1978 coincided with an important period in my personal development, as I returned to the faith in which I had been baptized. For me personally, the 1960s had meant spiritual disorientation and confusion. I rejected my ancestral faith, studied Oriental religions, and for several years clung to an obstinate atheism and nihilism. Meditations on the meaning of human history led me finally back to Christianity, at about the same time Karol Wojtyla was elevated to the papacy. His election demonstrated that a new era had emerged out of the negativism and nihilism of the 1960s. He restored stability to an institution that had, certainly in America at least, been demoralized after Second Vatican Council.

A brilliant philosopher, John Paul II in his writings consistently instructs humanity how to apply traditional Christian teaching to modernity, that malaise tempting mankind with materialism, progress, and despair in place of the solace of faith. John Paul will be remembered for his contagious courage, so evident in his struggles with the Nazis and communists. Throughout his life he personally witnessed his deep Christian faith, as when he sought out the Turkish gunman who tried to assassinate him in 1981 and forgave him. His entire life was a witness of Christianity which cannot be defined in terms like “conservative” or “liberal.” With his death, I realize that I, like many over the years, have allowed myself to be distracted from John Paul’s witness. That prophet of our time was not heeded as he should have been.

John Paul II remains the greatest figure of my lifetime. No other human has succeeded in touching and unifying so many people of so many varied beliefs. Never has a man of such power and fame been such a sincere, tireless advocate of the powerless and the oppressed. His ministry indeed suggests proof of the biblical prediction that the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church of the Bishop of Rome. Many Christians believe that John Paul II at this moment already enjoys his eternal reward. And yet for me, as well as with those millions in Poland who loved and still love him deeply, there is a tragic sense of personal loss. With the passing of Karol Wojtyla, Pope of Rome, my heart is heavy.

2 April 2005


Note: Kevin Hannan, Ph.D. is the author of several books, including My Poland: Essays on Polish Identity (2005). He has spent the past three years teaching at a Polish university and feels an especially deep solidarity with the people of Poland upon the passing of John Paul II.

The end of the world observed in the Beskid Mountains
by Kevin Hannan

Of a June afternoon
clouds unfolded
upon the Beskids.

Human movement ceased,
except the turning up
into the sky of faces.

The heavens were lit
as an icon embellished
in serpentines of fire.

The deferential splendor
of cherubim and seraphim
was revealed within that icon,

and mankind marveled.
Ancestors nodded to one another,
respectfully, with sympathy,

a long expectation fulfilled.
The center of the sky
collapsed to disclose

a golden, timeless Christ
in episcopal crown and brilliant vestments
of a Greek patriarch.

Solemn God and Man
revealed Himself.
His somber expression,

of compassion, told all of eternity.
Men became as children.
The earth turned soft

beneath a sea of tears
as tremendous anxieties and sufferings
passed forever.

Bielsko-Biala
17 June 2002


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