In between cycling and skating in the abundant sunshine that southern Sweden enjoyed this weekend, Dr. Darling and I spent a little time reflecting on the papacy of Pope John Paul II. (Given that neither one of us is Roman Catholic, it was actually very little time.)
So during the course of this conversation I mentioned that while I suspected the Pope was probably a good man, I did not think his policies were very enlightened, particularly with regard to the use of birth control, the role of women in the Church, and the role of gay people in the human race. He also failed American Catholics BIG TIME with his tepid response to the pedophile priest scandals a few years back.
Still, I heard him lead prayers in St. Peter’s Square when I was in college and remember being very moved by the experience even though I didn’t understand a word of it.
Dr. Darling was a little more practical in her reflection. It went something like this:
“The Pope was in Paris the same week I was there in 1997 and I remember the streets were really clean for his visit. I appreciated that.”