In One Eye

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
I'd like to make this my last blog about Giovanni Pablo II, but one never knows.

Colin McEnroe seems to have had the last best word on the late pontiff.
If you call another group of people "the enemy," then you can persuade yourself as to the necessity of killing a lot of them. The other guy's army may be full of unwilling, unhappy conscripts and the other guy's cities may be full of women wailing as the bombs kill their children, but if you're going to fight the other guy, you have to believe that each one of those lives is not particularly precious, because on some days you're going to kill 752 of them when, with better planning, you could have kept it down to 746, and you can't go to bed pounding your head over little things like six dead people.

So the pope's point, I think, was not that you can never put yourself in that position, but that, if you do, you had better have one hell of a good reason, and the whole Brothers Grimm story about weapons of mass destruction and invisible connections to al-Qaida didn't come within a country mile of that.

This is Pope John Paul II at his best ...

[But then] we come to all the upsetting contradictions. He understood that epic disease in poor countries is everybody's moral responsibility and that AIDS is killing millions each year. In Kenya alone, 400 people die each day from it. But he condemned the best means of stopping it because he didn't, as Bush would say, like latex.

He opposed divorce, contraception and homosexuality because he insisted on sexual probity from just about everybody except, alas, his priests. The sexual exploitation of young boys by men in collars was, it seemed, something he could live with. As recently as last year, he was still heaping praise on the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, who has been cosseted and protected by the Vatican from numerous pedophilia-related complaints and lawsuits, many of them first reported by The Courant.
Requiescat in pace.