There is a lot of well-wishing sending the body off to its place of storage. Lots of flowers and crying, and especially, lots of opinion polls. Newsweek asks,
Has Pope John Paul II set a good example on how to end a life with dignity?About 82,000 people said yes, and I said no. For months, I've seen anything but dignity. What I saw was the Roman Catholic Church dressing, stuffing, propping, drugging and voice-boxing a very sick old man just until Easter was over.
Besides this supposed "dignified death" believed in by the majority, what I saw from my peers were hundreds of people claiming no religious affiliation or at the very least, lapsed Catholicism, pouring out love because "he was the only Pope I've ever known." Of course, they knew him as well as I know Arnold Schwartzennegger (although he's not the only muscle-and/or acting-oriented celebrity Governor I've ever known). I'm not mad at people trying to be kind. I just think they are incorrect and a bit delusional when so many of them say "he was a great leader who tried to make the world a better place." This is not true of a pope and a system that has opposed reproductive freedom therefore ensuring the continuation of a worse world for millions. And just as Jesus had every opportunity to condemn slavery in the Gospels, the Pope lost an opportunity to really do something about the truly emergent problems of corruption and sexual crimes in his organization.
I'm not holding my breath about it.
But thanks for listening, diary.