FRIDAY PAPAL BLOGGING….This is it: the closest I ever came to seeing Pope John Paul II. Marian and I were in Rome on October 20, 2002, and saw the beatification ceremony for Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa; Andrea Giacinto Longhin; Marcantonio Durando; Mary of the Passion (H?l?ne Marie de Chappotin de Neuville); and Sr Liduina Meneguzzi. As you can tell, the crowds were heavy and the closest we got was several hundred yards away. Despite his Parkinson’s, the pope was alert and seemingly had no trouble getting through the lengthy ceremony.

I’m neither Catholic nor Christian, but as Max Sawicky says, you may not be interested in Christianity, but Christianity is interested in you. Rest in peace, Karol Wojtyła, and here’s hoping the church chooses a worthy and enlightened successor.