Over at Redstate, a fellow named Joe Cella (yes, I will be making inquiries) put up a post commemorating the great man. An ambivalent commenter responded:
...More troubling was the degree to which he [the Pope] turned his back on the suffering of those in Africa, most directly through antediluvian oppostion to the use of condoms...
To which the redoubtable Thomas countered:
Google "Didache," then Humanae Vitae, then get back to me. Anti-Catholic bigotry is fun and everything, but though we tolerate more of it here than we do of knocking any other religious belief system, we do set some minimal standards...
followed by the equally spirited streiff:
...And I was also surprised to learn that the suffering in Africa was a result of the quaint Catholic belief that your body isn't a smaller version of Six Flags and not caused by war, kleptocratic governments, disease, famine, etc...
Mr. Cella also steers us to a CNN proram about the Pope's last days, which will be airing on more than one night. You can view a couple trailers here. I watched a bit of it last night, and it wasn't easy seeing him on the stage again. It's as if no time has passed. One cardinal (George, I think, of Chicago, but I'm not sure) told of what happened after the doors of St. Peter's closed for the last time on the Pope's coffin. There was silence, no music or sound of any kind. The cardinals stood in a line down in that crypt where they bury Popes and all they could hear was the shuffling feet of the pallbearers, and as the coffin passed, the cardinals doffed their red caps. And at this point the cardinal telling the story wept openly on camera.
Anyway, as the cause for beatification progresses, there's a story going round that some French nun with Parkinson's prayed for John Paul's intercession, and that, consequently, she has been healed. The doctors can't explain it. But that's all I know.
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The other stuff will have to wait for later. It's late and I've got to be in court in the morning. No, I'm not a lawyer.