Sunday, April 03, 2005

POPE JOHN PAUL II DIES AT 84 (1920-2005)

The first non-Italian pope in over 400 years (the previous was Hadrian VI in 1563, a Dutchman). He was only the 2nd pope to have two names. The reason was to both honour John Paul I and and to show an interest in supporting both the progressiveness of John and the traditionalism of Paul. He is the 265th pope since the 1st pope, St.Peter (32-67) since 1978. I followed the whole news live on CNN and BBC from this morning until evening before I watched the Miss Singapore Universe live. He finally died at 21:37 (1937 GMT) Rome time. I heard he is the 3rd longest serving pope in history and that is 26 years.

As for my personal opinion on him, generally I don't follow much of his news because I am not a Roman Catholic. I watched the news because I wish to know something about him since he is one of the most important figures of this generation and had done alot in the betterment of humanity for all mankind.

Watching the news on CNN and BBC had given me the chance to learn about his history and his contributions to the world. The attempted assassination of him and later how he forgave that assassin. His involment in going against Communism which led to the China government not acknowledging the Vatican City. He is also probably the first pope that enters mosques and synagogues trying to unite all the major religions in the world.

He stood hard on his decisions against gay and lesbian marriages, birth control (contraception and abortion), divorce and the ordination of women in the church. Some say he is too conservative and the next pope will be pressurized for his stand on the same issues. Some even suggested that priests are allowed to get married.

A moment of silence for him. The Italian Football Association suspended all the football matches for this weekend as a respect to him. They will be 9 days of official mourning. That will mean alot of people all around the world flying to the Vatican City! The most incredible thing is that those who came are not Roman Catholics only but just human beings from all walks of lives. May he rest in peace!


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