Ciao Karol - known to the world as Pope John Paul II.
No other Pope has reached out to so many people all over the world. No Pope has played a role to restore freedom in the Communist World, Chile, most of Africa, and even in countries that pretend to practice Democracy.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.
Petrus means Rock and at the Vatican - some how every one feels the sanctity that knows no bounds. I have stood at Saint Peter's Square and watched the goodness all around me. I did it so many times and each and every time - I felt different. Much as I sat in the Coliseum and each and every time that experience was different. In Mecca and Medina one feels the same. The same when one is alone at the Taj Mahal and before other marvels - the Grand Canyon.
Pope John Paul II was a man of principle and as such he stuck to his mandate. In sticking to his mandate he was understanding and compassionate.
The Youth loved him so much even though the Catholic Church sees daily - thousands of young people shun the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II could sit with one that tried to kill him and forgive him. Presidents who had the power and misused it and tell them. Priests who he defrocked because of crimes against humanity, others that people despised - he stood for what was right - but never ever condemned those that did not do right or were unjustly treated.
He made history when early on he kissed a child that had AIDS and embraced those Queer and others who were victims of AIDS. In Africa AIDS is known as Slim Disease. He worked hard to see that those who were suffering were helped. He was a living Saint. He was a good Actor for humanity.
John Paul II worked and lived under the Communist. When he became the leader of the Catholic Church - he went out of his way to anoint Catholic Cardinals to lead all of Africa, Asia, South America, and the world. If the new Pope is one from Africa it will be a standing statement for all times - a statement that could not be possible without the initiation of John Paul II greater vision for better things to come.
As a student of Philosophy and Theology I have read the encyclicals issued by John Paul II and followed his intellectual trend of thought under laying - the Catholic Church philosophy. Under Karol his loving name in Polish - Pope John Paul II accomplished much and he did it as Jesus Christ would have - he loved the poor and kept things very simple.
The Pope should be simple much as Jesus Christ was - nothing complicated. What we call Capitalism has much to learn from the teachings of Pope John Paul II - more so because Karol lived under both systems and knew better.
Parkinson's took a hold of Pope John Paul II and deprived him of living. In his last days I saw a man who was once trained as an Actor and tried his best to fulfill his role in life. Even as life slowly but surely ebbed away - Karol put on an internal fight to bless his flock and speak by making some attempt to speak when he could not. The flock wept because all they wanted was to see him. They appreciated the fact that he wanted to give more. In giving more they saw he was putting in life on the line. I have not seen such a public display from a world leader in my lifetime.
The poor we will have and the poor are God's chosen people. Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Not so much poor in terms of money or material wealth - poor in terms of NOT being pompous. Today, we do not have one single leader who can stand and without saying a world - shine light on those aspects that are very dark.
This world has lost a great leader but more a soothing soul and a great healer. Our world lacks good leaders but more healers and leaders that can stand the EVIL of our times. We see it daily in our lives - when cowards do not want to speak the truth. The truth will set you FREE!
Karol you are gone
Francisco Da Costa