John Paul II is dead. There's not really much more to say. I have little affection for Roman Catholicism or indeed Christianity in general, it must be said, yet it is unfortunate to see the pontiff go. John Paul II showed a willingness to compromise that was as extraordinary yet still somehow all the more disappointing.
He moved to heal breaches within the Christian community that had stood a thousand years or more. He reached out to the leaders of other religions and spoke openly about the plights of the weak and forgotten. This kind of enlightened action left many progressive observers hoping that he would turn his accepting gaze to birth control, homosexuals, and female aspirants to the cloth.
Still, I suppose even the Vicar of Christ can hardly be expected to be perfect. John Paul II did far more good than bad, and that is more than can be said for many.
Ave atque vale!