The news of the death of Pope John Paul II did not come as a big surprise; I, along with the rest of the world, have been pretty much prepared for it for some time. The day of his funeral has now been set for this coming Friday.
He never received a large approval rating from me, primarily because he undid most of the progress set into motion by Vatican Council II. Saying that, I still remember attending the Papal Mass at Dodger Stadium, back in 1987. While I could never agree with his views on issues such as priestly celebacy, female clergy, and birth control, there wasn't anything that would keep this former altarboy from attending a Mass celebrated by the Pope. While I pray that the next pontiff will be more progressive in his thinking, with a College of Cardinals made up primarily of John Paul II-appointees I am not holding my breath.
Good to see that the archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, is already in Rome; he was briefly interviewed outside the Vatican yesterday by the BBC. Once considered by many as the possible future first American Pope, I believe that the attrocious way he has handled the recent cases of sexual misconduct among priests in Los Angeles has pretty much negated his chances. But, we shall see in about two-weeks time.
One good thing has already come about: Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have been forced to delay their marriage ceremony a day, so that it won't conflict with Friday's Papal Funeral. Poor kids.