Monday, January 09, 2006

Remembering JPII

With the expected release of Mehmet Ali Agca, JPII's would-be assassin, the legacy of Pope John Paul II is likely to come up once again. While I am no fan of JPII's papacy because of what I think are major rollbacks of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council during his time at the wheel, one thing I wish got more play was the regularity with which he both asked for and offerred forgiveness. The pope's famous meeting with Agca two years after the assassination attempt will remain a testament both to John Paul's willingness to forgive and his sense of drama--he always knew how to use a moment, and I think that instinct often served his ministry well.

How I wish that spirit of forgiveness would enliven all Christians, especially we American ones. How might our response to September 11 have been different if the search for reconciliation had at least been a factor in what came next?


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