Precinct 333

Friday, February 11, 2005

Buckley Prays For Pope’s Death

William F. Buckley loves Pope John Paul II. Yet he shocked many when he said he was praying not for the Pope’s recovery, but for him to quickly pass on to his heavenly reward.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's secretary of state, said simply, "If there is a man who loves the Church more than anybody else, who is guided by the Holy Spirit ... that's him. We must have great faith in the pope. He knows what to do."

What to do includes clinging to the papacy as a full-time cripple, if medicine, which arrested death by only 10 minutes, can arrest death again for weeks and even months. But the progressive deterioration in the pope's health over the last several years confirms that there are yet things medical science can't do, and these include giving the pope the physical strength to coordinate and to use his voice intelligibly.

So, what is wrong with praying for his death? For relief from his manifest sufferings? And for the opportunity to pay honor to his legacy by turning to the responsibility of electing a successor to get on with John Paul's work? Muriel Spark commented in "Memento Mori": "When a noble life has prepared old age, it is not decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality." That cannot be effected by the hospital in which the pope struggles.

What do you think? Is Buckley right, or is he grossly wrong in his thinking on this point?

And please respectfully confine yourself to that question, not turning this into a more general view on religion, Catholicism, or the Pope himself.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.