in Uncategorized

The See of Peter

“You look familiar.”
“Like your dead girlfriend?”

– Dialogue from Rent
In all the press around the death of Pope John Paul II there is one image that stands powerfully in my mind.
It is the image of the Pope seated on the balcony over St. Peter's square. His head is slightly misaligned with his shoulders, his face is etched with the years, and there's something in his eyes that lets you know that death will come soon.
And then a microphone is placed before him while hundreds of pilgrims wait in silence, hoping that the holy father will bless them one last time. Instead of a blessing the only noise heard in the square is the rattling of breath in John Paul's throat. A failed war for words that results in a gasping, ragged, dying noise.
The microphone is withdrawn, and the pilgrims weep.
The blessing shared with the multitude was the spectacle of a man so ill that he could hardly breathe, let alone speak. Those who came for euphoria, were instead confronted with a man crucified by age and illness. Their blessing was to participate in it.
At this moment John Paul did indeed fulfill his vocation and call to represent the one holy apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

Write a Comment


  1. Yeah, that was a pretty funny moment all right. When he was trying to speak and all that was coming out were those weird noises – man, that cracked me up. Hold on, did I miss your point here?