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Dear GK, While reading through

April 18, 2005 |

Dear GK,
While reading through a special section on Pope John Paul II in the Kansas City Star yesterday, a quote from a priest in Winona, MN hit me like a brick wall.

The 12-page section was full of praise from a broad range of individuals including Hindus, Jews, Baptists, Lutherans, etc. But the priest from Winona had a different take on Pope John Paul II:

"His papacy should have been the greatest in history, but because of his liberal bent, it was very much a disaster. He'll have to answer for a lot, but he has the prayers of the faithful."

Yikes. The Pope had been dead for less than 24 hours. If "he'll have to answer for a lot", I'm wondering about the rest of us.

If I am ever searching for a eulogy, do you think it wise to eliminate Winona from my list?

Dan Furey
Overland Park, KS

Dan, I hope you're not thinking about your eulogy now. A young fellow such as yourself has to be out living his life and making his mark. When it comes time for you to be eulogized, however, you (by reason of your deceased condition) will be spared having to listen to a good deal of malarkey and balloon juice. I heard a few interesting things about the Pope in all the eulogism — his having been an actor and playwright in his younger days, his athleticism, his bold statements about social and economic justice, the fact that he prayed many hours a day — and then there was all the filler, the boilerplate, well-intended but in the end deadening. The priest from Winona (who may have been suffering from hemmorhoids when the K.C. Star called) decided to cut loose and one has to respect his bravery and independence. In my own case, I have decided against eulogies. If you attend my funeral, you won't hear any of that stuff. Just some good music and the ordinary liturgy and the plain gospel which does indeed suggest that we have much to answer for.

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