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Old 03-31-2005, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Veggie Pope?

What would happen if the Pope where to enter a vegatative state?

Extreme modern technology can keep a veggie Pope alive for a pretty long time. Possibly decades. Is there a mechanism for diposing 'incompetent' Popes who are no longer capable of doing their jobs?
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What do you mean, if?

I'd imagine that since the post is for life, if he does not step down (unprecedented if I recall) then he's there for life.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Coworker just announced that the last rites have been read. Verification to come.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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To the best of my knowledge, the pope remains the pope as long as he can do the job.

How they figure that out is beyond me.

If he were to enter a vegetative state, you can be no one will pull the plug. Ever.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Unconfirmed sources indicate that the last rites have been read.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe...pe1/index.html

Fox News also has an article.

Also of interest may be the way a new Pope is selected.

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mpope.html
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbwuto
Coworker just announced that the last rites have been read. Verification to come.
Pope's Health Takes Turn for Worse with High Fever:
Quote:
There were unconfirmed Italian media reports the 84-year-old Pope had received a sacrament in which the sick and dying are anointed with special oils. The Vatican had no comment, but Church sources said it was likely the Pontiff had received the sacrament, given the precarious state of his health.
EDIT: argh, off by 1 minute. Anyway, to follow up on the "vegetative state" question, there was an article earlier today that stated that he had requested any possible life-extending medical procedures. Unfortunately, there are so many articles in the last hour that I can't find the old article.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The ever retains his position until death or if he abdicates(sp) it.

As CNN keeps saying last rites don't mean death per say, with PJP II I would not rule it out however, the dude is old and frail his health has been declining for many years.

The pope just made a living will, he asked to remain on a feeding tube until the very end.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The ever retains his position until death or if he abdicates(sp) it.

As CNN keeps saying last rites don't mean death per say, with PJP II I would not rule it out however, the dude is old and frail his health has been declining for many years.

The pope just made a living will, he asked to remain on a feeding tube until the very end.
No, but it does mean that someone(maybe him) thinks death is not that far away.

On a side note, did anyone read all his ailments? The old man is tough as nails.
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As usual the Wikipedia is chock full of good information for us Pagans regarding Papal elections. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conclave

Having just finished reading Angels & Demons this event is especialy interesting to me.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I suppose it would be too much to hope for another John XXIII.

Given that this pope has had a chance to seed the college of cardinals with conservatives for so long, I doubt there will be much change.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Why not pick a young, exuberant, pragmatic, and inspiring pope? It seems like they always pick some old, sickly pope who is barely alive. Or is it a ceremonial post?

Well, G*d speed your Eminence, G*d speed.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
Why not pick a young, exuberant, pragmatic, and inspiring pope? It seems like they always pick some old, sickly pope who is barely alive. Or is it a ceremonial post?

Well, G*d speed your Eminence, G*d speed.
He might've been more young and inspiring when he was first picked 25+ years ago (hell it's before I was can't even give you when he came into power).

And the pope is not ceremonial in any sense, head honcho of one of the worlds biggest faiths, with major influence and resources.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Thank God he's not married to a Schiavo
productive post.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If the pope were to enter a persisitant vegetative state the heirarchy of the Vatican would be in a bind. How would that effect Catholic beliefs if the person God put on Earth to be his spokesperson was a vegetable?
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mojo,
Do you know how the power structure works? Who comes after the Pope? Is there a Vice-Pope? I was just curious cause if the Pope "becomes" a vegetable, is there a Regent or temp to take power? Council of Cardinals? Or do all the bishops come together and "elect" a successor? I think that's how a Pope gets elected: council of bishops or cardinals (something like that) get together and vote. But who's in charge in between?
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Old 03-31-2005, 10:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I don't know exactly, I think this would almost be a first for the Church. The structure works that you have the Pope at the top, and then under him is the college of bishops who really only exert any authority when they together convene. If the pope were not to abdicate his powers and fall into a PVS I don't know what would happen. Currently in his sick state, he is still able to dictate to liasons, so there is no real break down, somehow there is still communication. Like I said this would probably set a precedent, I'm sure the laity of the vatican (those serving directly under the pope) might step in, who knows maybe the college would convene, but really I don't think they hold any authority without the decision of the pontiff, he is the ultimate voice of the church.
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Old 03-31-2005, 10:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Regarding papal abdication: Church history furnishes a number of examples of papal abdications. Leaving aside the obscure case of Pope Marcellinus (296-308) adduced by Pezzani, and the still more doubtful resignation of Pope Liberius (352-366) which some historians have postulated in order to solve the perplexing position of Pope Felix II, we may proceed to unquestioned abdications. Pope Benedict IX (1033-44), who had long caused scandal to the Church by his disorderly life, freely renounced the pontificate and took the habit of a monk. He repented of his abdication and seized the papal throne again for a short time after the death of Pope Clement II, but he finally died in a private station. His immediate successor, Pope Gregory VI (1044-46) furnishes another example of papal Abdication. It was Gregory who had persuaded Benedict IX to resign the Chair of Peter, and to do so he had bestowed valuable possessions upon him. After Gregory had himself become Pope, this transaction was looked on by many as simoniacal; and although Gregory's intentions seem to have been of the best, yet it was deemed better that he too should abdicate the papal dignity, and he did so voluntarily.

Full article: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01031a.htm

I would gather by the article, that the College of Cardinals would be the ones that take power in the absense of the Pope being able to fulfill his duties.
If he were to go into a vegetative state, it seems logical they would elect another Pope in his place, because in essense, he would be dead, considering he couldn't make decisions.
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Old 04-01-2005, 06:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
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WAIT A SECOND, using science to keep him alive... What ever happended to God's Will?
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Don't forget about the Popemobile.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:19 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I have an idea. Let's try to be respectful of a dying fellow human, who if nothing else tried to raise the dignity of fellow human beings.

BTW - a note for jorgelito - the appropriate title for the Pope is "your Holiness". "Eminence" refers to cardinal archbishops
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
Why not pick a young, exuberant, pragmatic, and inspiring pope? It seems like they always pick some old, sickly pope who is barely alive. Or is it a ceremonial post?.
When he was elected 26 years ago, he was an avid skier, hiker, and in general a very athletic person and remained that way up until about 10 - 15 years ago. His health took a big hit when he was shot, but still managed to be up and about, and has also travelled more than any other pope.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:42 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lebell
I suppose it would be too much to hope for another John XXIII.
Ok, I was only 10 months old when he passed away, in June of 63. Refresh my memory...what stands out during his reign that you would like to see refreshed?
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:47 AM   #24 (permalink)
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John Paul II

If anyone is interested on more about JP II, here's an enlightening article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotten.com
Like Lesane Parish Crook or Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre, Karol Jozef Wojtyla will be remembered by the name he adopted rather than the one he was born with.

Wojtyla was born in 1920 near Krakow, Poland. His father was a retired soldier in the Polish Army (insert your own joke here), and his mother was a teacher in the Polish school system (insert your own joke here). His mother died when Karol was nine years old (no joke here, you heartless bastard).

Contrary to what you might think to look at him now, young Karol was a robustly athletic young man, who skied, hiked, swam and played soccer. His indefatigable physical prowess slowed a bit when he was hit by a truck in college, leaving him with a slight hunch, but by every account, he was a pretty healthy guy.

Indeed, by the look of him, there was nothing that said "future pope." Of course, for the past 400 years, all popes had been Italian, so there wouldn't be. Even putting that factor aside, Wojtyla led a fairly secular life of the day. He went to college, studied theater and singing, then worked as a stone cutter after the Nazis invaded in 1940.

In 1941, deep into the German occupation of Poland, Wojtyla's father died. Dad had always wanted Karol to be a priest, and the death of a parent under duress will do things to your mind. Wojtyla took up the quest, although he had to study secretly under the Nazi regime. He became a priest in 1946, continuing his studies and eventually earning two masters' degrees and two doctorates.

As a priest, his studies were facilitated by his posting as a Krakow university chaplain. Unfortunately, Poland's post-Nazi era saw the rise of Communism, which was even more unfriendly to the Church. Wojtyla climbed the ladder to become archbishop of Krakow, and then rose to the rank of cardinal in 1967.

As a Catholic working in an occupied land, Wojtyla generally followed the traditional Catholic practice of appeasement. He fought just enough to keep the Church meaningfully intact, but not enough to significantly piss off the Commies.

Wojtyla played an integral role in the reforms of Vatican II, which dispensed with the Latin Mass and encouraged Catholics to get involved with their religion. He also wrote a series of academically well-received books and papers on topics including the relationship between religion and philosophy, and a Catholic concept of sexuality.

The latter was seen as a positive thing, in the context of the religious tradition which preceded it, acknowledging a role for sexual urges in healthy lives. His reputation for progressiveness on sexual issues would be short-lived, however.

In 1978, in an election shocker, Wojtyla was chosen to succeed Pope John Paul I, who had died under what must be described as reasonably suspicious circumstances after barely a month in office. For a variety of reasons, the cardinals had determined that it would be good politics to take the papacy away from the Italians, and Wojtyla made for a politically interesting selection at the height of the Cold War.

Wojtyla took the name John Paul II, perhaps as a message to anyone who might allegedly have done away with John Paul I. He made a triumphant victory tour through Poland, where he was greeted by incongruously adoring Communist crowds, which in turn made the leaders of the Soviet bloc very nervous.

In addition to his unprecedented Polishness, he was also one of the youngest popes in recent memory, and he soon became wildly popular among Catholics, inasmuch as the phrase "wildly" could be associated with an increasingly tepid Roman Catholic institution.

John Paul's iconic status was cemented in 1981, when he was the subject of an assassination attempt. A little more than a week before the attack, a Trappist monk hijacked an airplane full of passengers and demanded that the Vatican release the Third Secret of Fatima, a prophecy supposedly delivered several decades earlier by the Virgin Mary. The relevance of this incident may not be immediately apparent, but stick with us here.

On 13 May, 11 days after the hijacking, the pope was shot by a would-be murderer. John Paul was hit, but not killed, by the assassin's bullet. Recovering in the hospital, J.P. was purportedly divinely inspired to realize that the Virgin Mary had saved his life. He immediately summoned the third secret from the Vatican vaults and read it. According to the official church position, which is less than unassailable, the secret foretold the assassination attempt which had now been averted. It's not clear why the Virgin Mary would be wrong, but there it is.

The shooter was a Turkish Muslim named Mehmet Ali Agca. Many initially suspected Agca was involved with the Soviets in some way, but the allegation proved untenable and no wider conspiracy was ever proven.

The next attempt on the pope's life was most definitely the product of a wide conspiracy, however. Uber-terrorist Ramzi Yousef crafted a plot to assassinate the Pope in 1995 during a trip to the Philippines. This attempt, funded by Osama bin Laden through his brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, never got to the point of a shot being fired, but when local police broke up the al Qaeda cell they discovered that Yousef had stocked up priestly costumes and rented an apartment with a view of the pope's parade route. It was another close call, Virgin Mary notwithstanding.

John Paul II was often touted for attempting to restore a church fragmented by battling liberal and conservative branches around the world, trying to update church teachings to deal with the rapidly expanding ethical issues created by technological advances. But his early successes were largely lost in the later years of his papacy.

In his role as the architect of Catholic dogma, John Paul II adamantly rejected any movement on several key social issues of the day, rejecting changes in social climate in favor of the church's traditional positions on abortion (against it), the pill (against it), homosexuality (agin' it), condom usage (ain't gonna happen), divorce (nope, but please we don't talk about the soaring number of annulments), pornography (ain't havin' none of it), stem cell research (fugheddaboutit), women as priests (yeah, right) and the marriage of priests (no way no how).

John Paul made one last bid for relevance as he attempted to dissuade the U.S. from invading Iraq. The effort backfired, as the pope's plea for peace barely edged out headlines about the search for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

Most of these positions played particularly badly with an American audience, to which John Paul responded by pointing out that the Church is not a democracy.

"It's a mistake to apply American democratic procedures to the faith and truth. You cannot take a vote on the truth," John Paul observed. While he may have had a point as far as the latter statement, the former statement rang hollow at the opening of the 21st century, when the American church plunged deep into crisis over the issue of priests who love boys too much.

It wasn't exactly a big shock that Catholic priests were diddling the altar boys. When the first sordid tales began trickling out of the Boston Archdiocese in January 2002, the idea had already been lurking at the edge of the zeitgeist for a long, long time.

The surprise wasn't even how many priests had diddled how many altar boys, as well as just plain boys, and even a few girls, although the numbers that began to emerge were truly shocking. In the U.S. alone, hundreds of priests had abused thousands of children, and those were just the documented cases.

But for most Catholics, the over-the-top unacceptable revelation was that the church had actively covered up the pattern of pedophilia among priests working with children. In Boston, the archdiocese had been tracking cases of unsanctified molestation for decades. More stories began to emerge from around the United States. It became painfully clear that Cardinal Bernard Law, the archbishop of Boston, had done more than his fair share of covering up his subordinates' sins of emission.

After an agonizingly long year under a media microscope, Law did the American, democratic thing and tendered his resignation on 13 December 2002. Rumor had it that his first attempt to resign was flatly rejected by the Vatican.

John Paul accepted the resignation -- but only reluctantly, according to a million anonymous Vatican insiders, who insisted that the pope believed the church could not be held to account for thousands of cases of pedophilia, even if the church itself had authorized hiding the crimes from local law enforcement.

A 2002 story in the Boston Globe reported that: "For an institution that measures time in centuries, not network news cycles, Vatican insiders said it was an extraordinarily swift and forceful response and a profound recognition that the Vatican had finally come to understand the depth of the crisis in the American church." But the definition of "swift and forceful" understood by Vatican insiders came into question, as Cardinal Law was transferred to a cushy pre-retirement posting in Rome.

As the resignations mounted, one Vatican-appointed replacement bishop himself had to resign after being implicated in yet another sexual scandal. The Vatican also scaled back reforms proposed by a committee of American bishops. Meanwhile, documents uncovered by the press showed that the Vatican's guidance had encouraged the cover-ups in the first place.

John Paul's response was further muted by the slow but steady deterioration of his health. Since the late 1990s, every public appearance made the pope was inevitably followed by the echoes of a couple billion people simultaneously sighing, "Man, he looks bad."

Starting in the early 1990s, J.P. was stricken with a series of health setbacks that would have killed any 10 other men. He had a tumor taken off of his colon, and shortly thereafter he broke a leg and dislocated a shoulder in two separate falls. His slight hunch became more and more pronounced, until he looked like he was about to topple over at any given moment. He began canceling events due to flus, fevers, intestinal problems and even an inflamed appendix, which he had removed at the age of 76.

By the time the priestly pedophila scandal reached its height, the pope's public appearances were increasingly grim and dominated by the frailty of his voice and appearance. The message about the scandal was half-hearted in content and barely a quarter-hearted by the time it had passed through the filter of John Paul's failing body.

In early 2005, it began to look like John Paul II was entering his final days. After another case of "the flu," he began an extended hospital stay on 1 February, while the world watched and wondered. At an unhealthy 85, things were looking pretty grim, sparking a lot of speculation that he might take the unprecedented step of resigning for health reasons.

But then again, the speculation was being driven by the American, democratic-style concept that someone who is physically incapable of performing a job should not be performing the job. John Paul II has already informed us that he doesn't see it that way. Most likely, he'll see this through to the bitter end.

Unfortunately for his legacy, that end looks to be ignominious. The church is in trouble. Even before the not-yet-counted damage inflicted by the pedophilia scandal, it was estimated that by 2020 about half of all priests would be older than 70.

Dioceses rocked by pedophilia scandals are getting the old one-two, as soaring church settlements with sexual abuse victims leave more and more parishes struggling with bankruptcy. The number of students in Catholic schools, predictably, is plunging. All around the world, for a number of different reasons, the number of Catholic adherents is on the decline relative to the population.

Given his health and the current state of the world, it seems unlikely that John Paul can pull out a win in the time he has left. In fact, one might say it would take a miracle. Maybe his cozy relationship with the Virgin Mary can help in this regard, but it's getting down to the wire now.
From here.



I knew he was a hip guy.

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Old 04-01-2005, 11:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I have an idea. Let's try to be respectful of a dying fellow human, who if nothing else tried to raise the dignity of fellow human beings.
Quite right drewpy - the title of this thread (and some of the comments here) are not the sort of thing I'd expect to hear from adults who hold respect and dignity as being dear to their hearts.

Can we try and stick to the question at hand and avoid making cheap remarks at the expense of an aged and dying man?
 
Old 04-01-2005, 01:30 PM   #26 (permalink)
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You know, I remember back in the early, early eighties when two popes passed away within a month or so. My impression has always been of "elderly, not-in-the-best-of-health type Popes. But thanks for the clarification guys (Maleficent & Drewpy). I'm trying to Imagine the Pope skiing in his robes *chuckle*. I like the pic of him at the laptop. I imagine him playing World of Warcraft LOL! I think someone has an avatar of the Pope making a silly face. It's good to see the human side of him.

So Let me see if I get it - the Papacy works like this:

Pope - His (or her?) Holiness - Successor to St. Peter
College of Cardinals - His Eminence (appointed by Pope); elects the Pope
Archbishop - in charge of archdiocese or province
Bishops - in charge of diocese
Priests

Oh, I just found this cool description on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Church

It gives a brief history, and religious & political structure.
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The pope is the Bishop of Rome, however... or is it the vatican...

I've never been clear on this one, but cardinals can often be archbishops, when Cardinal O'Connor, in New York City, died, he kept being referred to as archbishop.

All those years of catechism, and I still don't know who's what...

John Paul was always speculated to have been murdered.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:05 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Oh my G*d! Murdered? You would think that would be big news. That reminds me of that Godfather III movie (horrible flick). A mob hit on the Pope or something.
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:55 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
Ok, I was only 10 months old when he passed away, in June of 63. Refresh my memory...what stands out during his reign that you would like to see refreshed?
I'm not sure what Lebell wants to see refreshed, but here's a little about John XIII.

The Life of John XIII

The Second Vatican Council It resulted in huge changes in the church that still cause controversy, especially among traditional Catholics (Mel Gibson and his father among them). Changed the mass from Latin to the vernacular, formally stated that Jews were not responsible for Christ's death any more than Christians were, stated that other religions contain truth, involved laypeople in mass more, etc.

He was an amazing pope in my estimation.

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Old 04-02-2005, 10:29 AM   #30 (permalink)
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He *intended* to set into motion some vast "liberalizing" of the Catholic church. It has been, for all intents and purposes, squandered.
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Old 04-02-2005, 07:21 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
Ok, I was only 10 months old when he passed away, in June of 63. Refresh my memory...what stands out during his reign that you would like to see refreshed?
To build on Vatican II and to work towards true ecumenicalism instead of the "my way or the highway" type that has been recently practiced.
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