An entire generation of young Catholics has lived under the Papacy of Pope John Paul II, never knowing another Holy Father, never witnessing the transition of rule over the Holy Roman Catholic Church from one Pontiff to the next. And now, after 26 1/2 years as the Successor of St. Peter, it appears that Christ is at last "opening his doors to Pope John Paul II," as Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Vicar of Rome, worded it on Friday evening.
I am one of the many among this generation of young Catholics who has lived his entire life knowing no other Pope. Seeing the events of the last 24 hours unfold and the comments made by many of our visitors to this blog, I am awestruck by the overwhelming affection for this man Karol Jozef Wojtyla in what may be his final hours in this world.
While watching the television newscasts late into the night, the death of Jesus comes to my mind now more than ever before. Now I am witnessing for the first time in my life the man at the Head of our Church, whom we call the Vicar of Christ, follow Jesus into death. He dies as an example of suffering and faith.