When A Good Man
Becomes A “God-Man”
By Doug Krieger
“And I saw another beast coming up out of earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all authority of first beast in his presence. And he makes earth and those who dwell in it to worship first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to earth in presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on earth because of signs which it was given him to perform in presence of beast, telling those who dwell on earth to make an image to beast who had wound of sword and has come to life. And there was given to him to give breath to image of beast, that image of beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship image of beast to be killed. And he causes all, small and great, and rich and poor, and free men and slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except one who has mark, either name of beast or number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding, calculate number of beast, for number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six” (Revelation 13:11-18).
The Funeral And Legacy Of Pope John Paul II
The past several weeks have witnessed adulation, adoration, and funeral extravaganza orchestrated by hierarchy, viz., College of Cardinals of Roman Catholic Church, on behalf of Pope John Paul II. Indeed, it represents world’s ecumenical capstone to life and legacy of this one entitled “Supreme Pontiff.”
The funeral was attended by 5 kings, 6 queens, 28 prime ministers, 53 presidents, countless dignitaries and religious leaders.
“The late Pope had made 'Christian Unity', healing sometimes-bitter ties with non-Catholic Christian world, a central tenet of his Papacy. The results of those efforts were clearly displayed in very sincere and heart-felt sorrow that colored faces of array of Orthodox, Coptic, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and sundry other church leaders and delegates in attendance.” (Anthony Smith, 8 April 05, Tiscali.europe)
Numerous editorialists and historians are calling funeral largest in history; while press speculates impact of man and Church he represents, to wit:
“With experience of two millennia, Catholic Church is a past master at ceremony. But no-one could have predicted extraordinary way in which funeral of Pope John Paul II dominated attention of whole world. It is not just millions of Catholic faithful who have poured through St Peter’s Square. Or even global billions watching on television. Over 200 of world’s leading statesmen, including George W. Bush and two former American presidents, dropped everything to attend Pope’s internment. What does this extraordinary event signify?
“In last generation, historic divisions inside Christianity have suddenly weakened, in self-defense against increasing secularization of western culture. Even fundamentalist evangelical sects in United States find themselves making common cause with Catholic Church - America’s biggest denomination - against abortion rights. As a result of this melting of sectarian divisions, Rome is again recovering its status as de facto leader of Christian world.” (April 9, 2005, Scottsman.com - Pope's funeral a reminder that institutions can be revived)
Pope John Paul II is most noteworthy in championing cause of human rights, tearing down iron curtain of communism in Europe, traveling to some 129 nations, and in spite of former President Clinton’s “mixed legacy” left by Pope John Paul II, has been, and will be considered, one of greatest popes of all time. No wonder that millions gathered at St. Peter’s squares and adjoining promenades and porticos chanted in unison SANTO SUBITO – “Immediate Sainthood” for Pope John Paul II, THE GREAT!
In contrast to Clinton’s remarks, President Bush heralded praises of Pope John Paul II, to wit:
“I think John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace, compassion and a strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone," Bush said, later asking reporters to amend his remarks to insert "excellent" to describe legacy.” (April 10, 2005, Seattle Times)
The world and US media committed excessive coverage of Pope’s death and funeral proceedings juxtaposed to that of Presidential race (ten times more coverage); likewise, this coverage was at expense of a great deal of significant issues and news throughout planet of 6 billion souls.
The veneration and nearly four hour funeral of this mortal man, whose claim as Vicar of Christ (i.e., “holding delegated authority of Christ on earth”), was perhaps most ostentatious display of grandiose religiosity ever portrayed, and certainly, ever-conveyed to world as a result of Twenty-first Century technological advancements.
“That They All May Be One”
The Catholic world, yea, world in general, was transfixed upon this man, his legacy, and Roman Church’s pomp and circumstance for days on end—let alone spectacled of choosing a new Pope. Indeed, leading American evangelicals as a result of this Pope’s 1995 encyclical, “Ut Unum Sint” (That All May Be One) became hallmark of his papacy for Protestants who yearn for “unity” and moral clarity against encroachments of secularism and relativism sweeping West, especially European West.