the pope is dead.
i have mixed feelings about it, and about him.
i'm not catholic, for one thing, so he's never been the head of a religious order i paid a great deal of attention to. on the other hand, he was a tremendously charismatic leader who managed to attract a considerable personal following.
also, he's the only pope that i, and anyone younger than i, remember. he was pope for 26 years; i just turned 31 years old, so i was 4 when he was elected in 1978.
anybody can read elsewhere about the criticisms leveled against him for his conservative stances over women, birth control, sexuality, the whole bit. and i agree with them.
on the other hand, he does command a certain respect from me. at the very least, even when he was (by my estimation) wrong, at least we knew exactly what he believed, why he believed it, and that he wouldn't "flip-flop." he was always consistent, on-message, and within his frame of reference, lucid.