Saturday, April 02, 2005

The vultures are circling. Yesterday at work we were inundated with TV crews and newspaper reporters all wanting statements, video, photographs, interviews or whatever they could get from the clergy, parishioners, staff, or the retired Bishop who lives on the premises and was a roommate with our current Pope in college/seminary. It was surreal. This followed over a week of reporters and people from all over the country hanging around the area because of Terry Shiavo in a Hospice house in our area. A retired General/Clergy lives in the same house as our retired Bishop and was actively involved with the family. He was upset with local clergy who did not agree with his viewpoint. There was constantly discussion of the case by parishioners and staff, and of course, there was much disagreement.

Earlier in the week it didn't seem as though the Pope was doing that great, but he wasn't exactly on death's door either. To watch the (what seemed like) sudden downturn was very saddening. We had just finally relaxed from the frenzy of the Schiavo craziness. I very much admire this Pope. He has done some wonderful things and is truly a very holy man. To be talking about him like he was already dead just has been too surreal. Reporters talk about him like he is already dead and then at the end of their story they add that is of course isn't dead yet, but is certainly in his final days or even hours.

He has certainly decided that it is time to let go and be with God. I don't know how long he will live. I have guessed that he is thinking about tomorrow... it is Divine Mercy Sunday. This is a significant day for him because he was mostly responsible for bringing this devotion actively back to the church. I also figure he is looking forward to being with God. I am happy for him about that, but I will miss him. His legacy is one that will live on though. He has definitely left his mark on this world. I just can't deal with the competition and feeding frenzy among the media.

Yesterday, I was trying to get my work done. I was thinking about our Pope. I was praying for him and for a good successor. It was hard to concentrate on my work with TV crews, reporters, and photographers around. The usual work that is done by staff went on as best as it could. Faxes came in with instructions from the Diocese about what we are to do when our Pope dies... draping with purple and white, ringing the bells so many times, etc. In the midst of all of this something happened.

Our Old Irish Pastor was called out to the beaches to minister to a family involved in an accident. A family vacationing here from Michigan was out at Sand Key. The father and son were very close. They had rented jet skis and were playing around on the water on them. They decided to have a race. For some reason the father slowed or suddenly stopped his jet ski, and the son ran into him. The father was knocked off the jet ski. The son was in the water holding him up for 25 minutes until help arrived, but the father died. The son was absolutely in shock. After Old Irish Pastor gave the father a blessing and anointed him, the wife/mother was a bit relieved, hugged Old Irish Pastor and whispered in his ear and asked him to help her son. He did his best. How do you think he would be, thinking that he was responsible for his father's death. It is hard to tell someone in those circumstances that it was just an accident. Basically, they don't hear much at all.

Old Irish Pastor was visibly shaken when he came back to the church. Back to the church with the vultures circling. Last night during services he talked about the family at the beach. They were focused on something more personal than the Pope and Schaivo case.

On my way home last night, I sighed as I drove out of the parking lot. What a day. When I got home, I turned on the TV and, like the rest of the sheep, followed along and watched the stories about the Pope and wondered what next week will be like. It is all very surreal.


dbdoberman said...

God Bless the Pope, I was sorry to hear of his passing, as he was one of the great ones.

Now the arduous process of selecting and installing the new Pope. I wish him well.

Cliff Morrow said...

Rhodent, I am of a different Christian religion than you, (American Baptist) but when I turned on the T.V. this morning I was sickened to see Matt Lauer from NBC "reporting from the Vatican", they were awaiting word on the Pope's 'condition'. Why couldn't he just tell the truth and say we're all standing here waiting for the Pope to die. I wish they would all clear out.
The thing that really impressed me about this Pope is that he would not bend. While the entire world around him is trying to make perversion seem normal, He would not be moved. I hope the Catholic church is blessed by someone as unshakable. I am truly sorry for your Church's and the Worlds loss.

GreatBeefalo said...

"The vultures are circling" hit the nail on the head. Have no fear though--next week there will be some more dirty laundry that will be thrust upon the unwitting public by the national media. I can hardly wait.

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Dear Rhodent,
Dropping in to tell you that you and yours are in my thoughts. The right words are not at my fingertips.