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The Death of Pope John Paul II

The death of Pope John Paul II touched the hearts of many people, not just Roman Catholics, around the world. But not everyone saw the pontiff in a positive light. Here, DW-WORLD readers have their say.


Some consider the pope a great man, others have different ideas

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. If you would like to have your say, click on the feedback button below. Not all reader comments will be published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Karol Wojtyla did great things for Poland. Also, he constantly lent his voice for the weak and poor. He is a magnificant example of an advocate for peace among religions and nations. Unfortunately, he was unable to cast aside the centuries of oppressive, small-minded Catholism when it came to women priests, marriage for priests, birth control and condoms for Africa and the world's poor. Still, within the confines of the church's restrictions he was a bright and glorious light. May he rest in peace. -- Chamae Deosil

What a terrible, terrible loss for the world! I took his Holy Father's repeated statement this morning, "I have come to you. Now you come to me. And I thank you," as welcoming Christ to come take him home. At least he is finally out of pain. His life will serve as an example to millions. If only we could remember his influence daily. -- Deb Small, USA

John Paul II will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest popes in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church. His ministry walked a narrow path between sterile traditionalism and facile accommodation to modernism in the pejorative sense. Neither conservative (opposition to death penalty, speaking truth to powerful dictatorships of the left and right, sophisticated critiques of unbridled capitalism) nor liberal (opposition to women priests and married priests, affirming the dignity of homosexual persons without blessing sodomy, eloquent spokesman for the rights of the unborn and the cognitively disabled), he challenged both extreme tendencies in the Church while reaching out to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and secular humanists. In an age that saw the collapse of totalitarianism in its Communist form, he accelerated the process by defending the rights of the workers to nonviolently challenge the "workers' paradise", but then refused to become an apologist for heartless capitalism. Of course, he will not be the last great pope, but he will be a hard act to follow indeed. -- Tom Haessler

This was a good guy, a simple man with a heartfelt message. He was more responsible for the downfall of the Soviet bloc than any combination of Western guns, jets, or bombs. God bless this wonderful man. He will be missed, but fondly remembered. -- Steve G.

I may not have agreed with everyone the pope said or did (I am a Christian) but I do know that he tried very hard to bring peace to the world and he did this successfully. Anyone who loves and serves God is a blessing to this sinful world of ours. I have no sorrow because I know if the pope was here right now he would not want everyone to be sorrowful. What a special man of God he was. Bless John Paul II. I pray that the next pope will bring peace to the standard of John Paul II. -- Melanie Layman

He was a great pope when it came down to the subject of abortion, birth control, homosexuality and protecting human life. However, he could and should have been a bit more active to protect Catholic tradition and not give in to a liberal Vatican. -- John Stefanczyk, USA

The popes's teachings on morality (which you seem to object to) are not just his personal opinions but those upheld by traditional Christianity, and cannot be changed by him or any future pope. Some Catholics in the USA think just the opposite -- he preached and wrote many beautiful things, but allowed the liberals who are running the Church over here to have their way. -- Jeff Smith, USA

I was truly saddened upon hearing the news about the passing of Pope John Paul II. Throughout his life, he expressed his love for mankind by championing the weak, the oppressed and unborn. His example of living reminds us that our purpose in this world is to share in the suffering of others by caring for one another, and to leave this world a better place than when we arrived. Pope John Paul II you have left this world a better place. God bless you. -- Gerhard Wolfgang Garcia, USA

Catholics here in Cebu City also mourn for the death of a great Pope John Paul II. He had visited here last in 1981 and I saw him personally. He truly had a magnetic personality not because of his good looks but because of his warmth and closeness to the people from all walks of life. He really was a good apostle of Christ for he had promoted for love and peace in all corners of the world. We will never forget him and I hope and pray that the Vatican will be able to elect for his replacement who is as good and competent as he was. -- Claudia J. D'Aquin, the Philippines

Pope John Paul II is unquestionably one of the most important figures of the past century. His constant efforts to affect international reconciliation and peace have earned him respect beyond the realm of Catholicism. -- Claudia J. D'Aquin, USA

The bishop of Rome, called Pope John Paul II, was not too conservative, he was too liberal! He did not purge homosexual priests and nuns from the Church. He allowed interfaith meetings and prayers and services. He kissed a Koran and visited a synagogue. He allowed the Hindus and other non-Christians to "bless" him. He lifted the ban on Freemasons being Church members. He supported the United Nations. About the only good thing he did while he was pope was that he remained pro-life and committed to the defense of unborn human beings and condemned Western materialism. How is that for feedback? -- John Clark

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