Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Holy Father nears the end.

According to this report, the Pope suffered heart failure during the antibiotic treatment he was given on Thursday evening to treat the fever brought on by his infection.

A doctor, Dr Paolo Nardini, points out that "a heart attack, which is very serious, affects only the heart, while heart failure signals a breakdown of the entire system, (and is) basically uncurable."

So much will be said in the following days about John Paul II's legacy. For me, as a young Catholic, he is the only Pope I have ever known, and a figure who has profoundly influenced my life. His message, it seemed, carried a special mission for the youth, for whom he carried a very particular love. Anyone whoever attended a World Youth Day will know that this love was very much reciprocated.

As I said, there are so many things which can be said about this giant historical figure, so it would be foolish of me to attempt any sort of a comprehensive retrospective look. To me, though, his insistence on according the utmost dignity to every human life was his most powerful bequest to my generation.

The 20th century cost the most human lives in history. Never before were so many killed so systematically, all in the name of universal brotherhood, or the perfection of man. One could say that it was a century of death.

It is up to my generation to attempt to ensure that the 21st Century is a rebuke to that history, to make the next century a celebration of human life and potential. It's a daunting project, but anything would shame this great man's memory.



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