Friday, April 01, 2005

The Pope is Dying; Long Live the Pope!

I have followed with some interest the stories of Pope John Paul.

The unusual part, might be that I am Presbyterian!

In fact, I am an ordained Deacon in the Presbyterian Church.....have been, in fact, since I was just over 21 years of age. That, my friends, is more than 40 years ago!

The sliding off this "mortal coil" by the Pope reminds me of my younger years when, in black and white TV, one of my favorite shows was the marvelous Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

Here was a man who could communicate God and religion to ye Catholic or Protestant! His stories; his asides; and, most of all his incredible ability to weave a fabric of religion kept me entranced for years.

As a young Deacon of the 1st Presbyterian Church of Mt. Vernon, IL....I taught a Sunday School class of college kids. A challenge for someone of my age then....

We visited Jewish synagogue; Greek Orthodox; and several other Churches to study the religions available to us in Mt. Vernon (then a thriving city of 15,000).

The resultant report from our students was that ALL religions seemed to find common ground......commandments; rules which were amazingly similar; etc.

My life-message from this which has stayed with me through the 40 years....We are all cut of the same cloth. The methods vary....the end-result and the position of us as religious people is ONE!

Thus believes the Duke!

God Bless the Pope, and particularly his wonderful impact upon the former Soviet Union!