Becky Says...

April 2005

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Respect - April 7

As I watched some of the preparation for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, I was struck by the contrast with what I was reading, which was yet another very bitter criticism of the Pope and/or the Catholic Church. And I am surprised at and disappointed in those who could not contain their bitterness until after the service.

I'm not talking about people who expressed politely that they were displeased with some of the positions he took. He was a public figure, he took public stands that many disagreed with, and it would have been wrong to deny the disagreement. It's those who went a lot further down the criticism road of whom I speak.

All my life I have heard that you do not speak ill of the dead. I've pretty much always taken that to mean wait a few days after the funeral, at least, to announce the depths of your displeasure with the decedent. This is done, of course, out of respect for those who mourn.

The mourners have enough to deal with without having to hear someone make disparaging remarks. And if you think you don't know anyone mourning the Pope, so you should just ignore that bit of etiquette on the grounds it doesn't apply to you, well, I can pretty much guarantee you you're wrong.

Something else I can pretty much guarantee you: no matter how valid your point, it is lost on those who mourn. What will not be lost on them is that you did not wait to speak.

May the Pope and all, human and otherwise, who have left the earthly existence rest in peace. And may there be much comfort for those who mourn them.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky