screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Friday, April 08, 2005

We love you, Father.

I attended a Requiem Mass for Pope John Paul II last night. I just felt I had to pay my last respects and say farewell to one of a few people left in this world who has a true pure heart. I never thought going to Mass would make me recall memories of the long forgotten past, and saying goodbye to them.

The Malolos Basilica was crowded with the faithful at nine in the evening- a sign that, indeed, the great Pope's death has a deep impact on Filipinos. I was quite surprised that, even if it's that late already, students in their uniforms had a chance to partake in this last rites for the former Church leader. I would have dismissed it as a fact that teachers might have required them to go to Mass, if not for a more valid fact that these kids are with their families, praying together.

The scenes that I saw in the Basilica were so touching. Memories of the World Youth Days (1995) returned to me in an instant. I remembered asking permission from my parents to participate in the vigils, the pilgrimages, the activities of the said event. I really wanted to be part of it since that was the only chance I could join the World Youth Day choir of our own diocese. It was a chance of a lifetime. Being young and quite ignorant of many things outside the household, I struggled my way to being independent, even if it would be just a week. It was difficult for many of us, but no one remembers that. All that is remembered is that we were "holy" and yet we had fun!

I remember the night vigils, the first week when sleep were scarce, yet no one was complaining. I remember sleeping in a tent beside one of the buildings that surround Luneta. I remember boys hitting on girls, even if everybody hadn't taken a bath yet. I remember the signing. Oh yes, the singing. Those were the days when it felt God is everywhere. It felt good remembering those days. I miss those days.

Indeed, little did I know that it was more than just joining the choir. The World Youth Days gave me the first taste of how it is to belong to an ideal that is very significant- to exist is to be part of a bigger picture. Later on, I learned that this, indeed, is part of Karol Wojtyla's Philosophy of Participation. For life to be meaningful, the acting individual should be part of the whole. Intersubjectivity.

This is the meaning that I felt when I walked the streets of Manila with the rest of my fellow youngsters that year. This is the meaning that I felt when I stood there in EDSA while Erap's rule crumbled to pieces years after.

As the theme song of the World Youth Days filled the Basilica, I couldn't help but cry. I wasn't ashamed- all my tears won't match the sincerity, concern, and love of Pope John Paul II to this country. Like Christ to his flock, I felt his passion to take care of us, saying "Hello" every now and then. I saw it, I felt it as I saw him pass by us in 1995. He waved his hands, and I felt the peace felt by many of whom I were with last night. A nun admitted that when she saw the Pope that day, she promised God that she will devote her remaining days on Earth to serve him- and so she did. A mother whom I met in front of John Paul II's portrait claimed that her husband turned his back from adultery the moment he had a split-second eye contact with the Pope in the Popemobile. Even veterans claimed that a white dove landed on the Pope's shoulder while he was addressing the war survivors when the Pope visited in Bataan. His greatness and holiness manifests even in the physical realm. Even his death affects humanity deeply.

I also shed tears as it felt like saying goodbye to my youth. The death of this great man signifies that humanity has to move on, as I have to move on in life also. Goodbye to the days of my innocence, when feelings and life itself was just pure and simple.

Written in the logbook where people people left their condolences:

"Dear Father, now that you are next to God, please continue praying for us and our country. Love, Katie..."


Blogger AKILEZ said...

Pope John Paul II was the only Pope accepted by the Muslim People.

He was the first Pope to Visit Israel and Palestine. The Palestinian people respected the Pope because he his what he was a messenger of Peace. I wished he reveal the secrets of the blessed virgin mary of fatima but Only one secret was revealed to the world and that was in 1981.

11:40 PM

Blogger GeeDot said...


All three secrets of Fatima have already been disclosed.

Here are two links:

The first two secrets involved: vision of hell, and conversion of Russia. The third secret pertains to the death of a certain pope.

1:29 AM

Blogger AKILEZ said...

Yes I know.....

You are talking about the message of the Fatima not the Secret Messages of the Fatima. As far as I know the 7 secrets was never been revealed even the Pope was shot in 1981 didn't tell the world that he was one of the secret message.

The convertion of Russia is one of the message of Lucia and told the world about it. The Secrets are so terrifying that it can never be revealed. Virgin Mary of Medjugorie appeared to warned the people of Yugoslavia to beware of a Genocide and the secrets. The Lady of Lourdes had the same secret messages but never been revealed. The Virgin Mary of Garabandal had the same secret and never been revealed.

Geedot I am not trying to tell you that you are wrong. I asked my cousin the Bishop of Batanes he said messages are still a secret.
And he said I rather keep going on with my life than finding the secrets. We will see it in the future

4:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

forgive me if i don't share your sentiments with regards to the pope. maybe not being a catholic has something to do with it.

i have nothing against the pope but i do have something against the catholic church, a churhc who says that it is christian but it's very foundations and doctrines are all against the teachings of the bible.

yes the pope was the only one who was accepted by the muslims. and it was due to the fact that the pope forgave the man who tried to kill him, and he was a muslim. it's all a clever ruse. how can a trained assasin fire three shots and hit the pope on the leg if it was his desire to kill him?

how can the leader of a christian church turn a blind eye while millions of jews were being massacred in germany during tyhe 2nd world war? (i know t wasn't pope jihn paul who did this but still, it was a pope)

how can a church who claims that they love and care for the people outlaw something that can help people such as contraception? when faced with overwhelming facts and studies that contraception actually helps reduce the inicidence of acquiring aids or STD's the church just dismissed it as "they are wrong" when in fact it was the World Health Org. who conducted the study.

how can the pope and this church advocate suffering when in fact they themselves are wallowing in wealth?

if you really are a true christian, i suggest you start researching on your beloved church and you will se just how filthy, corrupt and just plain evil this church realy is (the catholic church). we have all succumbed to blind faith that we fail to see the obvious.

i'm sorry, but the pope's life did not create much of an impact to me. he did nothing. we are still suffering, people are still dying, people are still greedy, people are still hungry.

the pope is dead, big deal. we still can get on with our lives.

-the ghost

3:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok let me answer that point by point.

You are right! Not being a chatolic has got everything to do with it. Obviously you did not wan't to evaluate your arguments objectively, and ten bucks and a pizza sayas all this is about is your anger about chatolicism and not about the evidence that you can bring. In all probabilities its all an attempt to justify that your religion has the perfect interpretation of the bible.

If this is not about pope John Paul the II, then I think you are barking at the wrong tree. His life and death is not about bible interpretation. It goes way beyond that.

Are you suggesting that the pope or someone close to him arranged for him to be shot, so that he could create a PR campaign to unite christians and muslims? Quite frankly its quite a riduluous conspiracy theory which commits the fallacy of assuming without prooving.

I do not get why you had to bring the holocaust issue on this. Obviously he wasn't even a pope yet that thime, so why are you tying this issue to Pope John Paul II simply because he is a pope? Besides he did appologize to the jewish people, if you read your history correct. Moreover, why are you holding the catholic church responsible, why not the other christian sects? They are also guilty as much as the catholic church is if we fallow that lame argument. Besides the catholic church did not order the massacre of the jewish people, the nazi did. Fallacy of appealing to pitty, and fallacy of guilty by association.

If the church is against contraception, I don't think it necessarily means they are for the spread of STD. Contraception should not be mandatory, its a choice, and thereore the church has a choice on how they want to make a stand on the issue. Besides they can't force people not to use contraception if it didn't want to. Fallacies of appealing to inappropriate authority, and appealing to emotion.

Wallowing wealth? Get real every sect in this planet (christians in particular) are also advocating donations from its members. And please, you do not have the authority to tell who the true christian is. That is or God himself to decide. I think the catholic church never denied the issue of corruption inside thier church. Even Jose Rizal himself admitted it, but that never made him loathe the catholic faith. So not every priests are good, just as not every rabi, imam or pastor are good. so why keep pointing your fingers to the catholic church. I think before you make such lame accusations better read history again, in several occasions the pope appologized to the people for the short comings of the catholic church. Fallacy of composistion, Attack against person (circumstancial and abusive).

Contrary to what you said, Pope John Paul II is hat a true christian leader shoud be. I have heard many christian leaders who claimed that they have the correct interpretation of the bible. Yes the can read the bible front and backwards, and they meorized every phrase there is. But all they did is propose the proper rituals to be done and judge who the reals sons of god are and who should be saved or who wouldn't. To them there are only two kinds of people, the chrisitans (themselves), and everybody else.

I honestly think that none of them has the right interpretation of what the bible is all about. Its about Unconditional love. Pope John Paul on the other hand considered everyone as sons of God regardless if they were jewish christians or muslims. Contrary to what you said that he was not concerned about the suffering of human beings in this planet, he fought against communism, stived to end religious conflicts, and addressed basic human rigths issues accross the world. He outreached people whom the church did not have accessed. He embraced every color, race, religion, and age.

So maybe he had his ups and downs, success and failures. But tell me a chrisitian leader who has even come close to what he has achieved, then Il reconsider being a catholic. Show me a leader who did more than memorize every phrase in the bible and I will agree with all that you said.

1:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes i am not a catholic and no i did not say that my religion is perfect.

i have no respect whatsoever for religion and my faith in GOD is based on what i read on the Bible.

yes i believe that the Pope and the catholic church arranged for this shooting incident. yes it was a big PR campaign to bring Christians and Muslims together.

yes the catholic church is wallowing in wealth. the catholic church can sway the economies of the world according to their whims.

the roman catholic church is one of the most devious organizations in the world. it has it's hands in so many pockets and controls the world's activities.

the muslims, communism, adolf hitler, benito mussolini, and al otehr dictators that have come and gone were all backed by the catholic church in an effort to control the world.

in a statement from the vatican itself, they said that it is a requirement for salvation that every man woman and child in the world be subject to the catholic church, and that the pope is nothing short of GOD.

in the bible, the rise of the catholicism was documented in the book of daniel and was predicted to be the "mother of harlots" in the book of revelation.

even te anger and the hatred the world has for the jews were all the brainchild of the catholic church.

john paul II did all the things that he did in his lifetime to save face. the catholic church was slowly losing it's foothold on the world. everybody was starting to see just how foul they are and opted not to listen to them anymore. that is why john paul II embarked on this mission to bring the world together once again and make the catholic church the head of all.

the catholic church was the mind behind communism. they created communism to battle and destroty the orthodox church of russia. marx, engels, tolstoy, lenin were all good catholics. however, they betrayed the catholic church and so started the churches mission to combat communism.

in all my researches i have some to the conclusion that the catholic hcurch is the most vile abomination in this earth. they play games and lives are at stake. they seek to place themselves at tghe helm of the world and would stop at nothing to get what they want.

my only proof to all this lies in the many circumstantial evidnces that each event presented, the many written accounts of the people who were behind this and the words of a former jesuit priest that has been at the forefront of all these conspiracies - fr. alberto rivera of spain.

you may use all the fallacies in the world, to disprove me, you amy call me crazy, call me out of my mind but i know what i found out is the truth.

people hate those who know the truth.

my words may have been taken out of context as theyu do sound angry. but knwo this, that i am not angry at the catholic church, i am just shockled and apalled at what i have found out. i am shocked and i feel pity for all those who follow blindly the teachings of the catholic church.

i was also a catholic once. but they never did anything to me. the rituals, the masses, the penance, it never really sunk into me.

then i started to open my bible. a priest even told me once that what i am doing is dangerous (readign the bible) becasue he said thathe more i read the more questions i have. but what happend was that the more i read, the more i found GOD, the more detached i feel towards the catholic church.

i suggest that you also do the same thing. the bible is the book that is most bought but read less by people.

instead of arguing with me, why don't you study with me, let us use that otherwise brilliant mind of yours to read the bible and see the truth that GOD wants us to see.

the pope is nothign but an instrument that will bring about our end. that i really believe. hate me, mock me i don't care.

i just want to point out that you are on the worng path and that it's not too late to turn back.

-the ghost

4:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, i am not here to make you agree with me.

i am here to make a comment. and that was lost amidst all your bashing of me. but it's okay, "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. II Timothy 3:12"

anyways, i was just going to say that we make too much of the pope when all he is just another tool. he is not that special.

and also, thank you way for pointing out all the fallacies in my arguments, now i know what to do next time when i argue with someone. you really are smart.

since you are a really smart guy, i would like you to go out and read the works of people such as wycliff, luther, calvin, tyndale, knox, newton, wesley, finney, moody. most of all look up who fr. alberto rivera is an then read what he had to say about your beloved pope and the roman catholic church.

reasearch also the history of roman cathlicism. most of all read the bible.

you are such a smart guy that i wouldn't want you to be blindly following smething that will only lead you somewhere else.

again, thank you for your comments on my comments. and may GOD Bless You.

-the ghost

5:09 PM

Blogger Katie said...

Mr. Ghost, I just wish you've posted your comments somewhere else. I mean, I welcome everyone's opinion here, but isn't it obvious that this blog entry about Pope John Paul II is my way of paying my last respects to whom I believe is a great man? We all have the right to make our own opinions and judgements. And it's great that you shared with us your comments about the John Paul II and Catholicism, but forgive me if I take your comments disrespectful.

You could have emailed me instead, and I'll gladly post your bold comments here. But to append your harsh words to the only means I could show affection to whom I consider a good man for the last time is... rude.

9:50 PM

Blogger AKILEZ said...


The Syrian Guy who shot the Pope was a Perfect Assassin but WHEN HE WAS ABOUT TO SHOOT THE POPE THREE TIMES ON THE HEAD. The Pope Bend Over and held a baby Girl. The Assassin was in shock and suprised to see A Baby with the Pope. he misfired his Pistol and the Pope was only hit in the back. A MIRACLE by the baby.

Communism does not believe in Religion. Roman Catholic Church never supported Communism. The Pope during WW2 was to support a country who believed in Catholicism. So the Pope on that time had to Choose Hitler from Stalin. On 1942 THE POPE found out that Hitler were killing thousand of Jews so he decided to withdrew his support for the Nazi Regime.

Tell me what religion support other Religion? My guess is the same with you The Roman Catholic church. I have been a Catholic since 1968. I never ever heard a priest Say during Homoly is to hate other Religion except for those anti-marcos messages.How can Catholics hate the Religion of Jesus Christ, The Judism, How can we hate Muslims if Abraham built The Kabba in Mecca? The Jews built The Mosques in Turkey a Muslim Country.

Our God didn't create hate. We created hate. Peace to all

12:46 AM

Anonymous Ahmad said...

I am going a little out of context here, but let me answer this as briefly as I can.

By the way Akilez did the history lesson for you so il leave it at that.

To say that the church is the most devious church in the world commits the fallacy of composition. Why have you studied every religion there is?

Please don't try to appeal to my emotion, telling me that you know the truth and that I should join you. Just because you present your pieces and bits of evidence, that does not in any way give you an authority to conclude that people should not listen to the teaching of the catholic church. Just as you don't necessarily say that smoking is not dangerous to your health, just because you see that there are many chain smokers who don't get lung cancer. There were many corrupt friars during the spanish regime, but did that make our national heroes reconsider about chatolicism itself?

I think if you have read the bible, you missed the whole point. The point of the bible is simply about giving unconditional love, regardless of race, color, religion. Jesus showed this, the Pope showed this, Mahatma Gandhi showed this. And I think anybody who can do this regardless of the rituals they practice deserves to be called the son of god.

The main weakness of all your argument is that its foundation is about your emotion about the catholic faith. Maybe you don't hate it, but obviously you don't like it. And for that reason, you refuse to look at the other side of the coin, to see the good things that catholic leaders did. Which I think in all sense is very unfair.

Im no tibetan buddhist but I have so much respect for the philosphy of Gandhi .

10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear katie,

i am sorry for the inconvenience that my posts are bringing.

you have my sincerest apologies if in anyway my posts had somewhat destroyed the noble mission of your blog, that is to pay respect to the late pope.

i respect the ideas that you are posting here and as such i believe that the world needs more people like you. people who are not afraid to speak their mind and take action when it needs be.

this is the last you will hear of me. rest assured i am not the one who called you a "bitch", as evidenced by the writing style and the excessive use of caps.

i assure you that i am a reasonable man and i did not mean to disrespect you. if i came across as rude, then i sincerely apologize for it.

my words did not come across as i had intended them to be, and if i were a better writer thatn most of you are here, this would not have been the case.

again i apologize. this is the lastyou will hear of me and i shall never bother you or any of your friends again.

i thank you for the opportunity accorded to me. please continue what you are doing, in your own albeit little way, you are inspiring change.

-the ghost

5:39 PM

Anonymous c-lo said...

Children, children, children. Tsk,tsk,tsk, it does not matter what religion you are what matters is how you live your life. I believe in a God that is forgiving and loving, it does not matter to him what you believe in it is how you utilize your beliefs and how you treat other people that matters.

1:15 PM


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