I don’t think I was the only non-Catholic to shed a tear this morning when I heard the news that John Paul II had died. I definitely didn’t agree with many of the stands that the Catholic church had taken over the last few years – though I did appreciate its stand against the death penalty in the U.S. and other countries. But, John Paul II was a very humane, likeable figure. He was like a distant grandfather for many people, so it was sad when he finally succumbed to his illnesses on Saturday.
Now, more than ever, I wish I could be in Rome. I thirst for being in the middle of history. If I had the chance to go back in time, I would choose to hang out in Berlin when they chipped away at the Wall; I would go back to the early 90s and register every URL domain name I know possible; and I would book a flight for last week so I could be in the thick of the papal transition.
After a few days, of course, talk will begin about who will be the next Pope. My bet is that the next leader of the Catholic church will be from Italy. But, it could be interesting if the cardinals choose a man from the Developing World, particularly India.