Talk:Pope John Paul II/Archive 4

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Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

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The section regardling "Criticism"

The section regarding "Criticism" states: "Former United States president Bill Clinton added after the pontiff's death that the Pope 'may have had a mixed legacy,' but he called him a man with a great feel for human dignity.[8] ( Current president George Bush disagreed, claiming that John Paul will have a clear and excellent legacy of peace, compassion and 'setting a clear moral tone.' [9]" Is the second sentence really necessary given the title of the section? Hopefully this article does not need a "Rebuttle to the Criticism" section. I'm not so sure that the quote from Clinton is necessary either given that it doesn't address a specific criticism. Edwardian 16:11, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Former President Clinton said.... President Bush said ... -- Will anybody still be interested in what they said, two weeks from now?
And if yes, what did Carter and the other Bush say? What about the first ladies? -- I think I better go find out now if at least the Austrian chancellor and the head of the opposition agreed on whether the Pope's legacy is "clear" or "mixed", so that I can add this crucial bit of information to the article as well... -- Austrian 23:44, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Don't forget to poll Hollywood. We wouldn't want to miss out on the latest dish on "JP". siafu 02:17, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Amen to that! I have removed the remarks from Clinton and Bush. Edwardian 01:30, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Amen, amen! Bratschetalk random 01:56, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Views on various issues

The introduction states: "He spoke out against communism, imperialism, materialism, Nazism, racism, oppression, secularism, feminism, poverty, and unrestrained capitalism. While he was on friendly terms with many industrialized heads of state, he reserved a special opprobrium for consumerism attributing it to hedonism." Is there any reason why the second sentence should stand alone rather than be incorporated into the first (i.e. "He spoke out against communism, consumerism, hedonism, imperialism, materialism, Nazism, racism, oppression, secularism, feminism, poverty, and unrestrained capitalism.")? Edwardian 15:57, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You happened to land on the article when somebody was trying to strip that 2nd sentence of most its meaning. It's now restored and I think you can see it deserves its place. JPII really thought of this secular consumerism as one of the greatest threats to Western psychological/spiritual well being going forward, second only to unbelief itself. JDG 07:41, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Picture caption

Isn't the box thing at the top of the photo a bit much? We don't do it for other monarchs nor for other religious leaders. I notice we don't do it for every pope either, just far enough back to make the casual researcher think that it's a common style for all. And what's with the Latin? Was there any justification for any of this?Grace Note 00:23, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As for the use of Latin, see reversals war in the history of the article "Pope John Paul I" to get a clearer picture. This was a compromise. --Eleassar777 11:01, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't pretty much care whether or not Latin is used or the office the person held was prominently displayed at the header of the infobox like it was before the changes made by Grace Note. She asked what my intentions were. Just to make my intentions clear with the new infobox, I just wanted to make the infobox look nicer than it was and add it to all the papal articles for consistency. If you all want to hash out little details about the infobox, such as the use of the Latin name, you might as well take it to Template:Infobox pope for further discussion. --Gerald Farinas 14:58, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think we should use the Latin name where it it now. Latin is the official language of the Vatican, and since he is the sole ruler of Vatican City, we should put his name as it is in "his" language. On the part of the infobox, it just collects relevant information into a spot at the head of the article. If the box isn't on all of the articles, we should eventually put them there. It just takes time to go through 250-odd pope articles. Bratschetalk random 22:37, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
I'm working as fast as I can to get those infoboxes on all the papal articles! A gay boy from far north Chicago can only do so much, despite what people think they can do. Hehe. --Gerald Farinas 00:15, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So what's your angle, Gerald? You are devoting much time to this and the funeral article. Are you a gay Catholic? Are you an unbeliever who happens to dig the cardinals' wardrobes, or the pomp and circumstance or somesuch? Do you just enjoy the irony? Do fill us in. JDG 20:23, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Trips Between Countries

I removed text about the Pope's journys being made to link the "Abrahamic" religions. I don't think this is necessarily true: the Pope visited countries with high Catholic populations (such as those in Latin America) and low Jewish/Muslim populations. How could he connect the three religions here. Sure, some trips were made to emphasize the connections, but on a whole, it's not true.

Also, I removed a edit stating he had "allegedly" canonized more saints then all of his predecessors. I think this is pretty much a given fact. Bratschetalk random 23:05, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

Actually it isn't. It is a bit of hyperbole.
  • The method by which saints are canonised has changed, so one is not comparing like with like.
  • I have seen no statistical evidence to show that he has canonised more under the modern method.

And no, that isn't just nickpicking. Newspapers right now talk about the church electing a seventy-something pope as if it does it once and a while to have a short pontificate. I researched the real facts. John XXIII was the first seventy-something pope for over two centuries. So just because it is a 'given fact' doesn't make it an actual fact. At most we should mention the claim that he canonised more saints than all his precedessors. But we should not state it as fact. After all the media stated as fact that the camerlengo hit JPII on the head with a silver hammer. B******t. That ceremony has not happened for generations and was officially abolished by JPII in the mid 1990s. Media facts and actual facts are often quite different. FearÉIREANN 00:12, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, ok, you're right. I think that there was no real canonization process back in the early days of the Church. It was probably more like popular acclaim: you knew a person was holy in their life, then they were killed by the Romans. Later, you go pray at their tomb in the catacombs. I'll try to rework it so the articles "claims" the fact/

You're also totally right about the nitpicking of detail in articles. This stuff is what makes Wikipedia more reliable and dependable in academic circumstances. Bratschetalk random 01:05, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)


We seem to have 2 biographies now, plus a seperate page ? Andycjp

Yes, there was a major duplication of sections of the article, and at least one section got lost. This would almost certainly be because of a software problem, and not a vandalism. I think it's all fixed now. I suspect this is happening more often in this article than in most, because of the large number of changes made and because the article is longer than our normally recommended maximum length.-gadfium 03:24, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"The Great" - 2 0r 3?

It is in some places said that Pope St. Nicholas I, (819?-867, Pope 858-867) was also considered "the Great", although I was not myself aware of this before JPII died and the discussion of his greatness began in earnest. Our own wikipedia article states this, does anyone else know why generally there are only considered 2 (Gregory and Leo)? (User:GreetingsEarthling, although I am not logged in) 04:05, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If no one has any objections, then, I'll change the article to reflect that Nicholas I is considered "The Great" and so therefore JPII, if he achieves that titles, will be the fourth.GreetingsEarthling 06:28, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I would support this with a credible source/reference provided. It is through popular and consistent use of the word great that popes eventually become Great. --Eleassar777 06:33, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is by a priest I know and respect. He makes no mention of Nicholas I. Before I change this article back, however, I would like to know why the Wikipedia Nicholas I entry lists him as "Great", since that is what this article should go by. GreetingsEarthling 06:57, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

With all respect, this author does not mention Saint Nicholas. I would suppose that to be relevant he should either confirm or deny the fact that Saint Nicholas is called the Great, which is what some people believe. I have found several online sources listing Saint Nicholas as Nicholas the Great:

Using the phrase "Nicholas the Great", there are many other web pages offered by Google. I don't know what is true, but it is evident that at least some people believe that Nicholas I was "the Great" too. This should be further verified in printed sources. --Eleassar777 13:18, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, to be fair, the article I linked to says, "Two popes have had the title, 'the Great' appended to their name", thus implicitly excluding Nicholas I (the author could hardly have listed every Pope who does not deserve the title!). That having been said, though, enough people seem to consider Nicholas I "Great" that he ought to be included, IMHO. GreetingsEarthling 22:14, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

To note, the Catholic Encyclopedia does not call him the great, but the 11th edition of Britannica does. john k 14:54, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Interestingly enough, that's not quite right. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on him does not call him "Nicholas the Great", just "one of the great popes of the Middle Ages", but the complete listing of popes does call him "St. Nicholas I (the Great)". (He's #106, for quick reference). GreetingsEarthling 22:29, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pope Benedict XVI has referred to him as "the Great" in public, and the Cardinals were reffering to him as "Magnus" in the conclave. Since the new pope says it, it must be. Papa Facit. -- 01:59, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That's garbage. He wasn't speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith. john k 02:11, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I hold the opinion that St. Nicholas should be interred as "the great". He was one of the true heroes and defenders of the Christian faith. I believe affixing "the great" after his name would be most appropriate, accompanying his sainthood. After the Pope is endowed with sainthood, he will rightfully be Pope John Paul II "The greatest". On a unrelated note, damn, that St. Nicholas stub needs to be elaborated. Eric July 1, 2005 19:19 (UTC)

Article too long

I think that each section should be short with a longer version in separate articles, the same way we do it with countries' articles, because this one is becomming way too long and with too many sections. What do you think?Cjrs 79 17:15, Apr 16, 2005 (UTC)

I would support this, however don't have time to participate actively to such a degree. --Eleassar777 20:12, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In principle, I agree, but I personally would wait until the frequency of edits drops somewhere much below the current ~500 edits/week, especially given the section edit/page duplication bug. Niteowlneils 01:53, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with breaking up articles of this size, but I seem to be distinctly in the minority on this question. When a unified topic (like one guy's life) is sliced up I always get the feeling I may have missed something essential because perhaps I didn't click every single link. If it's all in one big article I know everything is right in front of me... I don't think we should worry about length until about 75k. Oh well if I have the energy maybe I'll try to kick off a definitive debate about this, with vote (unless it's been done?). JDG 04:51, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

recent edits regarding election of John Paul II

Does anyone really have a reliable source about how he came to be elected. I'm refering to this section: Voting in the second conclave was divided between two particularly strong candidates: Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, the Archbishop of Genoa, and Giovanni Cardinal Benelli, the Archbishop of Florence and a close associate of Pope John Paul I. In early ballots, Benelli came within nine votes of victory. However Wojtyła secured election as a compromise candidate, in part through the support of Franz Cardinal König and others who had previously supported Giuseppe Cardinal Siri. which (as of now) is in the main article. I read that, and I say to myself, how could anyone really know if that is true or not, unless one of the cardinals openly broke his vow to keep the conclave secret. Morris 01:36, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

A concern about opening paragraphs

This is generally a fine article, but I wonder if the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, if left unbalanced, are the best way to represent JPII's overall approach to the world through his papacy. These paragraphs have long lists of the things opposed or criticized by JPII and no mention of any positive impulses or motivations. I suppose it is more difficult to express these in a standard expository way, as it is awkward to write something like "he was in favor of love between people and nations". But an attempt should be made... I would also include a section on his writings beyond the existing list of his publications. In particular, his activity as a philosopher and as a poet would merit notice quite apart from his involvement with the church (the publication list itself needs work-- for instance it gives the impression his first book of verse came out in 1994 while there was a worldwide printing in all major languages of his early poems well before 1980). JDG 16:54, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Spoke out against oppression? Not really.

How much sense does it make to list the ideologies and political movements that John Paul II denounced? Too many of them contradict each other, like racism, Communism, poverty, feminism, and oppression. The last time I looked, Communism and feminism were developed to fight oppression, especially poverty. Plus, JP II's sexist, stereotypical views on women negate whatever "commitment" he expressed toward fighting global oppression. It's the global oppression of women that facilitates the misery most humans experience.

The contradiction of the Pope's (and the Vatican's) positions on gender really need to be explored more seriously. I am limited when it comes to an in-depth knowledge of Catholicism, thus I wouldn't really wouldn't know where to start any argument from. But I know there are Catholic Church experts out there that are also wise about gender and sexual oppression---I know there is. Y'all folks need to speak up. --Pinko1977 06:03, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Probably you should correct your admitted lack of "knowledge of Catholicism" before getting on a soapbox about it. Your statements don't hang together very well. It's true, for instance, that Marxism fancied itself developed to fight oppression. The Catholic Church from the beginning of Marxism predicted that any ideology built upon a rejection of God would, despite all rhetoric, become oppressive itself. The 8 million+ who died unnatural deaths under Stalin alone argue for the truth of the Church's prediction... As for things like feminism, modern feminism has likewise built into itself tenets the Church could hardly be expected to like, such as deep loathing for all "patriarchal power structures". Yo Pinko-- the Church *is* a patriarchal power structure. You expect it to negate itself? No, feminism will have to battle those it denounces and I know where I'd put my chips on this one.... JDG 06:30, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Wojtyla's active crackdown of liberation theology speaks volumes to his commitment to opressed peoples. Not to mention his lack of criticism of the brutal dictatorships of Chile and Argentina. — Miguel 09:55, 2005 Apr 19


Just wanted to remind that in the period of Stalin communism was not reached - that was only a "transitory period". --Eleassar777 13:34, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

JDG, please explain how my arguments "don't hold together well" before you attack them. I admitted I don't know much about the RCC, so I suggested that people who do advance this argument, which is exactly what the people who responded after you did. By the way, I know full well that feminism views the Church as a patriarchal institution, thank you for clarifying. As a Marxist and a feminist, I should know that. --Pinko1977 21:20, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Right, so here's your logic: blue is a very nice color; mass murderer X wears blue shirts very often; how on earth could this Church and its popes oppose MMX? JDG 08:05, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is important to define whether Pope John Paul II opposed to communism as a social and economic system, to communism as an ideology, to communism as a political movement that wants to implement the system or to all of them.

If he opposed to communism as the social and economic system, that would mean that he opposed to the only system in which there is no poverty. I can not understand how this would be possible, as no such system exists anywhere in the world. Therefore the Pope was only able to fight against communism as an ideology (a set of ideas) and to its political movements.

If the system would exist, the Pope would contradict himself in his fight against both the communism and poverty at the same time. As it does not, everything depends on whether this ideology can possibly be realized. If this is not so, he fought against the ideology which cannot be realized and he does not contradict himself. If this ideology is realizable, he contradicts himself.

Therefore, I suggest that the article states: As believed by such-and-such people (who do not believe communism is realizable) Pope John Paul II fought against the ideology of communism and its political movements, but at the same time also against poverty, although relatively ineffectively. Others <say who> believe that he contradicted himself this way, as the realization of communism would mean that the only system, in which there is no poverty, is attained. --Eleassar777 15:08, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Leaving aside the ideologies he opposed, what about In many ways, he fought against oppression, secularism and poverty? What does "in many ways" mean? I doubt many people apart from his supporters would see it like that. Can anyone name, say, three practical things JP2 did to make a real difference to poverty? This is not an attempt to stir up more controversy but a genuine request for information, as the above reads like a pretty partial statement with perhaps a bolted-on attempt to tone it down ("in many ways") that doesn't quite make sense. Clearly any pontiff is going to be opposed to these obvious evils but I think unless something can be added to justify this statement it should be removed. Flapdragon 10:01, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I remember that together with Bono from U2 he fought to get the debts of 23 underdeveloped countries cancelled and succeeded. I also know that Church helps people in underdeveloped countries very much both with material and psychological support. At the other side, I believe he would made a deeper impact, if he had not opposed the use of birth control. Therefore, I think that the sentence you mention should not be removed, but made more specific.
Another thing, I have found something interesting on this web page: "Many have stated that John Paul fought against liberation theology. I suspect that most who say that did not ever read the speech made by Pope John Paul 11 in Pueblo, Mexico, in 1979, which was the first of his 129 papal visits. But as usual those that know the least have the most talk!
What he said was that the church did not need any political philosophy or ideology to be on the side of the poor, because this was already stated in the gospels. What the Pope did was to make the gospel the centre of liberation theology which was further manifested in his first two encyclicals Redemptoris Homini (Redeemer of Man) and Laborem Exercens (On Human Labour)."
Can anyone comment this?

Well, I lived in a communist country and I know that communism is bad. Any system which deprives people of the fruits of their work is bad, because it leads to people not wanting to work. As the saying in Poland went: "This belongs to everyone, that is to no one". Lack of respect of private ownership depravated human souls. Communism is a system in which everyone is poor, so everyone is equal.

I mainly agree. Especially when you say that people do not want to work anymore. I also lived in a socialist state and know this. Otherwise, I don't know why everbody would be poor - poor is defined relatively to rich. If there are no rich men, nobody can be poor. Nonetheless, don't forget that communism is seen as an utopia by the majority of people. By the way, did you notice that Wikipedia is similar to communism in some elements? There is/was even a page about this - I just don't know anymore where it is located. --Eleassar777 11:49, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, you may always compare people to history. If in one country there are lacks of shoes and food, and they once have had shoes and food, then we may conclude that, althoutgh is everyone equal, everyone is equally poor (in comparison to historical experience). Wikipedia similar to communism? How? You may also argue that wikipedia is prime example of extreme right - libertarianism :) Szopen 15:12, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

As for feminism, well, one can be against aggressive feminism and still being for equal treatment of woman and man. I see no contradiction in here. Feminist argues for state-regulated relationship between man and woman and argues that man and woman are totally equal. Non-feminist argues that man and woman are not the same, that they are both valuable for society and their role in society is uncomparable, and equal respect is needed and equal rights (but not privileges) for both sexes. Szopen 07:44, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

His Holiness

Is there any reason why JPIIs official title, 'His Holiness' has been removed? DJ Clayworth 18:25, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Someone claimed that he lost it after he died. I wouldn't know about this. --Eleassar777 21:45, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am opposed to the use of styles in articles, but was outvoted (though maybe it should be revisited). But current policy dictates that he should be His Holiness whether alive or dead. FearÉIREANN 23:39, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is a title that can only apply to the living pontiff, not the dead. Rangeley 06:02, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. No dead person has a style, to the best of my knowledge - at least, I have seen not seen ANY dead person with a style on Wikipedia. Of course, I disagree that live people should have them, but dead people certainly should not - I've never heard someone refer to a dead person as "His Excellency". Titanium Dragon 01:30, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe that at all. I think it's usual to retain a title on death. George VI is formally known as His Late Majesty, and his queen Her Late Majesty. Where do you get the idea that a style ceases on death? It seems a strange idea to me, to respect someone when they're alive and then reverse that term of respect on death, jguk 09:24, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If we were writing a history of the current pope, Big Ben, then there would be some point in not using the style for earlier pontiffs. But each article here is a self-contained biography. It is standard in such circumstances to outline what was their style in the office. Hence the logical use of His Holiness for all past popes, His/Her Majesty for past monarchs, HRH/HIRM/HSH etc for past holders of those styles. It is perfectly standard form. FearÉIREANN 01:29, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Though the person might be dead, we still give them a title. We still call Diana Princess, Reagan President, Rainier Prince, Brezhnev Premier, etc. Zscout370 01:44, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Don't forget about John Paul II Pope. ;) --Eleassar777 09:06, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Wouldn't those be honorifics or titles rather than styles? No deceased monarchs/popes used to have them, but they all have Pope/Prince/whatever. There's a difference. Titanium Dragon 11:14, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

All popes even after death retain the the title his holiness. However, a cause for beatification for Wojtyla will be opened in July. Until that date, his title will be Servant of God. When the proccess starts he willbe Venerable, and when if he is beatified he will be Blessed. <<Coburn_Pharr>> 04:20, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Correction. The process started, as declared by Pope Benedict XVI, and that is the reason why he is called Servant of God now. (The Church used to give the title of Venerable when they started the process; now they don't. It's a totally separate phase of canonization apart from being called Servant of God, these days.) When a declaration of heroicity is promulgated (a legal document of the Church), then he will receive the title of Venerable. After a few miracles attributed to him are made official, he will be beatified and receive the title of Blessed. After more miracles are made official he will then be canonized. It's all set in canon law. --Gerald Farinas 04:33, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Commons has some new free pictures of John Paul II. Wouldn't it be good to replace some of the fair use images here with some free ones from Commons? I know that fair use is ok at en:, but free pics should in my opinion be used where available. Ausir 08:41, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Do you think this image can be used here somewhere? Zscout370 21:45, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How about Ring of the Fisherman? Pmadrid 20:40, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Is it right to say in the begining of the article that he was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church since he was also Pope of the Eastern Rite Churches? Wouldn't it be better to say Pope of the Catholic Church?

Roman Catholic Church includes the Eastern Rite churches. The Pope is Patriarch of the Latin Church, which with the Eastern Rite churches makes up the Roman Catholic Church. Pmadrid 20:40, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

What About Mary?

It's my understanding as a non-Catholic that the Pope venerated Mary to such a degree that he called out to her in a crisis (such as the assassination attempt), not to God, and planned to proclaim her Co-Redeemer with Christ -- a "God the Mother," if you will. This would fit the logical grid, but would have created yet another aspect of a godhead already split in three. According to Newsweek, his advisors had to plead long and hard with him not to take this step, because so many popes since the Reformation have used Mary as an in-your-face use of Catholic power to irritate Protestants. That was not his intent, of course. Anyone knowledgeable in what I thought was THE agenda closest to John Paul's heart? (Note the big M on his crest.) YankeeInCA 00:59, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Pope surely was an admirer of Mary and I can believe he was planning to proclaim her co-Redemtrix ("the Mother Suffering"), Mediatrix ("the Mother Nourishing"), and Advocate ("the Mother Interceding")... This is not a new doctrine - just it wasn't proclaimed ex cathedra. However, I won't believe that he planned to proclaim her "God the Mother" as long as I don't read it printed in several recognized journals I respect and books written in NPOV.
I have found some links online using Google (the phrase: mary co-redeemer newsweek). Here I post three of them, each with its own understanding.

The controversy of this issue is apparent. However, the Pope was not stupid - he was an excellent theologian and philosopher and co-operated significantly with Mr Ratzinger. I can't imagine that his wish was to create another God, neither deliberately and even more unlikely, by accident. My personal opinion is that his agenda is most closely explained in the article accessible through the first link. --Eleassar777 09:04, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thank you. Part of the strength of the Church has been playing the role, if you will, of angels rushing in where fools fear to tread. One of the articles you cite mentions fear of alienating Anglicans, yet my Anglican (Episcopalian) mother recently joined a secret Marian sisterhood, a surprising about-face for a Massachusetts Yankee to say the least. The lack a female aspect of God in the Abrahamic faiths (in order of revelation: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Protestant sects) is a grave weakness, and only the Catholic Church has had the balls (so to speak) to face the problem. YankeeInCA 06:54, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mary has been always strongly worshipped in Poland. She was even declared queen of Poland, you know. Her "holy portrait" in czestochowa each year brings thousands and thousands of pilgrimes. Szopen 07:40, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Couldn't help commenting on an aside here - "However, the Pope was not stupid - he was an excellent theologian and philosopher". No doubt he was an excellent theologian, but (speaking as someone with two philosophy degrees) popes don't make excellent philosophers. You won't find many modern-day professional philosophers who believe in God, because religions (particularly Christianity) are philosophically a joke. This is why God is typically relegated to a separate university subject, theology. Ben Finn 12:22, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Latin Name

Hey. Ought we to put the name in Latin as Ioannes Paulus P.P. II (or something like that)? That's how it is in his signature, right? Just checking, not sure so I'm not going to change it. --User:Jenmoa 04:02, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

My missing edit summary

I apologize, I accidently clicked save before writing an edit summary. I removed "On May 13 2005 Pope Benedict XVI started the process of beatification, the first step to making him a saint." because Pope Benedict XVI is still alive and is ineligible for sainthood. — oo64eva (Alex) (U | T | C) @ 09:25, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Okay I see what this contributor intended. I will make it clearer. — oo64eva (Alex) (U | T | C) @ 09:26, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Sainthood criteria?

"Throughout his papacy, John Paul II generated billions of dollars in income for the Catholic Church, and is therefore being strongly considered for sainthood."

Understandably I was a bit confused when I read this. From my understanding of the Catholic Church, I was under the opinion that sainthood was conferred for being a good person, inspiring the faithful, and comitting what would be considered by the faithful as miracles - not from dollars and cents. This appears to suggest that the primary reason that the late Pope was being considered for sainthood would be the fact that he had brought a lot of money to the Church, and strikes me as being at least slightly POV or perhaps in poor taste.

St Peter POV

I'm concerned about POV in the article regarding the "pontificate" of St Peter. First, Protestant and Orthodox Christians don't accept that Peter was Pope at all. Second, secular history really does not support the idea that the Bishops of Rome claimed supremacy over the western church until the fifth century or so. A while ago, I modified the article to say that JPII was the second-longest reigning pope, after Pius IX and said, parenthetically, that Catholics consider St. Peter to be the first pope and ergo, JP II would be considered the 3rd longest reigning pope in that view. To blithely say that he is the "3rd longest reigning Pope" without caveat, is taking for granted a sectarian and un-proven assertion and passing it off as fact. Shouldn't a commitment to neutrality require us to rely on secular history? Sumergocognito 00:17, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

St Peter as Pope isn't POV. The orthodox would agree with the catholic view, the difference is only about the extent of the pope's authority. Even protestants might agree that Peter was what the Church calls the Pope, they'd rather argue that his successors aren't really successors. According to your reasoning you should protest that JP was pope, was head of the Church etc. Peter is always heading the list of Popes, that's part of the office. There's no such thing as secular history - only history! And history does not say what you would have her. The petrine tradition at Rome and claims of primacy (again, the content is disputed between Rome and Constantinople) are very early. Str1977 20:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

While Peter may have been Bishop of Rome (and certainly is traditionally considered the first Bishop of Rome), he was certainly not "pope" - I agree he heads the list of Popes, but given that he was not called "Pope" as a formal title, and given that the Bishop of Rome had no primacy until the 4th century, maybe, it seems awkward to just call him "Pope." In terms of the issue of long-reigning popes, this seems problematic for another reason - for popes from, I don't know, the 3rd century on, we have a fairly good sense of length of reign. Before that, there's no real evidence. Peter's reign is entirely based on tradition, and he may not have even ever been to Rome, for all we really know. As such, it seems problematic to put the length of his reign in the same category as that of Pius IX, of whom we have meticulous historical records which would, I imagine, allow us to measure his papacy to the hour. Some sort of clarification seems in order here. john k 03:52, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

You have a point when you say that the term ‘Pope’ or ‘papa’ was not recorded in the early years, at least until Damasus (366-384) or Siricius (384-399). However, I suggest, it is still valid to use the term Pope for that early Bishops of Rome because it has been used since antiquity. The Crypt of the Popes in the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus has provided us with information on the early Popes. These catacombs were abandoned, looted and collapsed after the barbarian invasions. They remained undisturbed until excavations by archaeologists 1850 onwards. A marble dedicatory slab by Damasus (366-384) contains the line “Here lie the brotherhood of Popes”. 9 Popes appear to have been buried there, although only six inscriptions survive. There are five original sepulchral inscriptions. The earliest being for Pontianus (230-235). So here we have a Pope, Damasus, using the term "Pope" to refer to other Popes back to, at least 235. Therefore, I suggest that the term "Pope" has a sufficiently long history for us to use it here. (source: ‘The Catacombs of St, Callixtus’ isbn 88-209-1902-8 ) (plus I was there) --ClemMcGann 10:36, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
It would seem correct then to refer to Damasus as pope if there is credible evidence that he, in life, claimed the papal title. However, it is problematic to base our assumptions about the church's earliest period on the claims of subsequent generations. Popes do, arguably, have a vested interest in attributing titles to their predecessors, particularly if these titles are innovations. It seems wisest to me to rely on contemporary sources to determine if a title is accurate. Is a fourth century pope contemporary to St. Peter? Thank you though, for adding this information. Sumergocognito 18:16, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
It is not true that the Orthodox consider St. Peter the first bishop of Rome, so there's no "certainly" about it. He was an Apostle, an office distinct from that of bishop even though the bishops are their successors. (Which is to say, that a bishop is not an Apostle. It's certainly possible for an Apostle to have been a bishop. The claim is that this is not true in this case.) In Orthodox tradition the first bishop of Rome is St. Linus. See for example this post by an Orthodox bishop on the subject. Furthermore, Eusebius is quite clear on the joint founding of the Roman community by both Peter and Paul and claims a similar foundation for the Church of Antioch.
So Peter is not the first Pope of Rome, not so much because we can't definitively document the use of the title at that time (I concede that it may well have been used from the beginning) but becuase he simply did not occupy that office. Csernica 23:55, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I think the main issue is that we are not simply calling Peter pope, but saying that he was the second longest-serving pope, which is just silly - there is absolutely no evidence of the length of his reign. john k 03:11, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Part of the original complaint here is that "Orthodox Christians don't accept that Peter was Pope at all," to which you replied in part "...certainly [Peter] is traditionally considered the first Bishop of Rome." The problem brought up by Sumergocognito is that this is not true. The issue is that Peter was never Pope at all according to another major Christian Church of equal antiquity.
The length of his reign is apparently determined by taking its start to be the date of Pentecost, c. 32AD, and its end as the traditional date of his crucifixion, c. 67. Calling this entire period his "pontificate" is absurd on a number of fronts, IMO. Csernica 04:17, 24 May 2005 (UTC)


Can anyone comment on whether John Paul is styled "venerable" now? My understanding is that that is the first style attained on the road to beatification and canonisation, but not immediately after the proceedings are opened. Str1977 20:38, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Unless its official (and I doubt that) - remove it --ClemMcGann 22:14, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Dear Anonymous, I think he's venerable too, but this is about the offical title "Venerable" and as of yet, JPII wasn't declared Venerable. Along the same lines, you could also say: "I think he's holy" and call him "Saint John Paul II". But you don't. Please be patient and repost when the time is ripe, not prematurely. Str1977 23:02, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Not yet:

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Friday [May 13] he had put his predecessor Pope John Paul on the fast track to possible sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
If an initial investigation ends positively, Benedict will issue a decree recognizing his predecessor's "heroic virtues." John Paul will then get the title "venerable."[1]
—wwoods 22:46, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

He was only given the title "Servant of God" not "Venerable." The reasons why are discussed in the Pope Benedict XVI article under beatifications and canonizations. --Gerald Farinas 16:18, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

So the titles should read "Servant of God"

Size of article

The article was 65K when I entered it. That is ludicrously large. Articles where possible should try to be below 32K, but certainly not double it. (Some browsers cannot enter articles over 32K. That is why a warning shows up on pages over 32K.) I've reduced it from 65K to 51K by moving chucks of sections to separate articles and leaving shorter summaries behind. I've also created a template at the bottom of all of the articles moved, and the main one, so people can move to each, as well as adding in Main article links at the start of the moved sections. But 51K is still way too big. Up to 20K is still going to have to be moved to make this article of manageable (and universal browser-friendly size). FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg\(talk) 23:51, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Strongly disagree. The overall debate on article size is far from resolved. Many, like myself, believe longer articles are much better than chopped-up articles. All info should be in front of the reader. I don't want to worry about chasing down every last link to be informed on something. This is an Encyclopedia, not a video game in which one must find all the keys on all the levels. 32K is nothing. Enc. Brit. articles on major subjects are easily 90k, and we aim to be even more exhaustive... Worry about people with browsers that choke on 32k edit fields? It's like Nokia worrying about the frequency used by 1996 GE cordless phones that weighed 2 lbs. Come on, now. I haven't been deeply involved with this article, but I encourage anyone who has to put it back together. JDG 08:18, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
If that is attempted it will simply be reverted on sight, as Wikipedia explicitly requests articles to be below 32K. All articles over that size are being broken up. Articles over 32K are inaccessible to many browser users, are problematic to those using dial-up modems (and many people on the net are still on dial-up) because they can freeze and force people shut their systems. They also are unworkable because the longer they are, the greater the likelihood that a number of people may try to edit it simultaneously and so have multiple edit conflicts. Where that happens, chunks of the article can become lost. Also a technical glitch means that sometimes if a save fails and a second one is done, the page saves two or more versions together. Where that happens the entire article has to be edited again to remove all duplicated text. The larger the article, the greater the problems involved in trying to restore the article, and the greater the danger whoever is trying to do that will then end up in an edit conflict. One article recently ended up trebbled, becoming 120K. It could not be rolled back for technical reasons so it had to have 80K manually removed. But even the duplicated text was not identically duplicated, as some bits had an old version, others had a new version. So each paragraph had to be compared to the two other versions and have the two older versions removed. It was a nightmare. So articles at 65K are not on. Any attempt to turn the article back into one tangled block will be reverted on sight and any user trying it will be reported for vandalism. FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg\(talk) 23:22, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Where is this explicit request you mention (plz give link)? I'm ready to do major battle over this so that a clearcut policy emerges. Once there is a policy I will urge others to follow it, aside from following it myself. Until then this "revert on sight" stuff doesn't wash. I'll revert you back on sight. The quality and readability of the encyclopedia easily trump all the issues you mention. JDG 01:35, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Try reading the warning that occurs every time an article hits 30K. Part of it says

Limits on article size are set by a) technical issues, and b) considerations of readability and organization.

In the past, technical considerations with some now-seldom-used browsers prompted a firm recommendation that articles be limited to a maximum size of precisely 32KB. With the advent of section editing, and the availability of upgrades for the affected browsers, this hard and fast rule has been softened.

However, do note that readers may tire of reading a page in excess of 20-30 KB of readable prose (tables, lists and markup excluded). Thus the 32KB recommendation is considered to have stylistic value in many cases; if an article is significantly longer than that, then sections probably should eventually be summarised and the detail moved to other articles (see Wikipedia:Summary style). For most long pages division into sections is natural anyway; even if there is no "natural" way to split a long list or table, it should be done anyway, to allow section editing.

There is no question of a 53K article remaining as it is. It is too long to read for the average reader. The larger it gets the greater the likelihood of edit conflicts as different people edit different sections and clash when they save. Some Wikipedians still have problems with browsers that cut text off after 32K, which means that they may make changes and save the page, only to find, quite innocently in this case, that they may have wiped 20K of text out. And if the bug that doubles articles hit, it can become a nightmare for others to try to untangle the mess if the doubled article is over 100K. So in or around 32K is the optimum size to provide a reader-friendly page that avoids technical, layout, edit conflict and other problems. FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg\(talk) 23:19, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Refusing treatment

I heard on NPR soon after his death that Pope John Paul II had refused kidney dialysis treatment prior to his death. Did I hear/remember correctly, or did I mishear about his refusal to go to the hospital on March 31 for the fever? --zandperl 06:41, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Media Coverage

I've removed the Media Coverage section, after responding to a request on the FAC. Here are the links, in case anyone's interested. Flcelloguy | Give me a note! | Desk 16:10, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)