Friday, April 01, 2005

Roman Pontiff's Condition is Critical

Being reported on Fox News, the Roman Catholic pope's health has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and his condition is now "critical," having suffered heart failure and septic shock. :
"The chances of an elderly person in this condition with septic shock surviving 24 to 48 hours are slim — about 10-20 percent, but that would be in an intensive care unit with very aggressive treatment," said Dr. Gianni Angelini, a professor of cardiac surgery at Bristol University in England.

It appears, then, that the pope is now officially on a death watch.

Inevitably, comparisons are going to be made in the RC world between the pope and Terri Schiavo. While I wish no ill toward the pope personally, I do not consider this "death watch" to be on the same level as Terri Schiavo's. The latter was, in essence, sentenced to death, whereas the former is dying of natural causes.

I realize there will be others who disagree with me on this, but in a very real way, the imminent death of the pope is a good thing (this line will, of course, become a "whipping boy" quotation and will end up on numerous RC discussion forums and blogs to bolster their belief that I hate Catholics and am gleefully awaiting the pope's demise). It is a good think because it benefits the interests of the many who are trying to figure out what Roman Catholicism really is, what it believes, and in which direction it will finally go. The death of the pope means the appointment of another pope, who may be either more conservative or more liberal than the current pope--and knowing just who that is and in which direction he plans to steer his denomination is of primary interest to those of us who wish to see some clarity of statements on RC positions; not to mention that it matters for the future of Roman Catholicism at large. Stay tuned . . .