Over the last few weeks much of the world’s attention was turned to Rome and the increasingly fragile health of the Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. When one stops and thinks about the influence that the Catholic church has on much of the world and the vast influence held by the Pope over the church, it’s easy to see why so many people are concerned about the man who was in this position and the speculation about his successor.

I am not a Catholic and there are many areas that I find myself in disagreement with the Catholic Church. I have Catholic friends who have told me that this is true for them as well. While I hold sincere concerns over a multitude of theological differences, I think that sometimes we have to search out the common ground and look for where we can agree.

One area that I can find agreement with them is that Karol Wojtyla served his position, his responsibilities, and his mission well. He was a good leader who tried to be inclusive and reach out to those he saw in need the best he could. I believe that he was a good man who fought the good fight and finished the race and has now gone home to a well deserved reward.

I’m sure that there are critics out there who could point out this or that fact, recall a certain statement or ruling, or look at some act of the Pope and say how it doesn’t fit with what they believe is the right thing. I’m also sure that we can look at any human being who has accomplished anything in life and find areas of disagreement with them. I do believe that God is bigger than we give Him credit for being and that we’ll be genuinely surprised by whom we’ll be sharing heaven and eternity.

The Catholic Church wields so much power and influence that I believe that we should all be interested in who will fill the vacuum. I hope that the cardinals are able to select someone with the strength and wisdom to lead honestly, fairly, and justly. Another man of the character of Karol Wojtyla would be a great blessing – not only to the Catholic Church, but also to Christendom at large, as well as the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, and the Jews.