Monday, April 4


Reuters is reporting this morning (linked at Google News) that President Bush "will lead the U.S. delegation that will attend the funeral on Friday of Pope John Paul II ..." The First Lady, Laura Bush, will accompany the president.

This will be the first time in U.S. history that a president has attended the funeral of a Pope. It is also worth noting that Pope John Paul II was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to have ever visited the White House.

The two men are linked in history, of course, by their devout belief in a "culture of life" and their condemnation of abortion, although on the latter I wish the president were more fervent.

Nonetheless, I am not surprised in the least that the president is making the trip and I applaud him for doing so. Pope John Paul II deserves, even now in death, the abiding respect of the freedom-loving people of the United States. The Pope had a material impact in breaking the back of Soviet Communism and his steadfast belief in the "sanctity of life" gave voice to those appalled at the devaluation of it by the forces of nihilism.

We are not yet secular Europe or secular Canada, although we're most assuredly sliding in that direction. The president's presence in Rome and at the Vatican may remind us of that fact and the implications. Good for you, Mr. President! You're a moral force for life.