The Whole World Prays
The whole world should be kneeling with the 115 men gathered in solemn conclave to pick Pope John Paul II's successor. The powerful and impressive, gentle and generous priest can never be replaced.
Karol Wojtyla was more of a Renaissance man than electors could have known when the cardinal-archbishop of Krakow was given St. Peter's throne exactly six months shy of 26 years ago.
His long reign enabled civilization to get a good look at the Roman Catholic Church and what it stands for. What we saw was an institution steadily reasserting fundamentals while the Pope himself reached out for all comers, of whatever faith.
At his death, John Paul II was an institution. His charisma and charity made this earth simply a better place to live.
We can only hope the new pope continues the legacy of the pontiff who demonstrated humility by kissing the ground of each country he visited in his many travels.
Let us put that stronger: The whole world prays Christianity's largest congregation receives a leader capable of saving humanity from itself, in the model of the departed Karol Wojtyla, who is now - we are sure - pastor to Heaven's angels.