I’m not going to say negative things about the late pope, but I will say, as I was telling Karsten, that he’s the reason I’m not Catholic anymore.
I was raised in a devoutly Catholic household, and I was an active member of the family’s church as I grew up. When I was a teen, I became an activist for women’s ordination. In fact, had women been allowed to become priests, I might well have taken that path.
But in 1994, when Pope John Paul II issued his notorious “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” he told me I was no longer a Catholic. He said “…I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
I was at college when it happened, and my father called me that day, knowing I’d be upset. I remember him telling me that this was the strongest proclamation he’d ever heard a pope make in his lifetime, and I remember telling him how much it hurt me that it had to be over an issue like this.
I stopped going to church immediately. And soon thereafter, I realized I didn’t believe in a god anyway. I would’ve left the church sooner or later, but maybe not out of anger.
But it all fell apart May 22, 1994, and the end started with this pope.
Anyway, I’m glad for the good he did do in the world, and I hope the next pope brings a degree of enlightenment with him, but I’m not holding my breath. And it’s no longer really my concern anyway.