There is a heavy sense of loss throughout the world today.
A great man is dead. Pope John Paul II died Saturday.
One does not have to be a Catholic to honour and admire the man who held the Papacy for the past 27 years.
And while he was a controversial figure at times, his conviction in his beliefs must be admired.
The Pope was opposed to and vocal about divorce, birth control and abortion, the ordination of women and the lifting of celibacy requirements for priests.
He was one of the most conservative popes to ever hold rule at the Vatican and to his critics, his unwavering stance on the above issues proved that he refused to keep pace with the demands of his flock and indeed the ever-changing world.
But John Paul was, above all, a man of faith and believed it was his station in life to protect the truths of that faith.
It was his strong faith that John Paul II clung to and that faith that led him to stick to his convictions, whether liked or disliked by fellow Catholics or the rest of the world.
His body will remain at St. Peter’s Basilica until his burial sometime this week.
Once the official time of mourning has passed, a council of cardinals will begin the arduous process of picking a successor for the Pope.
They can either choose another non-Italian or return the Papacy to Italy.
In the written text of the homily to the Pope Sunday, Cardinal Angelo Sodano called the late pope John Paul the Great, which is a title usually designated for popes worthy of sainthood, such as Gregory the great and Leo the Great.
It is hoped throughout the Catholic Church and the world that the council of cardinals is able to find another Pope worthy to walk in the footsteps of John Paul II.
He was a great man of conviction.
He will be missed.