the Cardinals file into Saint Peter's Basilica in the
procession bringing the body of Pope John Paul to the
Basilica for the lying in State.
|The crowd was diverse but young|
John Paul left a very different Church than he found. The brief pontificate of John Paul I aside—it is only a blip in history—the Church itself had seemed old and discouraged with the final years of Paul VI. John Paul was just as old by the time he died and yet he left a Church that cherished him as an old man. But while the Church cherished him personally, did he have the same moral authority as had his predecessors? For all his efforts to strengthen the papacy, I think it lost ground—and with it authority of the Church itself lost ground—in his pontificate. I think his pontificate will be a significant marker in the historical evolution of the papacy.