The pope is dead

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Pope John Paul II dies in Vatican
So, he’s dead at last, and I’m in a bit of a quandry. On the one hand, I’d say that he was pretty much instrumental in the downfall of communism in Poland. His “faith” and that which he imbued in his flock was vital in keeping the Polish national spirit alive during occupation by the Nazis and then by Stalin’s red army and all the oppression that followed in their wake.
On the other hand, his exceptionally conservative beliefs have lead to a pandemic of HIV/AIDS in developing countries (which coincidentally seem to be those that have the highest number of zealous Catholics) which has killed millions. He’s also guilty of antipathy, if not complicity, in the cover up of child abusing priests.
Althogether I find the massive outpouring of grief for him a little distasteful. He was an old and frail man who, to be honest, should have been allowed to die in privacy and dignity rather than being wheeled out to carry out his holy duties. Compare and contrast this to the case of Terri Schiavo.
I can only hope the next one is better, but somehow I doubt it.