As I type this, Pope John Paul II is on what many people consider to be his final hours of life. His heart and kidneys have failed, his breathing is shallow, and he's already been given his last rites.
People around the world are praying that he should continue to live, but I have to wonder why.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't like Terri Schiavo's situation. JP2's brain hasn't been reduced to liquid. But his body has clearly been deteriorating in recent years. He suffers from Parkinson's Disease, his body shakes and his speech is slurred, and he's had to have a tracheotomy just to breathe and a feeding tube up his nose so he could get nutrition and water.
His body is shutting down, folks.
Sure he's been down this road before, and every year the Cardinals pack a bag and think that this will be it, and then he comes back and keeps pressing on. He's survived much, including an assasination attempt. He's the longest-living pope in recent history, replacing JP1, who was pope for all of one month.
But I don't think that he'll pull through this one.
I think that people will have to prepare for the fact that the Catholic Church will once again have to pick a new pope real soon. It sucks, but it's a fact of life.