I’ll say one thing for this pope (with whom I held no truck otherwise): He was no hypocrite. As a friend said recently, he not only opposed the easy forms of death (as he would characterize it, but pas moi) — abortion, contraception — but also the hard ones: capital punishment and war.

I’m no Catlick (despite a certain professional specialty in their theology), but how well I remember where I was when the last pope died….