I believe in one human race and that we are all equal except that because of the evil exploitation by white males in times gone past these days females and darker hued humans are more important. I believe that everything that is evil is eventually the fault of white males and especially white males from America or Israel, and particularly white fundamnetalist christian males like George W Bush. I believe that all cultures except the Anglo-saxon one have a right to do as they please and we must never criticise them. I believe in abortion, contraception, free sex and euthanasia. I believe the death penalty is evil and that criminals are just misunderstood and that we should not be armed but let the police do it and that the police are required to be culturally sensitive and put the rights of criminals against the rights of their victims except when we are the victims.All of this comes out in the BBC's coverage as does their total incomprehension of Catholicism and their condescension. For example last night they interviewed Prof Eamonn Duffy (disclosure: my tutor when I was up at Cambridge) in the hour after the pope's death had been announced and one of the first questions they asked was about the odds on who will become the next pope. Prof Duffy pointed out that having this discussion while the pope's body was still warm was rather lacking in taste - especially (although he personally did not say this) when you are asking the opinion of a devout Catholic.
Few popes of any century have had such an impact, either on the Church or the times in which they lived.
Indeed it is true that this pope has been highly influential - it is always nice to find something to agree with at the start of a fisking
He saw himself as the universal pastor, using air travel and the mass media to take his message to the world.
He became a familiar sight - arriving in another foreign land, kissing the ground, and then preaching at an open air mass to perhaps a million people.
"Through those amazing journeys he showed the Catholic Church to the world as never before," said John Wilkins, former editor of the Catholic magazine, The Tablet.
John Paul II travelled to virtually every corner of the world to meet his flock, re-defining the papacy for a modern age.
This also is true, apart from occasional jaunts to places such as Avignon when realpolitik intruded, popes have rarely travelled anywhere. However my sensitive nose begins to detect a slight whiff of condecension - as if preaching to a million Catholics was rather tacky - or perhaps in surprise that people could be so gullible as to want to see him.
Whoever succeeds him will feel obliged to follow his example. Media skills and fluency in several languages are now a requirement for the job.
"John Paul II was a remarkable pope," said Madeleine Bunting, a writer on church affairs.
"For millions of Catholics he really was a father figure, and he used the global media astonishingly astutely. We have never had such a well-known pope, and such a popular pope."
Again that whiff of condescension - as in "wow a priest who understands modern technology and the media!" It seems a trifle odd that his globe-trotting media image is given as the lead point in what we should recall about him. By the way I can't help but note that Madeleine Bunting's Grauniad columns don't seem to have much to do with church affairs, perhaps she writes about churches elsewhere or perhaps it is a different Ms Bunting.
When he was elected in 1978, few outside Poland had heard of Karol Wojtyla, the archbishop of Krakow.
But the cardinals who chose him knew they could count on him to uphold traditional beliefs at a time when the teaching of the Church was being questioned by many Catholics.
And during his papacy, there was no wavering in the Vatican's position on contentious social issues such as birth control, abortion and divorce.
Neither was the celibacy of the priesthood or the role of women in the Church ever up for discussion.
Now here is where we start to get into the big trouble. You see the problem with Pope John Paul II is that he violated numerous tenets of the Secular Atheist Liberal releigion which that everyone whould be allowed to have sex and that women must be permitted to do the same things as men do - and if necessary there should be quotas to make sure that they do. Why exactly should celibacy or the role of women should be up for discussion in the Catholic church?
This, too, is part of his legacy. In fact, the uncompromising views of John Paul II may now limit the room his successor has for manoeuvre.
"The next pope is going to have a very difficult time untying things like birth control, abortion and women priests," said Ms Bunting.
"With all of these sensitive issues, John Paul II has made it very, very difficult for his successor, because a pope cannot undo the teachings of his predecessor.
"For example, he was so categorical that women priests were not acceptable that it will take a long time - decades - for that to be changed gradually."
Again the dogma of the Secular Atheist Liberal. It is clear that Pope John Paul II was flat out wrong. Women should be priests, should be allowed to have abortions etc. and opposition to these tenets is self-evidently wrong that eventually even the most hide-bound church will realise the error of its ways and recant.
But while John Paul II was a conservative in terms of theology, he was also a pope with a keen interest in social justice, not least in his homeland.
As a young man growing up in Poland, Karol Wojtyla had witnessed the rise of Nazi Germany. Then after World War II, he faced the challenge of being a priest in a Communist state.
"When the church elected a Polish pope in the middle of the Cold War, everybody felt it was a real political statement," recalls Father Thomas Reese, an authority on the workings of the Vatican.
"John Paul II played an extremely important role in bringing down Communism in eastern Europe. His election was inspirational."
I would have thought this anti-communist stance would be what he was most memorable for. But according to the BBC it comes in third after his media touch and his conservative sexist beliefs.
The pro-active style of John Paul II underlined the fact that a pope is not just a spiritual leader - he is also a player on the world's diplomatic stage.
One theme of his papacy was his attempt to reach out to other faiths, in search of reconciliation after centuries of hostility and suspicion.
He travelled to Islamic countries and became the first pope to set foot in a mosque. As a symbol of religious tolerance, it took on new meaning after the events of 11 September 2001.
Well now we get back, briefly, to the pope's "good parts". Notably absent is any mention of his opposition to war (e.g. the wars against Saddam or the Falklands) and his near death by assasination in 1981 to mention just two things that seem to be most obviously missing.
But while some in the church are already talking about "John Paul the Great", others are more doubtful about his legacy.
They say that during his reign, the Vatican exercised too much power, and was less likely to tolerate dissent.
They want to see a different kind of papacy, with bishops around the world having a greater say in how the Church is run. That would be a challenge to the authority of the Church's central bureaucracy, the Curia.
"Many bishops and cardinals felt that at the end of the reign of John Paul II, the Curia got out of hand," said Father Thomas Reese.
"They felt it was imposing its will on the local bishops, and really not being sensitive and listening to their concerns. So I think there is going to be a backlash in the conclave against the Curia."
Finally a note about his successor and the challenges he will face. Oddly enough there is no mention of the fact that this pope created more cardinals than any other - something that would seem to be rather important.
John Wilkins, former editor of The Tablet, also believes that there could be a change in the relationship between the pope and the church outside Rome.
"It is a curious paradox of a very centralised papacy that in some ways the Church has never been so open in the direction that it follows now," he said.
"John Paul II has laid the foundations for the future. He was the last pope of the 20th Century, rather than the first one of the 21st Century."
But whoever is chosen to succeed him, it will be a tough act to follow.
In that final sentence, as with the initial one, I agree with the author. It is a pity the bit in the middle was so wrong-headed.
However as one reads the whole thing what is most strikeing is what is omitted. In addition to the ommisions noted above, one entire topic seems to have gone AWOL. That topic is God and Catholic beliefs. Popes are primarily relgious figures and the fact that this pope did involve himself in the affairs of the world should not distract us from this primacy yet there is no mention of the number of saints he created, no mention (other than of his "conservative theology") of his writings or theological statements. There is nothing about his tying together of opposition to abortion, war and the death-penalty into a coherent whole (I disagree with the pope here about 100% but he made a good argument) and so on.
It seems unfair to compare the BBC to the Wall Street Journal, but I'm going to do so anyway. The WSJ has a far far better obitury and its conclusion describes the BBC to perfection:
In progressive circles in the West, religion in general and Christianity in particular tend to find themselves caricatured as a series of Thou Shalt Nots, particularly when they touch on human sexuality. But it is no coincidence that George Weigel entitled his biography of John Paul "Witness to Hope." For billions of people around the world--non-Catholics included--that's exactly what he was. Perhaps this explains why China, where only a tiny fraction of its people are Catholic, remained to the very end fearful of allowing a visit from this frail, physically suffering man, fearing what he might inspire.
We don't expect the secularalists who dominate our intelligentsia ever to understand how a man rooted in orthodox Christianity could ever reconcile himself with modernity, much less establish himself on the vanguard of world history. But many years ago, when the same question was put to France's Cardinal Lustiger by a reporter, he gave the answer. "You're confusing a modern man with an American liberal," the cardinal replied. It was a confusion that Pope John Paul II, may he rest in peace, never made.