View Full Version : Vatican Says Pope John Paul II Dies at 84

04-02-05, 03:16 PM
Vatican Says Pope John Paul II Dies at 84
Apr 2, 3:09 PM EST
Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history's most-traveled pope, died Saturday night in his Vatican apartment. He was 84.

The announcement came from papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls and was distributed to journalists via e-mail.

"The Holy Father died this evening at 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST) in his private apartment. All the procedures outlined in the apostolic Constitution `Universi Dominici Gregis' that was written by John Paul II on Feb. 22, 1996, have been put in motion."

A Mass was scheduled for St. Peter's Square for Sunday morning.

The pope died after suffering heart and kidney failure following two hospitalizations in as many months. Just hours earlier, the Vatican said he was in "very serious" condition but had responded to members of the papal household.

Since his surprise election in 1978, John Paul traveled the world, inspiring a revolt against communism in his native Poland and across the Soviet bloc, but also preaching against consumerism, contraception and abortion.

John Paul was a robust 58 when the cardinals stunned the world and elected the cardinal from Krakow, the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.

In his later years, however, John Paul was the picture of frailty, weighed down by ailments that included Parkinson's disease. Although he kept up his travels, he was no longer able to kiss the ground.

Gods Garden

God looked around His garden,
And found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.

He put His arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering,
He knew that you were in pain.
He knew that you would never,
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb.
So He closed your weary eyelids,
And whispered "Peace be thine.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn't go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.


May He Rest In Peace

04-02-05, 04:17 PM
John Paul II:One of the very last truly great ones

Apr. 1 2005

We live in an age that has undermined the term charisma, sometimes even allowing its possession to petty rock stars and second rank politicians.

A culture swamped with trivial celebrities and vulgar ubiquities seems to almost equate charisma with simply being well known in the movies or on television.

Charisma is a much deeper quality than the pages of People magazine, or the tinsel screens of Entertainment Tonight can even dream about. And if we wish to visit this word in its most real and rare application then simply call up the vision of a room somewhere in the Vatican when John Paul II, frail, ill and most likely dying, has already received the last of his church's sacraments, extreme unction - the last rites.

This quality of magnetic grace has been visible to all the world since John Paul II first entered into the papacy and it was never despite his unrivalled mastery of the television age bestowed on him by the profile of the unique office he held, or by the unremitting publicity his every word, gesture, or journey received.

It was an interior quality, something he possessed, to a degree and kind that I thought had left the world with such giants of a previous age as Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King. It seemed to come of a beautiful combination of intelligence and heart, supported by an almost unfathomable will power. John Paul II is a man of singular intensity of sheer personal presence, and it is surely not the least of the many ironies that attend his long reign on the chair of the papacy that a man, regarded by some as old-fashioned, and heading according to many others a living anachronism, has been one of the chief shapers of our modern age.

The wreckage of Communism in Soviet Russia, the final just collapse of that vicious long tyranny, doubtless sprang from multiple causes, but there is no dissent from the view that without the presence of the Polish Pope, it would not have happened as it did. So much for Stalin's famous and vacuous taunt: "How many divisions has the Pope?"

His re-energizing of Catholicism through the evangelism of his ceaseless travels &emdash; is another, if the word may be permitted, miracles of his term. Can there be another global figure, in politics or religion, that even approaches the reach of his message and example?

And finally, as the whole world watches, and Catholics in particular turn their anxious and tearful eyes toward Rome, any who have not been moved by the supernal determination of John Paul as he made every minute of what appear to be his last days another opportunity to give personal emphasis to his and his church's bedrock understanding of human life and suffering.

It is still, a small blessing, a little premature for eulogy, but from the images the world has been seeing these past few weeks, and from the millions of others that brought his face and voice to the world in the last 26 years, we already know how remarkable this man is.

Remarkable grace and remarkable strength: the charisma of a person who understands life as a duty and a gift, and who consecrated his remarkable life to an ideal of example and service.

No wonder we've been transfixed. One of the very last truly great ones, the successor to Peter, and head of the most venerable and enduring institution the world knows exerts his charisma it was a gift to the last.

For The National, I'm Rex Murphy.


04-02-05, 04:26 PM
Bush to Address Nation on Pope's Death
AP ^ | Apr 2, 2005

President Bush called Pope John Paul II "an inspiration to us all" on Saturday and reacted to the pontiff's death by immediately ordering that the flags over the White House fly at half-staff.

Bush planned to speak at the White House not even 90 minutes after the death of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope died at 2:37 p.m. EST in his Vatican apartment.

Hours earlier, in his weekly radio address, Bush spoke of John Paul as "a faithful servant of God and a champion of human dignity and freedom."

"He is an inspiration to us all," the president said. "Laura and I join millions of Americans and so many around the world who are praying for the Holy Father."

Bush had gotten regular briefings about the pontiff's condition since his health began deteriorating Thursday. On Saturday, Bush was in the Oval Office before 7 a.m. EST, receiving his usual national security and intelligence briefings along with updates on the pope from senior aides, spokesman Ken Lisaius said.

Bush normally tapes his radio address on Friday for its broadcast Saturday morning and very rarely delivers them live.

This time, the wait for developments out of Rome had the president holding off until shortly before the broadcast to tape the address in which he offered his prayers for the pope in his last hours.

Vice President Dick Cheney expressed gratitude for "the good life" of the priest from Poland who was once forced into slave labor by the Nazis. The pontiff, Cheney told a Marine Corps law enforcement gala in New York on Friday night, became "a lifelong foe of tyranny and a fearless champion of human freedom and a culture of life."

"John Paul II has been a voice of salvation for the lost, compassion for the weak, and respect for life in all its seasons," Cheney said. "In times of strength and in this time of suffering, the pope has been a man of unfailing courage and grace, an extraordinary moral leader, an example to all humanity. "


04-02-05, 04:55 PM
One of our best Popes, Semper Fi Holy Father

04-03-05, 09:54 AM
When a Pope Dies <br />
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The death of a pope puts into motion a formal, age-old process that includes certifying his death,...

04-03-05, 11:56 AM
He took his job seriously:
Stats and facts about John Paul's papacy
Associated Press, April 3, 2005 (http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/WinnipegSun/News/2005/04/03/980686-sun.html)
Some statistics about Pope John Paul's pontificate: - Visited 129 countries in 104 foreign visits, making him most travelled pope. Covered 1.16 million km, which is about 30 times around the globe or three times to the moon.

- Issued 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions and 44 apostolic letters and delivered 2,416 planned speeches during his foreign trips.

- Beatified 1,338 people in 147 ceremonies and canonized 482 people in 51 ceremonies, more than all his predecessors over the past 500 years combined.

- Convened nine consistories and installed 232 cardinals; ordained 321 bishops; baptized 687 children and 814 adults.

- Held 1,161 general audiences, attended by over 17.6 million people.

- Visited 317 of Rome's 333 parishes in his capacity as bishop of Rome.

- Held 38 official visits with heads of state and more than 982 audiences and meetings with political figures, of which 737 were audiences or other meetings with heads of state and 245 were meetings or audiences with prime ministers.

- Was the third longest-serving pontiff, at 26 years, five months, 17 days. Popes who served longer were St. Peter, the first pope, who served from AD 30 to 64 or 67, for a total of 34 or 37 years; and Pope Pius IX, who served 31 years, seven months, 22 days, until Feb. 7, 1878.

- Published five books as pope: Beyond the Threshold of Hope, (1994); the autobiography Gift and Mystery (1996); and a book of poetry Roman Triptych, (2003), Get Up, Let Us Go, (2004) and Memory and Identity, published in early 2005.

04-03-05, 09:36 PM
Long Live Pope John Paul II