Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pope: "I thank you"

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls has announced that Pope John Paul II is still in serious condition, but remains alive this Saturday morning. He is having difficulty remaining conscious, however. This morning at approximately 7:30 a.m. CET, the Pope attended Mass in his apartment. Later, the Pope spoke to those at his side to have them relay his words to those gathered in St. Peter's Square: "I know you have come to me and for this reason I thank you."

Navarro-Valls also indicated that last night, the Holy Father's thoughts were with all of the young people he had met with throughout his Pontificate.


Anonymous said...

I must say that the passing of the Pope will be an incredible lost to the world.

However, death is inevitable and we should all try not to be too sadden by it.

I find it comforting that the beginning of April was choosen as his time of passing. April (Spring) has trditionally been identified as a time of new life, renewal, and regeneration. Let us pray for him as he enters his new life in the heavens.

Anonymous said...

I say get it over with. This is the beginning of "All Pope all the Time" coverage of the transition.

This is going to last six weeks at least. Three weeks for the funeral games, then a couple of weeks for the conclave to be organized, then the conclave, followed by a week or so by the media oo-ing and ahh-ing over the new pope's every move up through the coronation or sanctification or whatever it is called now.

Pope St. Pius X was wrong to demand secrecy for the conclaves. He was right to get rid of the imperial veto, as Kaiser Franz Josef wasn't "Holy Roman Emperor" like his grandfather was.

Anonymous said...

pedophiles have been priests in both Catholic and Protestant Churches for centuries. Don't blame it on the Pope.

Don Singleton said...

My elaborate post on the Pope is here. I originally posted it when CNN and Fox declared him dead, but when they said he had not yet gone, I updated it to show that fact, and will update it again when he finally goes Home to be with Christ.

alveolate said...

to the best of my knowledge, he has served his long term pretty well. the only thing that still bugs me is why didn't he retire when his health was showing signs of deterioration? i fear it may be a sign of overcommitment, bordering on egoism to maintain office, or to 'die in office as Peter did.'

apparently no pope has ever retired before, and a pope's death is seen to 'unite the Catholic Church in prayer,' perhaps a reason for such a 'no-quitters' tradition. my opinion is that they really should take a few months/years break before they pass on - they deserve it.

Writedonnie said...

I truly have the most admiration a person can possibly have for another.

This is a Righteous Child of God!

Read Letters The Pope has written Here

God Bless the Church and the Faithful!

Anonymous said...

to the alveolate hermeneutist,

John Paul II did not wish to leave his position because, just as a father is a father until the day he dies, JPII too saw no way that he could leave his children.

Too easily in American Society, we shun the elderly aside--into nursing homes, assisted living, etc. I think his continued involvment is a message to us all--that we must revere the value and importance of an individual, regardless age.

I enjoyed your thoughts, surely many are faced with the same questions as you.

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Gracias Al Papa: Thank You Pope John Paul,

You offered so much love and understanding to the world's children, you guided so many in uncertain times, you gave us hope and understanding of eternal love.

I remember where I was and what I was doing when I learned of an attempt on your life. The fact that you met and kissed the man that tried to kill you made a great impact on my life. If you could forgive someone that did harm to you without knowing you, then I too should and always offer love and understanding as you did.

I feel blessed in having been present at the Holy Mass you gave in San Francisco. That will remain a very special day for me and my family.

My little girl and I have been praying for you and are comforted to know that you chose your final days to be in your home, close to your family...the church.

You will never be forgotten....

Anonymous said...

No, THANK YOU John Paul. You have been such an inspiration to all of us here in this world. You have conquered many evils over the years and I pray for a bright future for our new pope

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It has never ceased to amaze me what we take for granted. As a non Catholic, to me, "Il Papa," was my vision of what Jesus Christ was when he himself, roamed the earth. As I too, age, religion has come more and more into my focus. With the death of "Il Papa," my belief in the Lord has been both bolstered and strengthened. Seeing this great man every day for the past twenty five years, it never dawned upon me that someday, he too, would return to the Father who placed him in our own good graces. Seeing him carried through the multitudes, it became crystal clear, that death is not the end of anyone's life so much as it is a celebration of it. I felt comforted in knowing that the holy Father was in heaven soon after his soul left his diseased racked body. A man so great, should never suffer so much as he did the past five or six years.

I took great comfort in the dignity of the man when I read that he was ready to enter the kingdom we know as heaven. John Paul died with the dignity all of us can hope to look forward to when our lives finish their designed paths by God the Father. John Paul did not fear his death. He taught us by virtue of his own strength that death is nothing to be feared or saddened about. Rather, we should be joyous in our belief that we are simply leaving one plane, only to enter another plane in which we will be with Jesus.

Father in heaven, thank you for allowing us to endear ourselves to your faithful servant, John Paul. Thank you for allowing all mankind to learn from this gracious, spiritual, religious intellectual about the true human condition. And Father, welcome this faithful servant into your house in which he has prepared for so faithfully and dutifully. Let all mankind carry his message of decency, compassion and love for all mankind. Let all mankind learn what John Paul's message truly was.

In the name of the Father, the son, and the Holy spirit, amen. Go in peace, Holy Father, John Paul.

Anonymous said...

May His Example Guide Many Generations!
John Paul II (1920-2005)
by Kevin Hannan

One remarkable aspect of the media coverage of the passing of John Paul II is the revelation that great numbers of people throughout our planet say they feel a personal loss. Quite a few individuals, myself included, preserve some personal memory of this noble man, who already is being called John Paul the Great. Over the years I participated at papal Masses in San Antonio, Texas, in Poland at Krakow and Skoczow, and in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, as well as attending a private audience for Americans of Polish ancestry in San Antonio in 1987. That afternoon in San Antonio, following the public Mass and before the evening audience with Polish Texans, crowds lined the streets of downtown San Antonio waiting for a glimpse of the unconventional Pope in his popemobile. Near the city’s historic riverwalk, I spotted the approaching popemobile, and then I jumped up on the concrete base of a nearby lightpole. I waved vigorously at John Paul as he passed me, standing erect in his popemobile, some fifteen feet away, and I had the distinct impression then that he looked directly at me, smiling, and waved back. Of course, as we’ve heard in recent days, some feeling of meaningful personal contact with the Pope was experienced by many over the years.

As I look back at a quarter century of my own life, I see that I am able to measure personal events according to the timeline of John Paul’s papacy. His election as pontiff in 1978 coincided with an important period in my personal development, as I returned to the faith in which I had been baptized. For me personally, the 1960s had meant spiritual disorientation and confusion. I rejected my ancestral faith, studied Oriental religions, and for several years clung to an obstinate atheism and nihilism. Meditations on the meaning of human history led me finally back to Christianity, at about the same time Karol Wojtyla was elevated to the papacy. His election demonstrated that a new era had emerged out of the negativism and nihilism of the 1960s. He restored stability to an institution that had, certainly in America at least, been demoralized in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council.

A brilliant philosopher, John Paul II in his writings consistently instructs humanity how to apply traditional Christian teaching to modernity, that malaise tempting mankind with materialism, progress, and despair in place of the solace of faith. John Paul will be remembered for his contagious courage, so evident in his struggles with the Nazis and communists. Throughout his life he personally witnessed his deep Christian faith, as when he sought out the Turkish gunman who tried to assassinate him in 1981 and forgave him. His entire life was a witness of Christianity which cannot be defined in terms like “conservative” or “liberal.” With his death, I realize that I, like many over the years, have allowed myself to be distracted from John Paul’s witness. That prophet of our time was not heeded as he should have been.

John Paul II remains the greatest figure of my lifetime. No other human has succeeded in touching and unifying so many people of so many varied beliefs. Never has a man of such power and fame been such a sincere, tireless advocate of the powerless and the oppressed. His ministry indeed suggests proof of the biblical prediction that the Gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church of the Bishop of Rome. Many Christians believe that John Paul II at this moment already enjoys his eternal reward. And yet for me, as well as with those millions in Poland who loved and still love him deeply, there is a tragic sense of personal loss. With the passing of Karol Wojtyla, Pope of Rome, my heart is heavy.

2 April 2005

Note: Kevin Hannan, Ph.D. is the author of several books, including My Poland: Essays on Polish Identity (2005). He has spent the past three years teaching at a Polish university and feels an especially deep solidarity with the people of Poland upon the passing of John Paul II.

The end of the world observed in the Beskid Mountains
by Kevin Hannan

Of a June afternoon
clouds unfolded
upon the Beskids.

Human movement ceased,
except the turning up
into the sky of faces.

The heavens were lit
as an icon embellished
in serpentines of fire.

The deferential splendor
of cherubim and seraphim
was revealed within that icon,

and mankind marveled.
Ancestors nodded to one another,
respectfully, with sympathy,

a long expectation fulfilled.
The center of the sky
collapsed to disclose

a golden, timeless Christ
in episcopal crown and brilliant vestments
of a Greek patriarch.

Solemn God and Man
revealed Himself.
His somber expression,

of compassion, told all of eternity.
Men became as children.
The earth turned soft

beneath a sea of tears
as tremendous anxieties and sufferings
passed forever.

17 June 2002