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What Church Leaders Say About the Pope

4/10/2005 - 5:30 AM PST

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"A Most Worthy Successor of the Humble Fisherman of Galilee"

ROME, APRIL 10, 2005 (ZENIT) - Throughout the week, praise for the person of John Paul II came from many corners, including the political realm. Below is a sampling of what world leader said about the late Pope.

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Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston

"In the Holy Year of 2000, the Holy Father called for all to 'Open Wide the Doors to Christ,' to follow Christ not out of obligation but out of love. Pope John Paul II's life mirrored this call as each day he opened himself to being an instrument of unapologetic truth on moral and ethical issues facing our culture. I pray that the Lord will grant grace upon grace to his faithful servant and will welcome him into the eternal light and peace of Godís heavenly kingdom."

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Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York

"He carried the Gospel into all corners of the world, proclaiming the dignity of every human being, the rights of the poor, and the evils of war 'in season and out of season.' In brief, he was a most worthy successor of the humble fisherman of Galilee upon whom the Lord built his Church."

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Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago

"Moral authority comes from office, but also from character. Karol Wojtyla was a survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland and its Communist successor government. He was a sportsman, an actor, a philosopher, and a poet. All of that captured people's imagination in a novel way, and he used all that he was to direct attention beyond himself to the One whose vicar he had become. In the past few years, he drew attention to Christ through his public fortitude in his sufferings, which conformed him personally ever more closely to Christ."

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Archbishop Charles Chaput, archbishop of Denver

"Pope John Paul II embodied the greatest qualities of the Second Vatican Council: a deep fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Gospel; profound confidence and joy in the Catholic faith; an openness to the good in the world; fraternal love for other Christians and the Jewish people; and a respect for all persons of good will. He knew personal suffering throughout his life. He experienced the cost of war, genocide and political oppression firsthand. These things never dented his faith. They did the opposite. They led him more deeply into the heart of God."

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Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia

"It was with deep sadness that I received the news of Pope John Paul II's passing. It was also with gratitude to God for the gift of the Holy Father. He will surely be remembered as the greatest spiritual leader of our time. His entire life was an example of how to live out our faith, how to give witness to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Father gave himself completely in service to Jesus and to the universal Church. In his final years, he suffered from many physical ailments but he never allowed those pains and problems to weigh down his spirit; his suffering was his final gift. He was an example to us all of the value of human life at every stage of existence."

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Archbishop Brendan O'Brien, president of the Canadian bishops' conference

"Through both word and example he taught the strength of faith, the power of prayer, the need to forgive, and the imperative of serving the poor and oppressed of the world. His teachings will continue to guide the Church in the years ahead in its mission of proclaiming the Reign of God."

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Caritas Internationalis

"Throughout his life, Pope John Paul II responded with compassion to the problems of the world, and inspired us with his dedication to the people we serve -- the poor, the hungry, the displaced and all those who cry out for justice and an end to suffering. His words grace the walls of museums and slums alike, inspiring both the wealthy and poor with his message of hope."

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Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney

"He has been a genuine man of the spirit, a true priest. His example and teaching have encouraged orthodox Catholics everywhere to persevere. I personally can vouch for that. He has inspired thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, into the priesthood and religious life.

"Even in the West he has steadied the ship. If many were still resolved to be irresolute, solid only for drift, there has been no doubt about where he is heading. He has never lacked courage and courage is contagious. History will know him as John Paul the Great. He has earned that distinction."

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Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster

"We have lost a great leader of our modern ...

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