8:36 a.m. - 2005-04-03
How many entries am I going to put in here about the legendary pope!..do they end?!?
CNN's Chris Burns on Poles' devotion to Karol Wojtyla.
President Bush calls the pontiff a 'champion of human freedom.'
Catholics in China long for closer ties
Pope helped spark the fall of communism.
Interactive: Remembering the Pope
Gallery: The world reacts to the news
Gallery: Mourning the pontiff
Interactive: Selecting a new pope
• Transcript: Vatican statement
DEATH OF JOHN PAUL II
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The pope's body will be moved Monday to the Sala Bologna at St. Peter's Basilica, where the pontiff will lie in state until his funeral, to be held in four to six days.
The pope died from septic shock and cardiocirculatory collapse, the Vatican said Sunday.
Earlier Sunday, tens of thousands of mourners filled St. Peter's Square for the first of nine elaborate Masses marking the death of the pope.
"We entrust with confidence to the risen Christ, Lord of life and history, our beloved John Paul II who for 27 years guided the universal church as the successor of Peter," said the Mass's celebrant, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
Sodano said he was at the pope's bedside as he died, and that the pontiff died serenely.
"Serenity is the fruit of faith," he added.
Elsewhere, other bishops and cardinals uttered similar words praising the life and papacy of the man who came to Rome as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla at age 58, leaving the city Saturday evening at 84.
"Pope John Paul has finished the course, has run the race, has kept the faith," said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, at Westminster Cathedral in London. "Farewell, Pope John Paul, as the thoughts, the memories and the prayers of the world and of all Christian people go with you."
Rome police, who are used to handling large throngs at the Vatican, were bracing for up to 2 million people during that city's three days of official mourning through the time a new pope is announced.
As condolences poured in from around the world, plans also were being laid for the pope's burial and the selection of his successor.
The first General Congregation of Cardinals was to meet at 10 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) Monday in the Apostolic Palace to make decisions on the burial time and other details.
The Vatican has not said if John Paul II left instructions for his funeral or burial. Most popes have asked to be buried below St. Peter's Basilica. But the Polish-born pope may have wanted to be laid to rest in his homeland.
Within 20 days of John Paul II's death, Catholic cardinals from across the globe will gather to participate in a sacred ritual that, for many of them, could be a once-in-a-lifetime event -- the election of a new pope.
There were 24-hour vigils and special services in many major cities following the pope's death Saturday night.
"I feel like a daughter who lose her father," one young woman told CNN in St. Peter's Square.
The 84-year-old pope died Saturday night in his private apartment.
The pope's condition began deteriorating rapidly Thursday, after a urinary tract infection caused a high fever and led to septic shock and collapse of his cardiocirculatory system.
He suffered from a number of chronic illnesses, including crippling hip and knee ailments and Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological disorder that can make breathing and swallowing difficult.
"The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd," U.S. President George Bush said at the White House, with his wife, Laura, standing alongside him. "The world has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been called home.
"We will always remember the humble, wise and fearless priest who became one of history's great moral leaders."
Bush ordered the U.S. flags at all federal buildings and facilities to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of the pope's interment.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he felt privileged to have met the pope.
"Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself," Annan said.
Lech Walesa, who led Poland's Solidarity movement to power after a decade of struggle, said the Polish-born John Paul inspired the drive to end communism in Eastern Europe.
"[Without him] there would be no end of communism or at least [it would have happened] much later, and the end would have been bloody," Walesa said. (More world reaction)
"I have a very strange feeling of loss. I almost feel as though one of my family members has gone," evangelist Billy Graham told CNN's Larry King Saturday night.
"I loved him very much, and had the opportunity of discussing so many things with him, and we wrote each other several times during the years."
The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, said in a written statement that he had "deep appreciation for the pope's mission to bring peace to the world.
"In spite of increasing age and declining physical health, his relentless efforts to visit different parts of the world and meet the people who lived there to promote harmony and spiritual values, exemplified not only his deep concern but also the courage he brought to fulfilling it."
CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Jim Bittermann contributed to this report.
"The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd. The world has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been called home." (Complete statement from President Bush)
Former President Bill Clinton:
"His Holiness is now at home with God, whom he served so faithfully for a lifetime."
The Rev. Billy Graham, on CNN's "Larry King Live":
"I think he touched almost everybody in the whole world ... He taught us how to suffer, and, I think, in recent days, he's taught us how to die."
Graham said the Vatican had invited him six or seven months ago to attend the funeral, but he doesn't have the strength to go. He said he will send his daughter, Anne Graham Lotz.
"This was an extraordinary man. He was brilliant. If he had never become pope, Karol Wojtyla would have gone down, I think, as one of the major Catholic philosophers of the 20th century. ... I think that he was a strong leader, he was a brilliant guide, but more than anything else, I think, he was a man who loved people. And people understood that and people reacted to that."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan:
"Pope John Paul II ... touched the hearts of young and old, bringing tears to the eyes of those inspired by his very presence. He provided unparalleled leadership to his church and gave hope to those who had none."
"Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of His Holiness, Pope John Paul lI. A man shaped by his own experience under Nazi occupation during World War II, he dedicated his life and vocation as instruments of peace throughout the world. His was a constant voice for justice, nonviolence, and reconciliation for both individuals and nations. As a spiritual leader, he emphasized the common humanity of people of all faiths. His advocacy for the poor and oppressed will prevail as a source of hope and inspiration for others to follow. We will remember him with love and gratitude for his faithfulness to peace and human rights."
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee:
"Pope John Paul was a man driven by faith, and his bold and impassioned leadership revolutionized the papacy. Guided by the truths of eternal tradition, he was a man of great conscience who was vigorous and engaged with many issues affecting the church and the world community. Though his body may have declined in recent years, his mind and spirit remained active. He led the church with dignity, grace and purpose. ... The Catholic Church has lost a great pope, and the world community has lost a great leader and friend. May God bless his memory."
Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts:
"I join my fellow Catholics and people everywhere in grieving the passing of the Holy Father. He was a devout and beloved spiritual leader for the Church who inspired people of all faiths and brought us closer to the great goal of peace on Earth. Even in his last days when he could not speak, he still was a strong moral voice heeded across the globe."
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts:
"Drawing upon his enduring moral strength and conviction, Pope John Paul II advanced the cause of solidarity in his native Poland and helped to topple communism around the world. We will never forget the example he set by forgiving the man who tried to take his life, and by praying at the Western Wall to ask Jews for their forgiveness. He traveled to places forgotten by all but God to pray for the sick and the poor, and millions turned out to hear his voice, even when strained. In death, as in life, his incredible spirit provides every Catholic with strength and his memory provides us with wisdom."
House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois:
"Pope John Paul II was a healer and a beacon of light around the world advocating for the poor, the oppressed and the unborn. He was and continues to be an inspiration to not only the 1 billion members of the Catholic Church but also to all other people of faith around the world."
"Pope John Paul II was a man of God, and he was also a man of the people. He was a source of hope to so many, and he honored that devotion by traveling the world to reach out to people of all ages, nationalities, and faiths."