5 April 2005
Secretary-General Saddened by Death of Pope John Paul II, Spiritual Guide, Tireless Advocate of Peace
NEW YORK, 4 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the statement of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the death of Pope John Paul II, issued 2 April:
I was deeply saddened by the death of Pope John Paul II. 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.
I had the privilege to meet him several times in recent years. I was always struck by his commitment to having the United Nations become, as he said during his address to the General Assembly in 1995, a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home and develop a shared awareness of being, as it were, a family of nations.
I offer my deepest condolences to Catholics and others around the world who were touched by his life of prayer and lifelong dedication to non-violence and peace.
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