5 April 2005

General Assembly President Offers Condolences on Death of Pope John Paul II

NEW YORK, 4 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the statement of Jean Ping, President of the United Nations General Assembly, on the death of Pope John Paul II, issued on 2 April:

It is with great sorrow and grief that I learned of the death of Pope John Paul II.  The Pope’s passing is a great loss for Poland, for the Catholic community and for humanity as a whole.  During his long and intense life of service, both as a spiritual leader and as a statesman, the Pope demonstrated a unique and inspiring moral authority to the world.

As a Christian, I have been profoundly moved and touched by his faith, by his love for all and by his deep capacity for forgiveness.

The Pope worked tirelessly to promote peace, and to bring together people of all races, nations and religious backgrounds.  Hence he made tremendous contributions towards upholding the values of the United Nations.  He will be remembered as a man of great courage and humility, as well as a servant of peace and justice. 

I offer my deepest condolences to all Catholics and others around the world who have been touched and inspired by his life.

* *** *