Non- Catholic Condolences for JPII

Thought it might be interseting to post the messages from other faith leaders. Below is the message of the Church of Scotland Moderator. Until very recently the Cof S and the Catholic Church were not even speaking to each other.

Moderator’s condolences following the death of the Pope

                 The following is a statement, issued today on behalf of the                      Moderator, Dr Alison Elliot, in response to the sad news of                      the death of Pope John Paul II:

                  "May I express my deep sympathy to the Catholic community                      here in Scotland in their sad loss. When I was in Rome at                      Cardinal O’Brien’s elevation, I was struck by                      the personal affection the crowds of pilgrims had for Il                      Papa. This touches them more deeply than the passing                      of a distant leader. 

                                                               "We have a lot to thank                          him for in Scotland. When he visited us in 1982, he was                          welcomed with joy and warmth and met the Moderator in                          the quadrangle at New College, beside the statue of John                          Knox. The effect of the papal visit was felt far beyond                          the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. His memorable words                          in Bellahouston Park about ‘walking hand in hand                          as pilgrims together’ had a huge impact on ecumenical                          relations in Scotland at all levels. Locally, people began                          to meet, to study and to worship together. And they felt                          they were doing this with the encouragement of the Pope                          himself. He had an extraordinary capacity to relate to                          people at the grass roots and to inspire them. It was                          not surprising that it was not long after the pope’s                          visit that the ecumenical instruments in these islands                          were reformed in a way that enable full participation                          of the Roman Catholic Church. The life of the churches                          has been greatly enriched by their close involvement in                          our fellowship.                       **
                      The historic meeting of the Very Rev Professor John                            McIntyre, Moderator of the General Assembly from 1982                            to 1983, with Pope John Paul II in Edinburgh in June                            1982**

                                                          "Pope John Paul II was surely one of the most outstanding                      people of the 20th century. His personal warmth and ability                      to engage with people made him a charismatic figure. He travelled                      round the world, meeting political leaders and faith leaders                      and drawing vast crowds of the faithful. He was instrumental                      in bringing together the world’s faith leaders to share                      inter-religious dialogue in Assisi at a time of great unrest                      in the world. Even in recent years as his health so clearly                      diminished, Pope John Paul II became a symbol of Christianity’s                      affirmation that strength is to be found in weakness. His                      courage and continued programme of travel and encounter must                      have given encouragement to many around the world who are                      themselves people with disability. 

                                          "There remains a sadness that, in a pontificate that                      was in many ways marked by openness and the language of communion,                      there has been little movement during his pontificate to remove                      the barriers to sharing communion. Nevertheless, we remain                      grateful that the hopes raised in the 1960s at the Second                      Vatican Council have remained alive during times that have                      seen all our Churches becoming more rather than less willing                      to change."

[left] Message of condolence and tribute to Pope John Paul II
The Primus, the Most Reverend Bruce Cameron said- "For many years Pope John Paul II was an ambassador for the Gospel whose visits throughout the world touched many people. His visit to Scotland in 1982 remains a very memorable event, not only for the Roman Catholic community in Scotland but for all Christians*. His call then to Christians to set out on a pilgrimage* ‘walking hand in hand’ remains a challenge today - to both his own church and to other churches in Scotland in their ecumenical endeavour.

       *The            papacy of Pope John Paul II has spanned a period of time in which the            world has both seen signs of new hope and life, yet also of increased            tension and war. To that world he spoke and encouraged the church to            speak of peace,and of justice and reconciliation. The world would do            well to follow that example.*

      *It            has been very moving to see his powerful and significant witness over            the last few days and we now share in the sadness of his passing with            our Roman Catholic friends, to whom we send our deepest condolences,            yet remembering that at the heart of our common faith lies a looking            forward to the future"*.

Statement of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on the Death of Pope John Paul II

         April 2, 2005

We participate in the sorrow of the Roman Catholic Church during this difficult time of the departure of Pope John Paul II, and we join the world in offering prayers knowing that he is now in the world of eternal rest.

The Pope, who began his papacy in October 1978, has guided the Roman Catholic Church through transforming years, remaining firm on traditional values while offering love, compassion, and forgiveness. He touched many people with his gentle manner and his openness to people of other religions.

During the tenure of Pope John Paul II, the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church has improved significantly. In a most recent relevant event last November, Archbishop Demetrios, spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians in America, had the opportunity to visit and be with the Pope in a special occasion at The Vatican. This was a ceremony during which the Pope, responding to the request of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, returned the Holy Relics of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Gregory the Theologian, two of the most prominent Fathers of the undivided Church. The Holy Relics now rest at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople.

We, as Orthodox Christians, will always remember, among other instances, this expression of a desire for reconciliation and unity as we pray for the repose of his soul.

Metropolitan Herman sends condolences on death of Pope John Paul II
Article posted: 4/2/2005 3:41 PM SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — On Saturday, April 2, 2005, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, sent letters of condolence to Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, and Walter Cardinal Kasper of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, upon learning of the death of Pope John Paul II.

“I greet you with brotherly love in Christ and extend the condolences of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Hierarchs, Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,” Metropolitan Herman wrote. “Throughout the many years of his service as spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church, he was a shining example of dedication to the episcopal ministry and to the high office to which he was called and a ‘good steward of the manifold grace of God’ [1 Peter 4:10].”

Metropolitan Herman also noted that, in word and deed, the late Pope “constantly reminded all humanity of our shared responsibility to defend the rights of the poor, the defenseless, and those who have no one to speak for them” and remained steadfast “in proclaiming the ‘Gospel of Life’ and in safeguarding the dignity and sanctity of life in all its stages.

“This, perhaps, will be his greatest legacy, not only to the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church, but also for all Christians and all people of good will,” the letter of condolence concluded.

Earlier in the week, upon learning of the Pope’s failing health, Metropolitan Herman sent a letter of concern to Cardinal Kasper.

During his lengthy pontificate, Pope John Paul II met with several hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America in the Vatican and during his visits to North America.

**Greek Orthodox Church

Pope John Paul II Passed Away**

Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyla, died tonight in his Vatican apartment. He left his mark as occupying the third longest pontificate in the history of the Church.
He was born in Wadowice, a small city 35 miles southwest of Krakow, on May 18, 1920.
Upon graduation from high school in Wadowice in 1938, he and his father moved to Krakow where Karol entered the Jagiellonian University to study literature and philosophy.
In 1942, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow. After the Second World War, he continued his studies in the major seminary of Krakow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on Nov. 1, 1946. He was consecrated bishop on Sept. 28, 1958, and on Jan. 13, 1964, he was nominated Archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal on June 26, 1967. He was elected Pope on Oct. 16, 1978.

He was a man of Church. Since the start of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II has completed 104 pastoral visits outside Italy, and 146 within Italy. As Bishop of Rome he has visited 317 of the 333 parishes.

He was a man of Letters. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the topic of faith in the works of the great Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross. He kept company with students of Roman Ingarden, a distinguish personality among the philosophical movement of Phenomenology and a prof. of Aesthetics at Jagiellonian University. In 1953, he defended a thesis on the ethical system of Max Scheler at Lublin’s Catholic University. He later became a professor of moral theology and social ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology of Lublin.
He published five books: “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (October, 1994); “Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination” (November, 1996); “Roman Triptych – Meditations,” a book of poems (March, 2003); “Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way” (May, 2004) and “Memory and Identity” (February, 2005).
He visited Athens in 2001, a pilgrim to Areios Pagos, the place on which St Paul the Apostle spoke to the Athenians. In his address to the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos, he asked pardon for the “especially painful” mistakes of the Church of Rome against the Orthodox Greeks.
He said: “Certainly, we are burdened by past and present controversies and by enduring misunderstandings. But in a spirit of mutual charity these can and must be overcome, for that is what the Lord asks of us. Clearly there is a need for a liberating process of purification of memory. For the occasions past and present, when sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by action or omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of him.”
He added: “ At this meeting, I also wish to assure Your Beatitude that the Church of Rome looks with unaffected admiration to the Orthodox Church of Greece for the way in which she has preserved her heritage of faith and Christian life. The name of Greece resounds wherever the Gospel is preached. The names of her cities are known to Christians everywhere from the reading of the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of Saint Paul. From the Apostolic era until now, the Orthodox Church of Greece has been a rich source from which the Church of the West too has drawn for her liturgy, spirituality and jurisprudence”.

The Board Of Deputies Of British Jews

Statement on the passing away of His Holiness Pope John-Paul II

During his long tenure at the Vatican, the Pope had a made a considerable contribution to Catholic-Jewish relations, including being the first Roman Pontiff to visit a synagogue and indeed Israel, establishing good relations with both secular and religious Jewish leaders.

The Board of Deputies has sent messages of condolence to the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz in London and to His Eminence Cardinal Cormack Murphy-O’Connor, leader of Britain’s Roman Catholic community.

Muslim Council of Britain

The Pope’s death is a loss for all of us The Muslim Council of Britain offers its deepest condolences and commiserations to the Holy See and the world’s Catholic community with the passing of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

“Pope John Paul II bestrode the international stage for nearly three decades with a simple message of peace, justice and freedom. He was a man of extraordinary faith, courage and compassion. He will be remembered by the poor and disenfranchised for his love and respect for all human beings. Pope John Paul’s death will leave an enormous void in the hearts of hundred of millions of people around the world,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

The MCB believes that Pope John Paul II’s message of peace and goodwill will continue to reverberate in the many places that he visited throughout his remarkable life. It will have a special resonance in the shipyards of Poland, the slums of Latin America, the towns and villages of Africa and the Palestinian refugee camps of the Occupied West Bank.

The death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II

The Rev Will Morrey, President of the Methodist Conference: “The death of Pope John Paul II is no less than the passing of an era for the Roman Catholic Church, indeed for the whole Christian movement throughout the world. He was a man of transparent holiness and prayer - and a great ambassador for the Christian faith. Unusually John Paul II led the Catholic Church from the Vatican for a generation but travelled the world so extensively that he became one of the few people instantly recognised around the globe.

“No one person can be the leader of a worldwide Church for a quarter of a century without having a huge influence on the shape and direction of that Church. This Pope’s legacy will be felt throughout the religious and political worlds for decades to come.

“He will be remembered for playing a significant role in the dismantling of the iron curtain in the early 80s and the subsequent restoration of religious freedom in his native Poland, as well as across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states. He was a consistent and doughty proponent of peaceful ways for resolving international disputes. Following the Vatican Council, he oversaw the emergence of Catholicism from sometimes narrow European roots to become a truly international Church - and one that thrives especially in Africa and Latin America.

“It is perhaps because his best achievements were away from the English-speaking West that his guidance and direction sometimes seemed not to catch the flavour of ecumenical achievements and sensitivities in Britain. His successor will have a tremendously difficult task in taking over the responsibilities of the Catholic Church. Its place in Europe is challenged as never before. And there is a ferment of ideas, which will now come to the surface, about the Roman Catholic Church’s leadership and response to the ethical and political challenges of the 21st century.”

The Rev David Deeks, General Secretary of the Methodist Church: “We extend our sympathies and prayers to our sisters and brothers in the Catholic Church at this sad time. Pope John Paul II steered the Roman Catholic Church through a period when the world changed a great deal, and his bravery and spiritual strength were obvious to all.”

On Friday, as news of the Pope’s worsening condition emerged, Will Morrey wrote to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor:

“In the light of the news this morning of the worsening condition of the Pope, I am writing on behalf of the Methodist Church to express our people’s love, support and prayers for him and for all our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers at this time.

“Pope John Paul II has led the Roman Catholic Church through a period when the world has changed immeasurably and with often bewildering rapidity. He has done so in a way that is powerfully humble and holy. He has been a consistent and doughty proponent of peaceful ways for resolving international disputes and his bravery and spiritual strength have been obvious to all.

We are grateful for the progress that has been made during his papacy in formal dialogues between Roman Catholics and Methodists both on a world level and here in Britain. In those dialogues we have learnt better how to speak the truth to one another in love, and the conversations have both celebrated and stimulated informal contacts and shared ventures between our peoples.

“At times like this, what unites us in Christ is much greater than any differences that there may have been between us.”

The Rev James Jones, Chair of the Methodist Scotland District, wrote to the Scottish Catholic Bishops:

“The Methodist community in Scotland has received the news of the death of Pope John Paul II with great sadness. In our prayers we commend him to the love of God made known in Jesus Christ. We pray, too, for the Roman Catholic Church in its life and witness in the eyes of the world.

“We give thanks to God for the pope’s own ministry and witness in the world-wide changes of the last quarter -century. Rightly, much will be said of his many particular contributions. Above all, he has remained a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and sustained others in that same calling. In that, and for so much else, we rejoice.”

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