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. **http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news/images/nr330405modpope.jpg 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."