.- In an interview with the Italian daily L’Espresso, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, revealed a few details about the moments immediately following the death of Pope John Paul II last April.
The Vatican spokesman revealed that upon the death of the Holy Father, “the nuns, his secretary (Don Stanislaw Dziwisz--now Archbishop of Krakow), and the others present began to spontaneously sing a ‘Te Deum’ of thanksgiving to God, not for his death, of course, but for such fruitful 84 years. At that moment I also found it difficult to say a prayer for the dead.”
During the interview, Navarro-Valls also noted how the example of John Paul II taught the world not to fear old age or physical decline. “He has taught us that life leads to death but that that is not the end of life,” he said.
Likewise, he highlighted the strong ties between John Paul II and Pope Benedict and said it was a “delight” to witness a conversation between them. “It was a delight to listen to them. On the one hand, a philosopher Pope and on the other, a cardinal theologian in a continuous osmosis,” he added.
The interview, which revealed some truly personal and unknown aspects of Navarro-Valls, and can be found in its entirety at: