Sep 9, 2011
Pope John Paul II, although a man of the Church, was possessed with an uncommon sense for the dynamics of globalism and the complexities of peoples and cultures.
My first one-on-one meeting with Pope John Paul II was on September 13, 2001. The occasion was the formal presentation of my diplomatic credentials as the new United States Ambassador to the Holy See. It was planned to be a festive occasion; instead, it was a sad event as the world was grieving the horrific events of just 48 hours prior.
The first thing the Pope said to me was how sorry he felt for my country, which had just been attacked, and how sad it made him feel. We next said a prayer together for the victims and their families.
Then the Pope said something very profound and very revealing of his acute grasp of international terrorism. He said, "Ambassador Nicholson, this was an attack, not just on the United States, but on all of humanity.” And, then he added, “We must stop these people who kill in the name of God."