Montreal, Canada, Apr 3, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II “ignited joy and a determination to persevere, no matter the challenges, because of his belief that the dignity of human life is united with the mystery of eternal life,” said Archbishop Brendan O’Brien April 2.
The archbishop of St. John’s, Newfoundland, read the official statement of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to a crowd of 1,200, who attended a mass for the Pope at Montreal’s Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, less than three hours after the Pope’s passing.
The statement expressed the nation’s sadness at Pope John Paul’s death but also its gratitude to the 84-year-old pontiff who died Saturday after leading the Church for nearly 26 years.
“Catholics in our land hold deep affection for this successor of Peter who served the See of Rome and the universal Church for 26 years as an extraordinary spiritual guide and a remarkable bishop,” said the president of the CCCB.