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Pope John Paul II: outstanding figure in modern Christendom, one of the

02 April 2005

Condolences from WCC Central Committee Moderator Catholicos Aram I and WCC
General Secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, 2 April, 2005


Expressing the profound sadness of the World Council of Churches following the
announcement by the Holy See of the death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
today, the WCC Central Committee Moderator Catholicos Aram I said:

"His Holiness Pope John Paul II will remain an outstanding figure in the modern
history of world Christendom. In fact, his relentless effort to make the Gospel
of Christ a living reality in the life of people, his unyielding prophetic witness to
make the moral values the guiding principles of human societies, his firm commitment
to the cause of Christian unity, his openness to other religions with a
clear vision of living together as a reconciled community in the midst of diversities,
and his continuous advocacy for justice, human rights and freedom made
him an exceptional figure of great achievements. As moderator of the World
Council of Churches central committee and as the Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia,
I had the privilege to meet His Holiness on different occasions and witnessed the
strength of his faith, the depth of his wisdom and the clarity of his vision."

The condolences were shared by WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
who emphasized:

"His Holiness Pope John Paul II will be remembered as one of the most courageous
spiritual leaders of our time. He demonstrated this courage as much in his
illness as he did through his leadership, his writings and his pronouncements. In
the one ecumenical movement he constantly affirmed as irreversible the deep
involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in ecumenism. In responding to the
challenging issues for the church in the world, he opened a dialogue with other
religious traditions, and addressed constantly issues of social justice and moral
and ethical values. As an African, I recognize the importance he gave to the African
synod, and the pastoral care in which he identified with the people of Africa."