05:04 AM EDT Sep 25
INDEPTH: POPE JOHN PAUL II
John Paul II: In his own words
CBC News Online | April 2005


Pope John Paul II at the end of the midnight Christmas mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Dec. 25, 2004. (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri)
Mass homily during installation as pope, Oct. 22, 1978:
Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power ... Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development.

Christmas Day speech in 1990, as first Gulf War loomed:
War is an adventure without return.

To American cardinals summoned to the Vatican during church sex abuse scandal involving U.S. priests on April 23, 2002:
The abuse which has caused this crisis is by every standard wrong and rightly considered a crime by society; it is also an appalling sin in the eyes of God.

On his 83rd birthday in 2003:
Physical condition or advancing of age are not obstacles to a perfect life. God does not look at external things but at the soul.

Speaking to Spanish youths in Madrid in May, 2003:
I am a young person aged 83.

During his first public audience after dislocating his shoulder in 1993:
I'm all in one piece. I'm not dead yet.

Speaking to reporters early in his reign:
The Pope cannot remain a prisoner of the Vatican. I want to go to everybody...from the nomads of the steppes to the monks and nuns in their convents...I want to cross the threshold of every home.

To diplomats on Jan. 13, 2003, as the Iraq war loomed:
No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity.


Pope John Paul II holds his arm around Mother Teresa as they ride in the Popemobile outside the Home of the Dying in Calcutta, February 1986. (AP Photo)
To former Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier, who sat stone-faced as the Pope visited in 1983:
Things really have to change here.

In Sicily in 1993:
God once said "Do not kill." No human group, Mafia or whatever, can trample on this most sacred law of God.

Addressing Jews during his historic visit to Rome's synagogue in 1986:
You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way it could be said that you are our elder brother.

On Mahatma Ghandi, during a visit to India in 1986:
He was never a Christian and he never pretended to be a Christian, but I learned a lot from him.

In a 1994 letter on the ban on women as priests:
I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

On Poland's debate in 1996 on whether to liberalize abortion legislation:
A nation that kills its own children has no future.

In a note he wrote on February 24, 2005, after doctors performed a tracheotomy to ease his breathing problems, which left him unable to speak:
What have they done to me?

The Pope's last audible words, on hearing tens of thousands of young people singing in St. Peter's Square as he lay in his deathbed, Friday, April 1, 2005:
I sought you out and now you come to me. Thank you.




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MAIN PAGE THE POPE'S WILL IN HIS OWN WORDS TIMELINE OF HIS LIFE TAKING ON COMMUNISM JEWISH RELATIONS FAMILY VALUES ABORIGINAL CONNECTION KEY WRITINGS VATICAN HISTORY NEWS ARCHIVE
REACTION: IN THEIR OWN WORDS YOUR LETTERS
PHOTO GALLERIES: The funeral Pilgrims bid farewell A parish prays Canada's vigil Prayers for the Pope Life and times of John Paul II World Youth Day 2002 Pope in Newfoundland, 1984
MULTIMEDIA: Sights and sounds [Flash]
RELATED: POPE BENEDICT XVI WHAT'S IN A NAME? PAPAL CONCLAVE PAPAL ELECTION FAQs ELECTING A NEW POPE
VIEWPOINT: The accomplishments of Pope John Paul II The lasting legacy of John Paul II My morning with the Pope

RELATED:
Visits to Canada
Catholicism in Canada
Canadian Cardinals
Archives: The 1987 Papal Visit
Archives: The 1984 Papal Visit
PAPAL FACTS:
Pope John Paul II led the world's Roman Catholics since he was the surprise choice of the College of Cardinals on Oct. 16, 1978.

  • Born in Poland on May 18, 1920, Karol Wojtyla (pronounced voy-TIH-wah) was the first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI, who died in 1523.

  • He was the 264th pope, and ranks among the three who have served longest, with St. Peter (32-67) and Blessed Pius IX (1846-78).

  • John Paul was the most travelled pope, having visited almost 130 countries and territories - including Canada, three times.

  • He was a conservative pope in terms of doctrine, rejecting the ordination of women, forbidding priests from marrying, backing an international campaign against same-sex unions and opposing birth control and abortion.

  • But he's also credited with helping end communist rule in Eastern Europe.

  • John Paul tried to reconcile Christians and Jews, and the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

  • He declared 476 new saints and beatified 1,320 people, many more than his predecessors.

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