|His Holiness Pope John Paul II, having fulfilled the duty of life, which is common to all humans, has fallen asleep in the Lord. May God give rest to his soul in the place of the living, where there is no sorrow, grief nor mourning. |
Pope John Paul II envisioned the restoration of the unity of the Christians and he worked for its realization. Thus, and in order to give the mark of his papacy, he visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate only a year after his election, and together with Patriarch Demetrios declared the formation of the Joint Committee for the inception of the Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Roman Catholics. He did not hesitate before pains and sacrifices in order to bring the message of the Gospel to the entire world and to contribute to the establishment of peace. History will also recount his crucial contribution to the fall of atheistic communism. There are not many such brave men of vision, as the departed Pope. During his passage through the Hierarchy and especially through the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, he drew deep his traces on her and on the history of all humanity, and he has left behind the indelible imprint of his strong personality. Many of his initiatives have been inception of developments, which still advance today. He was a pioneer in many issues. For this reason, his death is a loss not only to his Church, but to all of Christianity as well, and to the international community in general, who desires peace and justice.
We express our deep personal sorrow and on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the resting of our beloved brother in Christ, and we share the mourning of the millions of our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters worldwide.
May his memory be eternal and may the Lord of life and death bring forth a most worthy successor, among the many personalities that adorn the hierarchy of the sister Church.
At the Patriarchate, 2 April 2005