I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Pope Paul VI, a man whose life and works have served me personally as a source of great moral inspiration. As a man of peace and profound spirituality, he will be greatly missed not only by all Roman Catholics but by all people, whatever their religious convictions.
Of Pope Paul's many contributions, two stand out for me at this sad moment: first, his untiring efforts in the ecumenical movement. Not only was he inspired in the cause of humanity to pursue greater unity of purpose within the Catholic Church, but also among all other faiths. Second, Pope Paul's world travels, at no small expense to his own physical wellbeing, exemplified his role of pilgrim, carrying the message of peace and love to the far corners of the world, including an inspiring visit to the United States.
During his 15 years as Pontiff, the voice of Paul V! served as a clear, moral beacon to a troubled world. With his passing, we have all been deprived of a strong voice for reason, for moderation, and for peace.Note: The following announcement was released by the White House Press Office on August 10:
Mrs. Rosalynn Carter will head the U.S. delegation of five dignitaries who will attend the funeral of Pope Paul VI in Rome on Saturday.
In addition to Mrs. Carter, the delegates will be Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Gov. Hugh L. Carey (D-N.Y.), Representative Robert N. Giaimo (D-Conn.), David Walters, Personal Representative of the President to the Vatican, and Leonel J. Castillo, Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.
On Saturday, August 12, at 6 p.m. (Rome time), the representatives will attend the state funeral for His Holiness Paul VI at St. Peter's Square. On Sunday there will be a reception for the Sacred College of Cardinals in the Consistorial Hall of the Papal Palace, Vatican City, in order to receive condolences from foreign delegations. The American delegation will attend the reception.
With the exception of Senator Kennedy, the delegation will leave by military jet from Andrews Air Force Base at 9 p.m. tonight, and arrive in Rome at approximately 1:30 p.m. (Rome time) Friday. Senator Kennedy will remain in Washington for legislative work Friday, then fly to Rome in time for the funeral.
The entire group will return to Washington Sunday evening, August 13.