Remarks on the Death of Pope John Paul II
Laura and I join people across the Earth in mourning the passing of Pope John PaulII. The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd. The world has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been called home.
Pope John Paul II left the throne of Saint Peter in the same way he ascended to it, as a witness to the dignity of human life. In his native Poland, that witness launched a democratic revolution that swept Eastern Europe and changed the course of history. Throughout the West, John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak. And during the Pope's final years, his witness was made even more powerful by his daily courage in the face of illness and great suffering.
All Popes belong to the world, but Americans had special reason to love the man from Krakow. In his visits to our country, the Pope spoke of our "providential" Constitution, the self-evident truths about human dignity in our Declaration, and the "blessings of liberty" that follow from them. "It is these truths," he said, "that have led people all over the world to look to America with hope and respect."
Pope John Paul II was, himself, an inspiration to millions of Americans and to so many more throughout the world. We will always remember the humble, wise, and fearless priest who became one of history's great moral leaders. We're grateful to God for sending such a man, a son of Poland, who became the Bishop of Rome and a hero for the ages.
NOTE: The President spoke at 4:02 p.m. in the Cross Hall at the White House. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks. The proclamation of April 2 honoring the memory of Pope John Paul II is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.
George W. Bush, Remarks on the Death of Pope John Paul II Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/213919