I think the two above pictures show the multi-faceted nature of John Paul II - he is both the polished and media-savvy leader of the Catholic Church, and a man of the world, at ease in his time.

The media have been covering these final hours extensively. My husband and I stopped off at a local establishment for refreshment after a strenuous evening of babysitting, and both TVs were turned to news about the Pope. I don't believe that I ever heard anyone say that they didn't admire and respect him, whether they agreed with all that he said.

This is one of the first times I ever heard any newscasters talk about their religion. I was surprised to hear many self-identify as Catholics. It seemed to be important for them to state that affiliation.


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