Statement by the Most Reverend William Lee, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, on the death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
United as we are with people throughout the world in commending Pope John Paul II to the Lord, our hearts are filled with sadness and with gratitude. Sadness at his leaving us but with abundant gratitude for all the goodness, hope and joy he gave to our world over the last 26 years.
Throughout his time as Pope, John Paul II preached the gospel of Jesus without fear and reached out to all people without exception, respectingevery one of us as being made in the image and likeness of God. Young people and the elderly were particularly dear to him.
I recall, with deep emotion, meeting the Pope during our five yearly official visit to Rome. He talked lovingly and caringly about the priests and people of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore. He assured us of his affection and prayed his blessing on the diocese. It was a very special moment – one I am never likely to forget.
As his death is evoking a worldwide response of affectionate respect as well as sadness, I am sure that the example of his life and death will continue to enrich the lives of people everywhere. The Holy Father’s
suffering is now over and he is enjoying life with the risen Christ. During these days, we give thanks to God for this good man. We are grateful for his honesty, for his truthfulness and for his authenticity
which appealed to everybody.
I ask that, in every parish of the diocese, Mass be celebrated for his eternal peace on a suitable date and time.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)