Sydney (Fides Service) - The Church in Oceania will draw great inspiration and new impulse from the figure and work of John Paul II said Archbishop Francis Carrol of Canberra, Australian Bishops Conference president, in Rome for the Pontiff’s funeral on April 8. “The deep and widespread grief that was apparent in the final days of the Holy Father and the days preparing for his burial was somehow softened by a sense of relief that his sufferings had now ended. The magnificent celebration of faith in the final Mass sounded loud and clear the victory of Jesus Christ over death for the one who had served him so long and so faithfully”, the Archbishop wrote in a personal reflection, ‘Farewell to John Paul II’ , sent to Fides.
Archbishop Carrol said it was a privilege and deeply moving experience to be at the funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II. He said his mind went back to the death and burial of John XXIII when he was also in Rome. John “led the Church for only a few years but was much loved and admired in his visionary courage in calling the Second Vatican Council. John Paul II was one of the longest serving Popes in history. He too was loved and admired for his universal vision and the courage he showed throughout his extraordinary life and especially in his long and debilitating illness and preparation for death”.
The Church in Australia will treasure and implement the precious legacy left by John Paul II and from his example draw new impulse for the mission to render Christ present in Oceania in the third millennium. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/4/2004 righe 23 parole 222)