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1004: RI president expresses sorrow upon Pope's death

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  • sunilkzach
    RI president expresses sorrow upon pope s death Rotary International President Glenn Estess Sr. has expressed heartfelt sorrow on behalf of the Rotary world
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 2005
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      RI president expresses sorrow upon pope's death

      Rotary International President Glenn Estess Sr. has expressed
      heartfelt sorrow on behalf of the Rotary world upon the death of Pope
      John Paul II.

      "We are saddened by the news of the pope's passing. He was a man of
      peace and a friend of Rotary," says Estess. "In words and deeds, the
      pope shared many of the ideals of human brotherhood and sisterhood
      and selfless service that inspired Paul Harris and his friends to
      found Rotary 100 years ago."

      In 1982, John Paul II was selected as a recipient of the Rotary Award
      for World Understanding and Peace. Stanley McCaffrey, 1981-82 RI
      president, personally delivered news of the award to the pope in

      When presenting the award to Bishop Thomas Tschoepe, the pope's
      special representative at the 1982 RI Convention in Dallas, Texas,
      USA, McCaffrey explained: "I told the holy father that of all the
      people in the world, he had been selected because of his untiring,
      unceasing work for peace; he responded by saying, 'I shall keep
      working, I shall keep working.' I felt those are words for us to live
      by, as we work together to achieve world understanding and peace."

      Several RI presidents and senior Rotary leaders visited with Pope
      John Paul II during the over quarter-century he served as head of the
      Roman Catholic Church. Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Carlo Ravizza,
      who had an audience with the pontiff four times — twice as RI
      president and also in the company of RI presidents Carlos Canseco and
      Herbert G. Brown — recalls that "each meeting with him was a unique

      "When you shook hands with the pope, you felt that he was
      communicating with you directly on a personal basis," says
      Ravizza. "He was more than just a leader of the Catholic Church. He
      was a man who loved everyone regardless of race, religion, or color."

      In 2000, John Paul became the first pope in history to address a
      large audience of Rotarians when he spoke before 18,000 Rotarians and
      their families and friends in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. "He
      quoted Paul Harris," recalls Ravizza. "That was a surprise and a very
      moving occasion. Earlier on, a cardinal spoke about Rotary's
      activities around the world."

      Aldo Ferretti, a past governor of District 2080 (Italy) who for the
      past 12 years has served as a de facto liaison between visiting
      Rotarians and the Vatican, also fondly remembers the many times that
      the pontiff granted an audience with RI leaders.

      "He had a wonderful relationship with us," says Ferretti. "When he
      met with us ... during the 2000 Jubilee celebrations, I said thanks
      to the pope. But the pope said, 'I've to thank you because you've
      brought for me 18,000 sons and daughters.'"

      Courtesy: R I Website
      Source: eFlash_Rotary

      Rotarians in Rome are in mourning, according to Ferretti. "We're in a
      very bad situation right now," he says. "We have suspended all Rotary
      club meetings and [other Rotary-related] activities this week. We are
      making arrangements to pay our last respects to the pope and for some
      of us to be present at the funeral, if the tight security provisions

      The pope was spiritual leader to the world's one billion Catholics
      and temporal head of the tiny state of Vatican City for the last 27
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