Blagojevich mourns the passing of Pope John Paul II
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[APRIL 4, 2005]
CHICAGO -- As the
world grieves the loss of Pope John Paul II, Gov. Rod Blagojevich
issued a proclamation Saturday afternoon ordering flags at all state
of Illinois facilities be flown at half-staff until the pontiff is
laid to rest.
The governor issued the following
"On behalf of the
people of the state of Illinois, Patti and I want to express our
deepest sorrow and sympathy on the passing of Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul II will be remembered as the single most influential
and accomplished pope in modern history. He was a great moral leader
and a great spiritual leader, but his influence and his work
extended far beyond the traditional realm of the church.
"John Paul II was the first Polish
pope, giving Eastern Europe a new voice in Catholicism. He reached
out to people of other faiths, helping to heal wounds that had
existed for decades. And the
influence was the single greatest factor in ending the totalitarian
reign of communism, bringing down the Berlin Wall, and spreading
democracy to the captive nations of Eastern Europe and the Soviet
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"John Paul II traveled the world more
than any other pope, taking his message of hope and faith directly
to the people. He gave them hope, he gave them strength, and he gave
them courage. He will be just as missed here in Illinois as he will
be in Rome and in every nation across the globe."
[News release from the governor's