Pope John Paul's legacy lives on - Don Brash
Don Brash MP
National Party Leader
3 April 2005
Pope John Paul's legacy lives on
National Party Leader Don Brash is today sending his sympathies to the New Zealand Catholic Church and Catholics worldwide after the death of 84-year-old Pope John Paul.
"In spite of a long illness, the Pope's passing today will still come as a great shock to the faithful. I wish to express my condolences to the New Zealand Catholic Church and the 1.1 billion Catholics world-wide."
At the height of his papacy Pope John Paul was dubbed the 'Great Communicator', he was the third longest-serving pope in Roman Catholic history.
"Pope John Paul has left the world with a legacy that will always be remembered," says Dr Brash, referring to the key role the Pope played in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
"John Paul's unwavering support for democracy in Poland is credited with starting a wave of freedom that saw the collapse of Marxist regimes right across Europe.
"His faith in the cause, and his strength in the face of strong criticism effectively brought an end to the repressive regimes that had trapped so many millions of people for so long.
"For that he will never be forgotten. And for that, the entire world owes him their respect and thanks," says Dr Brash.