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The Maori Party mourns the passing of the pope

Wednesday, 6 April 2005

The Maori Party mourns the passing of the pope

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party Tuesday 5 April 2005 "The Maori Party mourns the passing of a world leader: an inspired and compassionate man, and someone who is treasured for the spiritual guidance and moral strength he provided, not only to millions of Catholics, but also to communities all over the world.

I want to particularly acknowledge the deep grief and sadness felt by the 70,000 tangata whenua of the Catholic faith. Tangata whenua saw the reverence and respect with which Pope John Paul recognised his homeland. We all remember well his historic journey home to Poland and how moved we were to see him kiss Papatuanuku.

We think of his unique contribution to Aotearoa now when we remember the visit of Pope John Paul II in November 1986, and then two years later, the consecration of the first ever Maori Catholic Bishop, Takuira Mariu, took place. We have all lost a genuine mentor - a holy man. His messages will continue to inspire and challenge us all to create a better world.

E te rangatira, haere atu ra ki o tupuna, hoki wairua mai ki a matou e whai atu ana i muri i a koe".

ENDS

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