Unforgettable, outstanding, immense, extraordinary, wonderful and fantastic were some of the superlatives used in an attempt to describe the effect his presence had on us.
Your correspondent TP O’Mahony’s sole contribution to the events taking place was to write about Archbishop Marcinkus (an aide to the Pope), who was allegedly corrupt in his conduct of financial affairs with the Vatican Bank. He concludes by stating “the sight of him (Marcinkus) with his cigar on the papal plane remains one of my few enduring memories of 1979.”
Two days after His Holiness died, TP wrote: “I have met presidents and prime ministers and even a king and queen, as well as pop and film stars - nothing however matches the stellar attraction of meeting the Pope, Christ’s Vicar on Earth.”
What a transformation of opinion in just two days! Is this sentiment genuine? I doubt it, as this is the same correspondent who over the past number of years used his privileged position to criticise the Pontiff and the Church of Rome at every opportunity.
Pope John Paul II lived, suffered and died with dignity - a characteristic Mr O’Mahony sadly lacked when writing about him and the church.
Denis G Hanley
44 Eaton Heights