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Throwback Thursday: the death of Pope John Paul I

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October 6, 1978 edition of The Catholic Telegraph
October 6, 1978 edition of The Catholic Telegraph

From The Catholic Telegraph October 6, 1978 edition

Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin expressed shock and sadness at the sudden death of Pope John Paul I, calling him a person of “extraordinary pastoral sensitivity.”

Meeting with newspaper radio and television reporters Friday Morning (Sept 29) a few hours after the news of the Pope’s death was heard around the world, Archbishop Bernardin said the events of the past two months were” a powerful reminder to us of the fleeting nature of life and of our total dependence on God. “

Acknowledging that it would be “foolish and hazardous” to speculate about whom the coming conclave would choose to succeed Pope John Paul, the archbishop did indicate that he expected the cardinals to be looking for “the same qualities” they found in the late Pontiff.  “I am confident that such a person would emerge” he said, adding that “whoever is chosen, God will give that person the grace and strength he needs.”

Asked if he thought  the Pope’s death would “shake the faith” of many, Archbishop Bernardin replied that the event rather would likely to serve persons of faith as an occasion for reflection on the human condition and on death as “a prelude to eternal life.”

Cardinal Albino Luciani (CT /Archive Photo)
Cardinal Albino Luciani (CT /Archive Photo)

John Paul I was born Albino Luciani on October 17, 1912 in Forno di Canale in Northern Italy.  He was ordained a priest on July 7, 1935. On December 15, 1958 he was appointed Bishop of Vittorio Veneto by Pope John XXIII. On December 15, 1969 he was appointed Patriarch of Venice by Pope Paul VI. After the death of Pope Paul VI, during the Papal Conclave in August 1978 he was elected Pope and chose the name of his two predecessors.

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