Articles from the Argentinian press
( Part III )
John Paul I in the public opinion "
Testimonies gathered in occasion of the Holy Father's
- " Pope John Paul I took his mission to heart. He wanted to give so much ". (Sister
Marie Charles from Paris).
I felt this type of a sorrow that many know : the death of a dear being.
We still have the memory of a man that radiated joy and serenity with his
charming smile ". (Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster).
" In the few weeks of his reign, Pope Johan Paul I won the
appreciation of his Church and the world
We feel much sorrow for his death ". (James Carter, President of
" The Church has suffered a hard blow. It seemed that the election of
this man, relatively young, was going to allow to the Church to work
calmly during a long time under his guide. But, obviously, the plans of
the Lord were different ". (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, Archbishop of
- " I was very surprised by the news. I did not know if it was a dream or reality. In recent times, we have turned from the pain to the happiness and, from the happiness, to the pain, but we do not forget that, definitively, John Paul was the Shepherd of God on earth and that the main chief is God ". (Msgr. Pio Laghi, Apostolic Nunzio in Argentina).
" He was a friend: one of us
addressed him as tú and he called him simply ' father '. We
accompanied him very often through Venice, on his visits to the parishes, since
his arrival as Patriarch of the city. In the late afternoon, in Summer, the
Patriarch walked along the wharf : we greeted him, wanted to kiss his hand, but
he avoided the ceremonies. He asked us how we were, about the children; he knew
all of us. In the Holy Week and Christmas we were going to greet him; he was
pleased to see us. He was a simple man, who loved everybody and they all loved
him; there is no family in Venice that does not remember him with delight, who
has not a picture of him taken on the occasion of a Baptism or a First Holy
Communion ". (Gondolieri from Saint Mark' s wharf, in Venice).
" It was such a sudden thing that has left us very dismayed. It is a very
big loss in the history of the Church in this new chapter - which was opened
with great hope.
We are very hurt and I think this feeling is shared, not only by people from
Argentina, but by the whole world, because he had won the hearts of
us all ". (Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu, Archbishop of Buenos
" With a sigh, he had conquered the love of
all, as a sigh, he has gone away. His work, though brief, has left a light that
also leaves a perfume of kindness ". (Cardinal Giovanni Colombo, Archbishop of Milan).
impossible; it cannot be true. He had hardly
opened his arms
towards all of us, and now he has gone away so soon ". (A disconsolate
woman in Saint Peter's Basilica).
impossible; you must be joking! Do you mean this Pope, the new Pope
? I don'
t believe you ".
Weir, a Venezuelan tourist).
" I hardly
saw the Pope on
Wednesday and, the following day, he was dead. It must
be Gods' hand ".
(Michael Moynihan, an American
" His Pontificate, exceptionally brief but so rich of human and Christian
meaning - the promise of a spiritual Spring, showed the world the only way that
men must follow for their own redemption. Catholics, faithful to the clarity as
a crystal of faith, pray to the Almighty because, through John Paul I'
s merits, the militant
Church can soon have a shepherd who really can
be measured up to him".
(Traditionalist movement Civiltà Cristiana).
" I couldn'
t believe it. It was
so incredible that, when I listened to the news, I called the Vatican. John Paul
I was transmitting a happiness that gave an impression of warmth and
Christianity. It is the biggest blow. The sorrow for this death will be so great
as great was the happiness for his election ". (Cardinal Jan Willebrands,
Archbishop of Utrecht).
" It was an extraordinary blow, due to the fact that we expected so much
from Pope John Paul I. I had great hope in this Pope. He was the 'smiling'
and the 'happiness'
Pope. The happiness of the Pope brings back hope to the Christians and to all
the men of the world and I think that is what we all need: to conquer the hope
again ". (Cardinal Vicente Enrique and Tarancón, Archbishop of Madrid -
" His was a very promissory Pontificate. We all were full of hope before
this gift for the Church. The Pope was full of greatness that could have bloomed still
more. I think that very rarely someone conquers
hearts with such speed ". (Cardinal Leo Suenens, Archbishop of
" It seems that God only showed the figure of a great Pope to the world and
He took him to live in His peace ". (Cardinal Raúl Primatesta, Archbishop
" We want the
next one be like him ". (Unanimous opinion picked up in Saint Peter 's
" Don Luciani was like us.
He thought of the poor, because he was born poor ". (A neighbour from '
Borgo Pio ').
" There is too much sadness. Two Popes died in less than two months and the
situation of the country, which gives so many motives to be worried about. Don
Albino brought so much happiness and so much faith. Now, the truth is that my
hopes have fallen down, sir ". (An elderly lady).
" Maybe never
in the history of the Church a Pope
be equal to John Paul I in the facility, softness and rapidity with which he
penetrated into the hearts of men
and women of the whole world, as a shepherd who loves ". (Father Pedro
Arrupe, General Superior of the Jesuits).
" It was as if
the Pope was one of us". (A moved bank
" It is like as
if every family had lost the most dear being ". (Father Rinaldo Andrich,
parish Priest of Canale D'Agordo).
" I was impressed
very much by
the Pope 's death ,
because it has demonstrated that the Lords' Will is really mysterious: it is
true that God's thought is not that of men ". (King Baldouin of Belgium).
" John Paul I was tremendously anxious about the violence in the world,
and especially about the
penuries that causes
civil war in Lebanon ". (Walter Mondale, Vice-President of USA).
" The world will remember the illuminated smile and shepherd's simplicity
of Pope John Paul I ". (Valery Giscard d'Estaing, President of France).
" The humility and the kindness demonstrated by His Holiness
will continue being a lasting and inspiring memory ". (Queen Elizabeth II
of Great Britain).
" John Paul I
death will make the world tremble ". (Reverend Donald Coggan, Anglican
Archbishop of Canterbury).
always mourn the
death of a spirit of peace; of a liberal spirit.
He was a Pope with a smile, a hope and a
good will, who
followed with warm attention the negotiations on Middle East ". (Shimon
Peres, leader of the Israeli Labour Party).
" It is a painful resolution
" (Cardinal Josef Hoeffner, Archbishop of Cologne).
" Our return to Rome, in so short a time, is really unexpected, but, as Job
says, God has given and God has taken back.
I think the Lord gave us the most beautiful gift in the person of John Paul. He
and was precious to the Church ". (Cardinal Humbert Medeiros, Archbishop of
" We are here
with sorrow but also with the memory that Pope John Paul I illuminated the whole
world with his smile and his kindness. That is to say, in this world,
humility and simplicity are needed. He gave
humanity that warmth and happiness which it needed
so much ". (Cardinal Timothy Manning, Archbishop of Los Angeles).
" It is
incredible how Pope Luciani had instantaneously
gained the hearts of the people ". (A European Cardinal).
" We are poor and
we only have come to see how our Shepherd receives Christian burial. He will be
recognized as a Saint.
His days as Chief of the Church, though brief, could not have been more
wonderful ". (Inhabitants of Belluno).
" To His Holiness,
John Paul I. You have
passed among us as a wonderful dream, giving us your
smile, kindness and paternal blessing. Our eternal gratitude accompanies
you in Heaven. October 4th,
1978 ". (from a funeral notice appeared on "Il Messaggero" of
" I am very sad.
It is raining, I know, but I don
Venerani, who has traveled the whole night from Canale D'Agordo for
the Pope 's funeral in
" He had given
Confirmation. His faith is still recorded in my mind.
We loved him, not only for his humility, but also because he
was like us ". (Gabriele
Del Magro, from Feltre).
" He has opened
new ways, started a period of strong renovation inside the Church. It is not
possible to say that the briefness of John Paul I 's Pontificate has prevented
him from making his programme. His very brief pastoral ministry has been a
wonderful synthesis of his immediate predecessors: John XXIII and Paul VI
". (Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of
Religious and Secular Institutes).
- " He was a different Pope ". " He was the dawn that didn 't become a day ". " A breath of evangelical freshness in Saint Peters ". " Behind the smile, there was a profound knowledge of the Church ". (Pilgrims in Saint Peter 's Square).
Weekly Catholic magazine "Esquiú", October 8th, 1978
The smiling Pope
smile of the Pope or the
Pope ? Or both together.? The smile - says Martín Fierro (n.
from the gaucho Argentinian literature) - belongs to a Christian. And Chesterton
said the same : " Happiness was a sad mask in pagan and a very big secret in
Spanish journalist, on having known about the election of Cardinal Luciani,
expressed: " God does not allow us
to steal his smile ".
smile was like his charisma; his distinctive note, his touch
of charm. It was warm, natural, spontaneous, sincere, and contagious. His smile
was a flowering of his interior. It was the light lit at the window of his face,
indicating to us that his father
's heart was inside.
stereotyped smile, neither for advertising, nor for the sophisticated social
meetings. It was a smile without previous
fresh air as in Spring, lively as a gazelle, joyful
as a sleigh-bell, contagious as a dialogue. It was not the smile that we are use
to seeing in television shows.
smile was an essential part of his life.
We do not have any doubt that the smile was, in him,
happy witness of his interior peace, John
Paul 's smile was the cultivation of his soul. His smile was not mechanical,
detachable, not a smile for export;
it was a smile born from his kindness and his interior peace. A full
smile is not only one of the best tranquilizers against all the vicissitudes
for us on the route, but it is a singular element to preserve
that, for him, the
laugh of a man was more eloquent
than all the studies that could be made about his personality. So, in that sense,
we can affirm that the smile was, in John Paul I, a definition.
was a reflex of the whole life taken root on faith, hope and love. It was the
fruit of his optimism of baptism.
smile is a curve that, paradoxically, can straighten up many things, and that
one was the hope of the humanity of today.
warm smile was the whole promise for a convulsed world that today stays
suspended facing his tragic death. His smile was an exponent of his love of life
and exultant happiness which could conquer Christianity and humanity, scarcely
put out to ' Saint Peter
loggia ', for his first blessing " Urbi et Orbi ".
smile has gone out forever.
We will not see it any more in the papal
audiences, but it will
remain recorded for all the lives of those
who saw it personally or on TV.
fleeting step on Peter 's See was more than enough to get into the soul of
Christian people, because his open smile had its secret roots in his great
humility and in his charming simplicity.
I am only a poor
man, accustomed to simple things and silence
". Like this, secretly and suddenly, he introduced himself at the House of
the Father, with the light lit in his bedroom and the smile lit n his face.
Unexpectedly, the phrase of the psalmist had been fulfilled in him: "
Agreeable it is to God's eyes the death of the just ".
Like a sticker in the soul, his smile still remains on us !
"Clarín", October 8th, 1978
with Cardinal Raúl Primatesta, Archbishop of Córdoba and President of the
Argentinian Episcopal Conference
VATICAN CITY, 8
(from our correspondent, Julio
To make a balance of these two so important and dramatic months that the
Church is living was the central intention of the dialogue. It was also the
It is difficult to make so wide a balance - he
answered-, from Paul VI 's death up to John Paul I.'s death.
Why? Because there has
been too much publicity and too much cheap publicity. It would be necessary to
separate the different
moments. The moment of Paul VI 's death took us by surprise - even when one
speaks about the Pope 's
death like something which was expected,
almost naturally since he was elderly and sick. Even so, it awakened a certain 'curiosity',
for his death came suddenly. This is a lesson that it is necessary to
take into account. This death changed the plans of a lot of people and immediately
ponderings, judgments, ideas about who was going to be the successor.
Was the mistake again made of treating the topic in excessively temporary terms?
Yes, many people were speaking as if there was a political division in parties.
Well, each one speaks about the fair according to the success
in it. This caused, in
general, an anxiety: who is going to be the Pope? It will be a difficult
conclave, they said, because it will be hard for the Cardinals to be
But the human programme failed again. As Christians, we must put the question in terms of faith: the Holy Spirit arranged it that, in little more than six hours, the Cardinals were choosing a Pope. A Pope who fell down suddenly, one who was practically unknown. A journalist had the honesty to state: " He was always passing always near me and I didn't even take a picture ".
then, Pope Luciani appears
makes the first confusion with his simplicity, with his nearness. A shepherd,
this man that, with just one word, in his first public audience (Sunday, August
in Saint Peter 's Square), saying: "
yesterday ... ",
changed everything, cast off; started a freedom of expression that was continued
in so many details. It is necessary to remember his audience with the Cardinals,
when he put aside the official speech; the serenity and clarity with which he
spoke to the diplomats, to let them see the sense that high politics or
diplomacy can have before the Vatican, before the Pope, who is a shepherd.
the meeting that
had with the journalists - difficult people
in which he told
truths but he
also exalted the
task they have to fulfill.
It was never taken into
account that this
was John Paul I 's third audience as Supreme Pontiff.
Later, in the brief period of his Pontificate, he
communication that he had
with Roman people and with people who came here. A communication that, rapidly, was spread all
over the world.
fall in love with the Pope, as it is recognized by the observers?
Right. In love with a simple Pope, who used to speak to God's people. Yet they
also fell in love with a sure Pope
in the doctrine, a man who was marking a very good, precise line. From the first
speech, this was very
clear: when he spoke about the Church, about the Church which is love, which
must have understanding and be opened everywhere; about the Church which is
charity, but that must be accompanied by truth and discipline. In
that way, he was marking other guidelines of service and action.
for example, at a detail that addressees have estimated very much. He spoke, in
passing, not about Priests in general but about parish Priests. A parish Priest
is like the most nearby link that joins people with the
Hierarchy. He is not the Hierarchy but he is what is more nearby.
John Paul I spoke about parish Priests, because he always had this idea of shepherd,
of a shepherd who gives a doctrine - and he
gave that doctrine
He was a well known pedagogue of Catechism ...
A pedagogue who could take advantage of situations., as in the general audience, when
he invited a boy to converse, and the boy told him he didn't want to change to
secondary school. John Paul I made a memorable interpretation of progress,
it, as a last
resort, to spiritual progress in God
's love. Like this,
with that sincerity, he was coming to the people. That is why his sudden death
dismayed everyone so
there was another human failure.
It was said before the conclave : Cardinals
will have to elect a not -so- young Pope, because a long Pontificate takes the
risk of falling down into
a routine. Other totally human considerations were also
made. Against what it
was necessary to expect, from this angle, was
elected a younger
and that young Pope
died after 33 days. God has His
you give it?
Cardinal Siri said on Thursday, during the nine days
Mass we concelebrated in Saint Peter in John Paul I 's memory, something
very interesting, simple and deep
"Pope Luciani came to open a
it and left with God."
add ? Before
it was said: it will be so difficult to elect a Paul
VI 's successor, a Pope of this size, who will be able to carry the load? Yet,
on the other hand, John Paul I came, who was
practically not expected
by anybody, and now, after what he made in a short time, we wonder : who can
take John Paul's I legacy ? The Church waits. (...)
The brief period of John Paul I; was it a
great Pontificate that could not be?
Why could it not be ?
I would say :
it is. It is not necessary to measure it in time but in values. John Paul I
discovered and brought a message, a life
style. He said: we are
too 'complicated'; it is necessary to pose the big values clearly and simply.
He was a simple Pope of great ideas. That is why, it is not necessary to measure
the time of his presence but the influence and the turn of rudder he gave in his
so-brief Pontificate. (...)
These crowds around John Paul I, so in
public audiences as in his funeral; will
they be 'present' in the Conclave, at least,
in the minds of all of
Who can leave them imprudently aside ? People are anxious to listen and they
The Church finds Gods' people in a moment of a high awareness.
A people capable of understanding and capable of deciding for themselves. It is
necessary to take into account this need
of the people.
The example was given by John Paul I. Any sensible person takes into account
this indication. Pope Luciani, who had put aside the gestatorian
chair during the audiences - then accepted it humbly so that people could see
him. It is not possible to ignore the people, who sometimes say the things
without words, but
they say them.
the funeral in the rain last Wednesday. There was much speculation
about the need to hold the ceremonies inside the Basilica due to the
storm that there was in Rome for several days. However, the Mass was celebrated
in the open air, because God's people wanted to say goodbye to His Shepherd.
Nobody was capable of taking the responsibility of changing this reality.
"Radiolandia 2000", October 1978
It seems a dream...
it is a true memory, indelible, for fifteen Argentinian
journalists (among eight hundred from all the world) who participated in
the audience - the only one dedicated to the press (as history will
record) – that John Paul has granted in his short reign (hardly 33 days).
had been one of them. I have seen him coming in with agile step, with a
healthy pink colour on his face, with that simple smile, sincere, with
which he will be identified for ever and ever and I have added my applause
to that formidable ovation which greeted his presence. John Paul had
gained the love of the world-wide press.
sat down on his throne and, with that intellectual wisdom that the smile
seemed to disguise, gave a master lesson on the tasks of journalism that
none of his listeners will never forget. Also the Italian colleagues, in
that moment, addressees of a critical flood of irony but also very direct:
" I was greatly amused when reading the chronicles of the pre-conclave
". Yes, Albino Luciani had the virtue of the great shepherds. His
language was simple, but profound at the same time, and it is why he has
been loved - as parish Priest,
as Vicar, Bishop, Cardinal and also in his brief passage through
Saint Peter ' s throne.
ovation, when he left, was even more intense. His figure, tiny, likeable,
and his eyes filled with
his wise words,
remain in the comment of eight hundred journalists from all the
it seems a dream to us ...
John Paul I and the Press
First Pages of Argentinian Newspapers
Articles from the Argentinian press (Part I)
Articles from the Argentinian press (Part II)
from the Argentinian press (Part III)
Articles from the Italian press