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Common ground

Statements from evangelical leaders on Pope John Paul II

Issue: "Who will be the next pope?," April 16, 2005

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

"John Paul II presented evangelicals with a pope in whom we found amazing ground of agreement and personal respect even as we believe the office he holds is not a biblical office. We saw the dangers of that from time to time, for instance in his pastoral statements on hell and some other things that we felt did not show the same concern for biblical authority that he displayed on the question of life or the objectivity of truth.

"I think evangelicals also recognize that in the passing of John Paul II we may never see his likes again; and there's a real sense of loss in that even as we continue to be greatly concerned about the institution of the papacy, we have great admiration for the man."

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James Dobson, chairman, Focus on the Family:

"Today's passing of Pope John Paul II is an immeasurable loss-not only to our friends of the Roman Catholic faith, but to the entire world. We found common cause with him and with the 'culture of life' he espoused so eloquently; the legacy he left us is to be cherished."

Evangelist Billy Graham:

"Pope John Paul II was unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years. His extraordinary gifts, his strong Catholic faith, and his experience of human tyranny and suffering in his native Poland all shaped him, and yet he was respected by men and women from every conceivable background across the world. He was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone."

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