Statements from the National Catholic Educational Association on the Death of Pope John Paul II and Election of Pope Benedict XVI

Article excerpt

Pope John Paul II

The entire National Catholic Educational Association community is saddened by the death of Pope John Paul II. The Holy Father was a strong advocate of Catholic education. We remember fondly his visit with Catholic educators in New Orleans in 1987 when he called Catholic education in the United States a "gift to the church and a gift to the nation."

Yet even as we mourn, we know that death is not to be feared. For us who believe in the resurrection, death is but another milepost on our journey to our loving God. Pope John Paul lived a life of inspirational leadership and dignity. He demonstrated those same qualities as he faced his own death.

Pope John Paul II was a great educator. In the coming days, his legacy will be honored in Catholic schools and religious education programs throughout the nation. His legacy will live on long after the ceremonies are over.

Pope Benedict XVI

On behalf of Catholic educators, I extend warm and heartfelt congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI as he begins his Petrine ministry. …