Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The power of forgiveness

A couple weeks before the Pope's death, I started writing a post about him, but never got around to finishing or posting it. What I was going to say is similar to what my colleague Mark said over at Stones Cry Out. This Pope's firm stance on moral issues made him a stong ally of evangelical protestants --an alliance that is, perhaps, unprecedented in the history of Christendom. And let me echo what Mark said here:

At a time when theological liberalism was as likely to take over the heart of the Catholic Church, he was called by God to be a bastion of support for orthodoxy.

But the image that may stay with me the most is of the Pope meeting with Mehmet Ali Agca, the assassin who gravely wounded the Pope in a 1981 shooting. During the meeting, the Pope forgave Agca for the attack.

Recently, Mehmet's brother Adnan Agca reported that Mehmet was in deep mourning for the Pope.

"He is extremely saddened, he is in grief. He loved the Pope," said Adnan Agca. "They developed a personal friendship while Mehmet Ali was (imprisoned) in Italy, and they had announced their brotherhood.

"The Pope showed my brother and the rest of our family closeness. He was a great man," Adnan Agca said, adding he and his mother were received by the Pope six times at the Vatican over the years.

Forgiveness is really just a small, simple act, but the reverberations echo for years.


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