Pope Died As He Lived: Propped Up For Public Viewing

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Pope Died As He Lived: Propped Up For Public Viewing

VATICAN CITY—Pope John Paul II—whose tremendous faith, courage, and ability to be positioned inspired millions of Catholics worldwide—died this week as he lived: propped up for public viewing. "Whether wedged into the glass confines of his custom-made vehicle or placed, often unknowingly, on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope John Paul was a stirring symbol of peace, beloved for being put on display before thousands of adoring followers," Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said Thursday. "While Pope John Paul II, the man, may have passed on, we must never forget what he, with the help of assistants gripping him by the upper arms, stood for." To the faithful, Pope John Paul II was a figurehead who can never be replaced, except by whichever figurehead is chosen to stand in his place.