CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2008 |
As a young boy in Poland before World War II, Karol Jozef Wojtyla possessed an uncommon warmth for an often reviled group of outsiders -- Jews. Like most others in his hometown, Wojtyla was Catholic. But he counted Jewish children among his friends -- attending school with them, even playing goalie on their soccer team. Wojtyla was speechless when one of them, a fellow actor in drama club, informed him that she was leaving to escape looming anti-Semitism.
April 2, 2007 |
Soon after he died two years ago, Pope John Paul II was practically declared a saint by vox populi. Banners demanding "Santo Subito!" (Sainthood Now!) crowned the crowds of people who filled St. Peter's Square to mourn the pontiff. Today, on the second anniversary of his death, John Paul will take a significant step closer to sainthood.
April 3, 2006 |
Tens of thousands of people clutching candles filled St. Peter's Square to mark the first anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death with a prayer vigil that culminated with a blessing by the current pontiff. Polish flags fluttered in the cool evening breeze, the candles twinkled, and a choir sang hymns during the vigil, which ended with the blessing by Benedict XVI at 9:37 p.m. -- the moment that John Paul, a Pole, died a year ago.
March 3, 2006 |
It has persisted as one of the most mysterious cases of international intrigue in recent times: Who shot the pope? A committee of Italy's Parliament investigating the 1981 attempt to assassinate John Paul II released its conclusion Thursday that "beyond any reasonable doubt" the Soviet Union ordered the attack that seriously wounded the pope as he greeted crowds in St. Peter's Square. The Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, was long ago condemned in the shooting and served 19 years in jail.
January 17, 2006 |
A military hospital pronounced the Turk who shot Pope John Paul II unfit for military service, ending days of speculation over whether 48-year-old Mehmet Ali Agca would be forced to serve. Agca hid behind a beret as he entered the grounds of the military hospital in a car, his first public appearance since he vanished after his release from a high-security prison last week.
January 9, 2006 |
The man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 will be released from prison this week after a court decided he had completed his sentence for the attack on the pontiff and other crimes. The ruling on Mehmet Ali Agca, who had served almost 20 years in Italy before being extradited to Turkey in 2000, took the Vatican by surprise. Agca shot the pope in the abdomen in St. Peter's Square in Rome on May 13, 1981. His motive remains unclear.