Leahy Reflects on Pope

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Senator Patrick Leahy says being able to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul the second is one of the most important events of his 30-year career in the United States Senate. Leahy, who is Catholic, was part of a fourteen-member Senate delegation to attend the funeral.

Speaking from a US Air Force jet on a return trip the United States, Leahy noted that he had been present when the Pope was installed in 1978.

(Leahy)”It was very very moving I thought of the sort of arc of thing. I’m the only senator who was there who is still in the Senate. I thought of the sense of excitement that I felt at his installation and now almost an overwhelming sense of peace both at the viewing of the body and again today at the funeral.”

Leahy says one of the Pope’s greatest contributions was his extensive travel around the world to help renew the faith of millions of people.

(Leahy) “But he actually saw people. He saw more people around the world than any Pope ever had actually seen them, not just on television, but were in his presence. And I’ve been with him several times, and I tell you, it is an amazing presence and you feel his sense of spirituality.”

Leahy says he hopes the next pope will be able to build on the successes of John-Paul.

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