Pope John Paul II's funeral is set for this Friday. It is not surprising that there will be an unprecedented gathering of leaders. Yet it is daunting when you see actually read who will be in attendance. Let alone viewing this on Friday. We must always keep the possibilities of Peace in our hearts. To think it is not possible is to contribute to the lack thereof. If you don't pray- then put out good, happy thoughts as it works same way. Put your cynical hat in the close just for now. Because what better time to pray for World Peace and "On earth as it is in heaven" then this Friday? These world leaders of immense political and religious power will be honoring a remarkable man of peace who traveled the globe throughout his papacy. And now, the fruits of that travel are evident as all these leaders gather upon the Vatican to celebrate what Pope John Paul II stood for. The love of ALL of mankind no matter your religion, language, background or social standing. Love of God. He once said I answer to no political system, not communism,but surely not capitalism either for I only have to answer to God. Way to walk the walk. First pope ever to enter a mosque in Syria! Put that in our cynical pipe and smoke it!
And so it is that I ask my friends and family and anyone else who comes upon this blog to pray for their protection and pray that the seeds of Peace to be planted on this remarkable day. The funeral will be at 3 am central U.S. Time. 10 A.M. Rome time. When all the world is watching. When all the power struggles cease in celebration of the life of this man of Peace. Amazingly a solar eclipse is occuring same time! And the date 4/08/2005= 1 in numerology (you don't count 0's) What does 1 mean? New beginnings! Surely, at the very least that is fitting for John Paul the Great who I'm sure had a most fitting welcome up there and is now writing poetry and laughing and smiling down upon us all.
Kings, queens and heads of state and government will join pilgrims for the funeral of Pope John Paul II on Friday in what is expected to be the biggest gathering at the Vatican in its history.
US President George W Bush will head the delegation from the United States, the White House said. Britain's Prince Charles postponed his wedding for a day in order to attend.
The following is a list of some of the dignitaries who have said they will attend:
ALBANIA - President Alfred Moisiu, former presidents Sali Berisha and Rexhep Meidani, Prime Minister Fatos Nano.
ARGENTINA - Vice President Daniel Scioli, Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa.
AUSTRALIA - Governor-General Michael Jeffery.
AUSTRIA - President Heinz Fischer, Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel.
BANGLADESH - Food and Disaster Management Minister Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf.
BELGIUM - King Albert II and Queen Paola, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
BOSNIA - Chairman of the state presidency, Borisav Paravac.
BOLIVIA - President Carlos Mesa.
BRAZIL - President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
BRITAIN - Prince Charles, Prime Minister Tony Blair.
BULGARIA - President Georgi Parvanov.
CANADA - Prime Minister Paul Martin.
CHILE - Foreign Minister Ignacio Walker. President Ricardo Lagos cannot attend as his 108-year-old mother is very ill.
CROATIA - President Stjepan Mesic, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.
CUBA - National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon.
CYPRUS - President Tassos Papadopoulos.
CZECH REPUBLIC - President Vaclav Klaus, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - President Joseph Kabila, Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba.
DENMARK - Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
EGYPT - Culture Minister Farouk Hosni.
ESTONIA - President Arnold Ruutel.
EUROPEAN UNION - European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hubner, Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini and External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Also European Parliament president Josep Borrel.
FINLAND - Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
FRANCE - President Jacques Chirac.
GERMANY - President Horst Koehler, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
GREECE - President Karolos Papoulias.
HUNGARY - President Ferenc Madl, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.
INDIA - Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
INDONESIA - Social Welfare Minister Alwi Shihab, Religious Affairs Minister Maftuh Basyuni.
IRAN - President Mohammad Khatami.
IRELAND - President Mary McAleese, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.
ISRAEL - President Moshe Katsav, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.
ITALY - President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
JAPAN - Former foreign minister Yoriko Kawaguchi.
KENYA - Foreign Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Local Government Minister Musikari Kombo.
KOSOVO - President Ibrahim Rugova.
LATVIA - President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.
LEBANON - President Emile Lahoud (Maronite Christian), Prime Minister Omar Karami (Sunni Muslim) and parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri (Shiite Muslim).
LITHUANIA - President Valdas Adamkas.
MACEDONIA - President Branko Crvenkovski.
MALAYSIA - Bernard Dompok, minister in charge of the civil service, Abdullah Mohamad Zin, minister in charge of religious affairs.
MEXICO - President Vicente Fox.
MOZAMBIQUE - President Armando Guebuza.
NETHERLANDS - Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
NEW ZEALAND - Governor-General Silvia Cartwright.
NORWAY - Queen Sonja, Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik (King Harald is in hospital recovering from heart surgery).
PHILIPPINES - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
PORTUGAL - President Jorge Sampaio.
ROMANIA - President Traian Basescu, Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu.
RUSSIA - Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.
PAKISTAN - Religious Affairs Minister Mohammad Ejaz ul Haq.
PALESTINIANS - Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie.
POLAND - President Aleksander Kwasniewski. Lech Walesa and Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Poland's first post-communist president and prime minister.
SERBIA - President Boris Tadic.
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO - President Svetozar Marovic.
SEYCHELLES - Ambassador to France and Italy Callixte d'Offay.
SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Professor S Jayakumar.
SLOVAKIA - President Ivan Gasparovic, Parliament Chairman Pavol Hrusovsky.
SLOVENIA - President Janez Drnovsek, Prime Minister Janez Jansa, Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, who will represent the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
SPAIN - King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
SOUTH AFRICA - Deputy President Jacob Zuma.
SRI LANKA - Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.
SWEDEN - King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia.
SYRIA - President Bashar al-Assad.
TURKEY - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
UKRAINE - President Viktor Yushchenko.
UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-general Kofi Annan.
UNITED STATES - President George W Bush, former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush Snr, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Metropolitan Kirill, head of external relations for the Moscow Patriarchate. (Patriarch Alexiy II - who repeatedly refused to meet the Pope - will not attend).
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I.
Spiritual head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
Chief Rabbinate Director-General Oded Viner.
Greek Orthodox leader, Archbishop Christodoulos.
Turkey's Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II.
Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir.
Romania's Orthodox patriarch, Teoctist.
Bulgaria's Orthodox Rousse Bishop Neofit and Vidin Bishop Domitian.
Norwegian Bishop Finn Wagle of the Protestant state church.
Swedish Lutheran archbishop, KG Hammar.
Head of Uganda's Catholic Church, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala.
Albanian religious leaders: Selim Muca of the (Sunni) Muslim community, Rrok Mirdita, the Catholic Archbishop, Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi of the (Shiite) Bektashi Muslim sect and Orthodox Archbishop Anastasios of the Orthodox community.