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Pope John Paul II: What's the lead?

Terry Mattingly

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Theologian George Weigel needs a Global Positioning System transmitter on his wrist so journalists can keep track of him.

As author of the 1008-page "Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II," his life has been hectic since the news flash that the shepherd of the world's 1 billion Catholics had been rushed to hospital, gasping for breath.

Weigel said a network-news reporter recently called and asked, " 'Where are you going to be tonight, in case something happens to the pope?' Well, I said, 'I'm going to church and I'm going home and eat dinner with my family. That's what we do on Ash Wednesday. Is that OK?' "

Reporters are trying to cover their bases. The panic also may have been fueled by another reality. This pope's life is impossible to capture in a few dramatic images, a three-minute sound-bite blitz and a sentence or two about the length of his tenure (second longest ever) and the number of nations he has visited (125 so far).

Read the entire article on the Terry Mattingy website (new window will open).

Posted: 24-Feb-05



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