Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM flags half-mast to honor of Pope John Paul II

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): April 4, 2005 - President Joseph J. Urusemal has ordered today, the flags of the Federated States of Micronesia be flown at half-mast for four consecutive days to honor the death of Pope John Paul II.

A Diplomatic Note was received today at the Department of Foreign Affairs from the Apostolic Nunciature in Wellington announcing "the death of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, in Vatican, on Saturday April 2, 2005."

President Urusemal message of condolence to the Apostolic Nunciature reads:

"On behalf of the people of the Federated States of Micronesia, I express my sincerest condolences on the passing of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. The great pontiff will be remembered not only as a tireless and devoted servant of God, but also as a world leader and advocate of religious freedom and reconciliation, human rights and third world development. His life demonstrated a great spirit of understanding, humility and wisdom. We offer our prayers and may God help us bear this tremendous loss."

The Apostolic Nunciature in Wellington is the top level of diplomatic mission for the Holy See or the Vatican City in the Pacific. The FSM had established Diplomatic Relations with the Holy See in January of 1997 under the reign of Pope John Paul II.

Also under the reign of the late Pope, the Diocese of the Eastern Caroline Islands was established with Bishop Amando Samo of the FSM as head of the Diocese that oversees the Catholic Missions in FSM and Palau.

Polish-born Karol Józef Wojtyla, became known as John Paul II on October 1978 when he was elected to the papacy.

Born on May 18, 1920, Pope John Paul II, the third longest-serving pontiff in history, died on April 2 2005. He was 84.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356