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Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla in 1920, died yesterday at age 84, after many recent health setbacks. There is wall-to-wall coverage on TV, in newspapers, and on the Internet, so here are just a few links:
- The Vatican's official site dedicated to John Paul II
- The NY Times has a special Pope John Paul II section (including an editorial). Robert D. McFadden's obituary is fascinating (and also very thorough); Gothamist was intrigued by the beginning, in which McFadden recounts the announcement of Pope John Paul's papacy: Pope John Paul II appeared for the first time and spoke to the crowds at St. Peter's Square:

"I do not know whether I can express myself in your - in our - Italian language," he said, pausing.

The crowd roared appreciatively, and the laughter swelled into resounding cheers.

"If I make mistakes," he added, beaming suddenly, "you will correct me."

Tumult erupted.

The cheers went on and on, and then grew into rhythmic waves that broke on the basilica facade and echoed across the square in a thundering crescendo:

"Viva il Papa!

"Viva il Papa!

"Viva il Papa!"

- There are many stories about the Pope's influence in New York City and to New Yorkers: From the beginning of his papacy, his two visits to NYC, how locals are mourning, to condolences from local clergy, the kinds of masses held today and even mention of Mets catcher Mike Piazza's meeting with the Pope.
- Other special sections from the Daily News, Newsday, and Washington Post.
- And the next question in the Vatican is who will be the next Pope?