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horizontal rule invited visitors to its news web site to send a brief note sharing their views on the death of the pope. They received thousands of responses. A few from South America are listed below. Some have been edited.

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South American Emails received by CNN:

bullet I'm a 24-year-old student, born and raised Catholic. By the age of 15, I got a slap in the face by my mother in front of the church because I didn't want to enter the home of God. At that time I didn't believe in such things. After all, I didn't know what to believe in. I struggled through life not knowing what or in whom to believe. And therefore I went to many different churches of many religions. I talked to all kinds of priests and pastors, but still I wasn't convinced. Then I saw a documentary on this fine pope: Huan Pablo 2 (John Paul II). And it all became clear to me: As long as you have faith, it's all good. After all, we are all children of the same God. I may not be the perfect Catholic and I may not even enter a church, but because of this holy man, I now know what and in whom to believe: God, our father in heaven. May the pope rest in peace and enjoy eternal life by our father's side. Larissa Croes; Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
bullet I love Pope John Paul II very much. When I knew he was dead I felt a deep sadness about it, but also I was happy because he's finally in the presence of our lord. I respect him so much and I was praying and continue praying for him and his soul. God bless him now and ever. Mapi Tomasevich; Lima, Peru
bullet I feel a deep sorrow for the departure of John Paul II, the pope of peace, of unity, of hope, of immense love. He made this world a better place to live; he changed history. I also feel peace for he is with God now. And it's amazing to see millions of people from different religions all around the world united to mourn him, to pray for him and to pay tribute to him. Somehow, John Paul II's mission is accomplished. Clara Pardo; Buenos Aires, Argentina
bullet In Peru, we still remember the time when he approached the youth and spoke to us about our main mission on this planet. He touched my very soul like no other earthly being here. I remember well that we had to walk...for kilometers to reach him, but it doesn't matter now because we got the message. Now I have a radio show every Sunday and I use it for changing youths' minds, and always, to the light. Helene Ramos; Lima, Peru
bullet Being Greek Orthodox, I do not believe in the pope; however, I respect pope John Paul II for his legacy, and his quest for peace around the world. The world has lost a one-of-a-kind man; never again will we presence a holy figure of such proportions. Nicolas Sobredo; Santiago, Chile
bullet To me, he was the man who brought the Church from the 17th to the 21st Century. My first pope, the one and only. I cared so much for him, as he did for us. One great man. I'm having the feeling, as I'm 21 years old now, I'll never care for another pope as I did and do, for Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II). Gaston; Buenos Aires, Argentina
bullet I feel very proud to have lived through the 26 years of John Paul II's papacy. The pope was an example of dignity, humanity, peace and God's love. Of course, I feel very sad because we lost a great leader, friend. However, I feel very proud and happy, because we have one more good saint in heaven! Ubaldo Diaz; Maracaibo, Venezuela
bullet Although he was controversial over some religious and moral issues, Pope John Paul II is surely one of the most influential leaders of modern times. He confronted tyranny and the arrogance of political regimes and their leaders with a tenacious defense of justice and peace, the basis for domestic and world democracy. He (fought) against the widespread injustice in both the communist and capitalist worlds and firmly believed in and courageously preached in favor of freedom, justice, and peace for the whole world. His journeys throughout the world attest to it undeniably. Haydn Pimenta; Belo Horizonte, Brazil
bullet I had the opportunity to see Pope John Paull II in his visit to El Salvador. I was about 12 years old at that time and I will never forget what I felt when I saw him. I could feel an enormous peace in my heart, a notable and uncontrollable happiness layed between the hearts that saw him. A man that has changed my way of seeing things. Because people like him make better persons. He has now left us, but his legacy will always be carried and practiced. We will always remember Pope John Paul II and how he has reunited with God, I'm sure he is so happy right now. Rest in peace holy man. El Salvador Central America will carry you in our hearts forever. Alejandra; San Salvador, El Salvador
bullet Juan Pablo II (Karol Wojtyla) was the most wonderful man over the world. He made us see the face of God in everything he did. For me, was a very important man. He, Juan Pablo II, made me feel the presence of God helping people, watching them, laughing or crying with everyone over the World. Yesterday, during a mass in my country for his health, I know he was saying goodbye to Peru and to everyone here... and we, also say "goodbye" because he is not going to be physically with us but, I am completely sure that Juan Pablo II is watching now us from the sky, with God and Virgen Maria at his sides. Goodbye, Juan Pablo II, a face of God on the Earth. Susy Nunez Campos; Lima Peru
bullet Even as an atheist...I'm deeply sorry for the pope's death. He was a remarkably determined man, and his principles and beliefs, made him a soldier of peace, fighting every day for love and peace. Martin; Rosario, Argentina
bullet I feel like part of me is gone with him. A feeling of being unprotected, because He was like a father to all of us. There is an emptiness in me, sadness that goes beyond words. Elsa Arosemena; Panama, Paraguay
bullet I think his fight for love, peace and understanding between people, no matter what religion, what culture, what country they could come from is his great legacy. He was a great man, now he is a saint for me. Julieta Pedrosa; Brasilia, Brazil

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References used:

bullet "Pope John Paul II: Your e-mails: South America," 2005-APR-03,, at:

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Copyright is held by the various Emailers
Originally posted: 2005-APR-04
Latest update: 2005-APR-04

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