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Chuck Colson Praises Pope John Paul II as Promoter of Christian Unity

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service WASHINGTON, D.C. (ANS) -- Prison Fellowship Founder and President Chuck Colson praised Pope John Paul II as "one of the truly heroic figures of the 20th century."

Colson, whom TIME magazine credited as the Washington power broker who helped cobble together an alliance of Evangelicals and Catholic Conservatives, said Pope John Paul II, "will be remembered not only as a great leader, but as one of the handful of people singularly responsible for the collapse of the Soviet empire."

Colson said that Joseph Stalin once derisively asked, "How many divisions does the Pope have?"

"John Paul II answered that question and changed the world," Colson said.

"I had the honor of meeting his Holiness, and I have actively been a part of a
collaborative fellowship called Evangelicals and Catholics Together," said Colson in a statement released after the news of the Pope's death on April 2.

"The Pope's willingness to reach out to Christians outside of the Roman Catholic faith was critical to promoting unity across the Christian family. His vision, his determination, and his loving spirit will be missed by Christians around the world," Colson said.

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Michael Ireland is an international British freelance journalist. A former reporter with a London newspaper, Michael is the Chief Correspondent for ASSIST News Service of Garden Grove, Calif. Michael immigrated to the United States in 1982 and became a U.S. citizen in September 1995. He is married with two children. Michael has also been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station.

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