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By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News, September 11, 2018
This is a reposting from 2015.
VATICAN CITY — As three airliners smashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, and Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, at the time the director of the Vatican press office, delivered the news to Pope John Paul II.
“I remember that terrible afternoon as if it were yesterday. I called the Pope, who was at Castel Gandolfo; I gave him the news. He was shocked not only by the tragedy itself, but also because he could not explain how man could achieve this abyss of evil,” he recalled in a 2011 interview with Vatican Insider.
John Paul II, who had grown up to watch his native Poland overtaken first by Nazis and then by the Soviets, and who as pope navigated the dangerous international waters of the Cold War, was no stranger to tragedy and war.
Still, the terror attacks on the United States shook him deeply.
“He was deeply shaken, saddened. But I remember that he asked himself how so heinous an attack could happen. His dismay, in front of those images, went beyond pain,” Navarro-Valls recalled. …