VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2001 (Zenit.org).- New York´s latest air tragedy was big news — at the Vatican.
A special issue of the Italian edition of L´Osservatore Romano on sale Monday afternoon, headlined “Consternation and Anguish,” carried articles on the Airbus A300 crash as well as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The front page of the supplement was dedicated to the American Airlines jetliner that crashed in Queens, minutes after takeoff from Kennedy Airport. All 260 people on board, most of them from the Dominican Republic, were killed.
The semiofficial Vatican newspaper closed its afternoon edition shortly after the accident occurred. It asked whether it was an “accident or a new act of madness.”
The second page included a sequence of photographs and an article that describes Sunday´s “moving ceremony” at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, where a memorial was held for the victims of the “Muslim terrorist” attacks on the Twin Towers.
Another article pays homage to the firefighters, “heroes” of New York, and publishes a photograph of President George W. Bush in the ruins of the World Trade Center, as he spoke to firefighters and rescuers on a megaphone.
The third page of the newspaper includes texts of 16 addresses of John Paul II, between Oct. 4 and Nov. 12, headlined: “The Incessant Cry for Peace That Has Risen from the Heart of John Paul II Following the Tragic Terrorist Attacks in the United States.”
In the center of the page is a photograph of the Pope taken last Saturday when he met with a New York firefighter who gave him the helmet of the fire department´s chaplain, who died after the Sept. 11 attack.
The caption at the bottom of the picture reminds the reader that the Pope´s prayer for peace has not ceased since Sept. 11, that “dark day in the history of humanity.”