Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei, I ask you kindly to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Kung family and to all present at the solemn Mass of Christian Burial. I join all of you in giving thanks to Almighty God for the late Cardinal's priestly and episcopal ministry in the Diocese of Shanghai, his heroic fidelity to Christ amid persecution and imprisonment, and his outstanding witness of communion with the Universal Church and the Successor of Peter. Commending the soul of this noble son of China and of the Church to the infinite mercy of Our Heavenly Father, I pray that having shared so deeply in Christ's sufferings he may now receive the unfading crown of glory which the Chief Shepherd reserves for those who have followed Him faithfully to the end. At the same time I renew my fervent prayer for the intentions of the Church in China so close to the late Cardinal's heart. To all I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Joannes Paulus PP II