President Reagan had many political allies. We often write and talk about his relationship and friendship with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. And, of course, we also talk and write about his relationship, and ultimately friendship, with the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev. Another leader with whom President Reagan had a special rapport was Pope John Paul II. As a best-selling author, Craig Shirley wrote in a 2015 Op/Ed, “Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II were men of the same moment. They were both horrified by nuclear war, they both hated communism and the Soviet Union, they both had been shot but survived and they both forgave their assailants.” As we recall, President Reagan survived his assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. Just six weeks later, on May 13, 1981, so did the Pope. Upon hearing the news of the shooting, President Reagan issued this message to the Pope: Let's listen.
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