You know - it really says a lot when someone (like Billy Graham or even myself) who has tremendous theological differences with the Catholic Church can still have such huge respect for someone like John Paul II.
I don't know many people who would argue with the fact that this Pope has done more for the cause of peace and for morality in the world in the last century.
As a Baptist, I tend to think in terms of "Saved" and "unsaved" or "lost", and the term Saved often doesn't get applied to Catholics in my mind (and please don't blast me for that - I'm not stirring for a fight), but if ever there has been a Catholic who I would consider to be a "Saved" man - John Paul II would definitely fit that bill. George Bush's comments were also right on track.
Pope John Paul II worked harder than any of his predecessors to mend rifts between Roman Catholics and Protestants. I think very few Catholics would dispute that there was a great deal of corruption in the Catholic Church that lead to the Reformation. The Pope sought to clarify that all Christians achieve salvation through faith in the Lord. Christianity is under a massive assault from the left and the Pope was very vocal in his teachings that morality is a "black and white" matter.
Catholics accept Christ as their savior why would you consider them as unsaved? trying to understand not pick a fight.
Given the poor state of catechesis in many American Catholic churches, I am not sure I can totally blame you.
Many a time I have met a Southern Baptist who says "I used to be a Catholic, and then I was saved." I lament their loss from the Church, but it is also clear that in many cases the church they went to was not evangelizing them.
We have a ways to go in cleaning up the mess of the last four decades. Unfortunately our dissenters, unlike yours, tend to stick around. :-)
Probably an oversight by the way, but you no doubt would add Mother Theresa to your list.