Recently in Pope John Paul II Category
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Interesting words from a pope famously precise about his use of language. I'm just sayin'.
"The luminous light of harmonious relations will celebrate worldwide human wisdom."
"The mysterious liturgy of peace will enlighten, in some sense, our dialogue of hope."
"The unfathomable light of the Church's other lung will illumine today's great hope for peace."
"The unprecedented depth of our elder brothers in the Faith will further the cause of acceptance of the Church's dialogue of hope."
"The renewing mystery of modern life will deepen , in some sense, our solidarity."
Inspiring words from the late Holy Father Pope John Paul II?
Those are phrases produced by the Pope John Paul II Random Speech Generator.
Boy, I could click that button all day. Good stuff, fellas.
There are two very interesting revelations in the first interview. First, Waldstein claims that the existing English version of TOB is somewhat deficient because of translation inconsistencies. As most reading this will know, the Theology of the Body consists of sequences of addresses that John Paul gave at his weekly Wednesday general audiences over the first several years of his pontificate. The English translation we have now was compiled from the translations published by L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. As Waldstein tells it, from week to week as the adresses were delivered:
Later translators could not go back and change the translation, because it had already been published. The edition by Pauline Books and Media is simply a compilation of these translations.
The second revelation is Waldstein's discovery that the Theology of the Body was originally written in Polish before John Paul even became pope. Waldstein describes coming across the original edition in the John Paul II Archives:
We looked through the Italian materials, but found nothing. We were disappointed, but asked the director of the archives if he had anything else. Yes, he said, we have the materials of the Polish translation, but you will not find anything there that is not in the Italian, because the Italian is the original text.
We decided to take a look nevertheless and found a Polish text that had a five level division with headings I had never seen before. It turns out that Cardinal Wojtyla wrote the theology of the body in Polish before his election in 1978. It seems to have been ready for publication.
We became fully sure about the priority of the Polish text only when we managed to contact the sister who actually typed the manuscript in Krakow before John Paul II's election.
In the archives we also found a handwritten note from John Paul II to his secretary that explains that the structure of the theology of the body would remain exactly the same when he adapted it for the series of catecheses.
Having these headings is a revelation. It opens up the text in amazing ways. You see how rigorous John Paul II's writing really is.
The reason why other editions don't have these headings seems to be the relatively isolated life of the individual catecheses. John Paul II delivered them one by one without, of course, saying, just to take one example, We are now in Part Two -- The Sacrament; Chapter Two -- The Dimension of Sign; Section Two -- The Song of Songs; Subsection Three -- Eros or Agape?
That would have been unintelligible. When he was finished, the catecheses were collected and assembled, but the knowledge of the structure of the whole was lost. Only John Paul II's Polish collaborators had this knowledge. I don't know why it did not cross the language barrier into Italian.
Maybe it's the pope-geek in me, but I find that fascinating.
The second interview is more meaty and worth a look as well. I love the story about John of the Cross having the monks at his deathbed read the Song of Songs.
Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family has an excellent piece in Christianity Today calling for development of a Christian Humanism:
I don't primarily mean that the suffering of the modern era should drive us to humanism. As Christ said, the poor will always be among us. Human suffering in all its forms is a tragic reminder of the reality of the Fall. We will only be free when Christ's redemption is complete. However, we must become serious students of humanity because just as the Fall is real, so too is the Incarnation. The Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity—the Son of God leaving his eternal and divine communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit to become flesh and dwell among us—this is what should draw us to the question of what it means to be human in these inhumane times.
I applaud his efforts (as should all Catholics and Christians), and want to point out that the Catholic Church and Pope John Paul II are way out in front on this one.
Second Vatican Council:
Pope John Paul II
Behind again! Here are the last three Wednesday general audience addresses given by the Pope, including yesterday's:
February 1, on the first half of Psalm 144(145).
February 8, on the second half of Psalm 144(145).
Yesterday, February 15, on the Magnificat, Mary's song of praise found in the first chapter of Luke.
Yesterday's address is of special note, because it marks the last of the series of addresses that were prepared by the late Pope John Paul II.
John Paul was the first pope to use the Wednesday general audience to develop continuing themes from one week to the next. The first cycle was of course the "Theology of the Body" (actually, the TOTB consists of four cycles) which he developed over the first few years of his pontificate. The series ending today goes back to 2001 and have had as their focus the psalms and canticles prayed by the Church as part of Morning and Evening Prayer.
(For the curious, on March 28, 2001, JP2 explained his desire to dedicate his audeience addresses to the psalms and canticles of the Liturgy of the Hours. It's a nice read.)
It will be interesting (and, for a Pope-geek like me, somewhat exciting) to see over the next few weeks whether Benedict decides to continue his predecessor's practice of developing theological or devotional themes and ideas over multiple addresses, and if so, what the content of those addresses would be.
CNA has the scoop on this miniseries and ABC's movie on the late pope.