Monday, February 11, 2013
John Paul II's Secretary: "One does not climb down from the cross."
Warsaw (kath.net/ CBA) Warsaw (kath.net / CBA) Provocative statement: The Krakow Cardinal and long-time secretary of Pope John Paul II (1978-2005), Stanislaw Dziwisz, has caused concern in Poland with a remark on the Pope's resignation. Blessed John Paul II, had fulfilled the papacy, despite serious illness, until his death and said, "one does not climb down from the cross." Polish media reports on Monday quoted Dziwisz. On this question, the Wojtyla-Pope had also consulted with the then Joseph Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Curia. Despite his "great surprise" over the resignation of Benedict XVI., he understands, however, this decision to resign for age and health reasons, says Dziwisz.
In a written statement the Krakow Cardinal, said Benedict XVI. has led the Church "with great caution and wisdom." He was very grateful for Benedict XVI's "extraordinary benevolence towards the Polish people" and the beatification of John Paul II in May 2011.
The Warsaw Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz spoke of a "great loss" for the Church. Benedict XVI. had "excellently fulfilled both spiritually and intellectually guided the Church" in his duties as pope, said Nycz. The announcement of the resignation was for him personally a "great surprise," the Cardinal said. He accepted, however, that Benedict XVI. must have important reasons for such "unprecedented decision".
The President of the Polish Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, recalled that Benedict XVI. during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square again preached to the Polish pilgrims in their language. "Poland was in his heart." The bishops prayed that the Pope resignation would be accepted in an "atmosphere of faith."