Saturday, June 04, 2005

Saturday Night Potpourri

A few quick things before a Vaticanologist goes out to drink -- Amstel Light and/or Hoegaarden, for the curious:

1. As he tends to do when he speaks, Dziwisz made news today when he said that, contrary to the expressed request of John Paul II in the 1980 draft of his testament, the late pope's papers have not been burned.

"Nothing is fit for burning," the new archbishop of Krakow told Polish State Radio. "These are great riches that should gradually be made available to the public." He went on to say that he will maintain his own notes of the day-to-day of John Paul's Vatican -- the real chronicle of the time, a veritable treasure-trove of goodies.

As Dziwisz is executor of Wojtyla's estate, and as he enjoys the favor of Benedict XVI, his wishes in regard to JP's legacy will not be challenged. Talk about doing history, and historians, a great favor....

2. Dziwisz gave an interview to La Stampa a few weeks back. The English translation might've already appeared elsewhere, but here are a few snippets:

On John Paul's cause being opened on May 13:

Interviewer: Surely, Pope Wojtyla had a great devotion to the Madonna of Fatima.
Dziwisz: It wasn't just devotion. John Paul II told me: on that day the Lord gave me new life. It was as if I were reborn. And, in a certain way, with this announcement [of the cause's early opening], it can be said that he is born again in a new way, into eternal life."
Interviewer: A coincidence?
Dziwisz: I believe that it can be read as a sign.... When you read the signs, you can see an extraordinary message.

The topic turned to Ratzinger and his election:

Interviewer: Was he the successor John Paul II would've wanted?
Dziwisz: [John Paul] had a great esteem for [Ratzinger], truly great, always. He was the first collaborator, especially on the most serious, the gravest, of issues."
Interviewer: Was he the man whom the late pope trusted most?
Dziwisz: He called him to the Vatican and, thereafter, from the start of his pontificate, he wanted him here.

In anointing B16 with the blessing of John Paul from beyond the grave, Don Stanislaw also got his digs in -- he and Sodano had a notoriously rocky relationship, and Ratzi was always Dziwisz's guy and, ergo, the late pope's "first collaborator" (a distinction which, by default, usually belongs to the Secretary of State).

3. For possibly the first time in history, there was a post-it on the papal desk yesterday. The handlers likely went bonkers.

And, lastly, this nugget: It's being whispered that the first encyclical of Benedict XVI is being targeted for a December 8 publication, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council.



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