Pope John Paul II was on the brink of resigning in 2000 because of his poor health and considered changing Church law to allow popes to quit at 80, it emerged yesterday.And then the Telegraph discloses how sloppy religious journalsim can be by printing this howler:
The revelations came in a new book by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Pope's personal secretary for nearly four decades.
In A Life with Karol, which will be published initially in Polish and Italian on January 29, Cardinal Dziwisz, a fellow Pole, reveals that John Paul II called a meeting of his closest colleagues in the millennium year to discuss his resignation.
At the end of the meeting, "he (John Paul) came to the conclusion that he had to submit himself to God's will, that is, to remain (in office) as long as God wanted," said Cardinal Dziwisz.
Other revelations in the book include that in February 1986, after having visited the Mother House in Calcutta, John Paul told Mother Teresa that he wanted to move the Vatican to India. "If I could, I would be Pope from here," he told the missionary, whom he later beatified.I'd hardly call that a 'revelation' of any import... unless the journalist actually wants his readers to think that the Pope was actually considering uprooting the Curia and outsourcing it to India... Sometimes we churchy folks have a better understanding of when hyperbole is being used.