Pope John Paul’s ‘intimate friendship’ with a woman stirs up public interest

benedikt-xviThe hitherto unknown story of Pope John Paul II, the pontiff who made an indelible mark on the Catholic Church, has been made public. It was revealed he maintained close relationship with a married woman which lasted for about three decades. Her name is Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, a Polish-born American philosopher who influenced the Pope greatly. There was a lot of correspondence between the two between 1976- 2000 and she travelled together with John Paul, according to a report in BBC.

There is no suggestion the Pope broke his vow of celibacy, it is said.

The friendship began in 1973 when Ms Tymieniecka contacted the future Pope, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, then Archbishop of Krakow, about a book on philosophy that he had written.

The then 50-year-old travelled from the US to Poland to discuss the work.

In 1974, he wrote that he was re-reading four of Ms Tymienkiecka’s letters written in one monthbecause they were “so meaningful and deeply personal”.

He describes her as a “gift from God”.

A debate is on in US and the west on Pope John Paul’s personal life and his views have anything to do with his relationship with the woman.

Medaram Jathara

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