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Why John Paul II Didn't Resign - To Avoid a "Dangerous Precedent," Says Cardinal
Zenit News Agency ^ | January 27, 2006

Posted on 01/27/2006 5:00:16 PM PST by NYer

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2006 ( Pope John Paul II contemplated the possibility of resigning but decided against it for fear of creating a "dangerous precedent for his successors."

So revealed his longtime private secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, to Cardinal Julián Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, on Dec. 17, 2004.

Cardinal Herranz has now revealed the contents of that conversation in a book entitled "Nei Dintorni de Gerico. Ricordi degli Anni con San Josemaria & con Giovanni Paolo II" (In the Surroundings of Jericho: Memories of the Years with Saint Josemaría and John Paul II), published by Ares in Milan. The book records his memories of times spent with the founder of Opus Dei and with the Polish Pontiff.

Commenting on the "famous Canon 332," which in the Code of Canon Law refers to the possibility of papal resignation, Cardinal Herranz quoted the phrases he himself wrote after his conversation with Archbishop Dziwisz.

"We spoke of the opinion I expressed to him -- at his request -- on the appropriateness of the Holy Father resigning on his 75th or 80th birthday. I answered that he 'should not' do so for reasons of age: Very different is the 'canonical mission' that Bishops receive from the Pope to govern a particular Church or diocese with respect to the mission that the Pope receives at the very moment of the election and acceptance."

Heroic obedience

On Page 451 of his book, Cardinal Herranz explains that the apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis" emphasizes that "it is a doctrine of faith that the authority of the Supreme Pontiff derives directly from Christ, of whom he is Vicar on earth," though elected by the cardinals.

"In regard to the possibility of resigning for reasons of health, I wrote in that note something which I now think is opportune to make known, as an example of the heroic obedience and prudence of John Paul II," revealed Cardinal Herranz.

Archbishop Dziwisz "limited himself to comment that 'the Pope -- who is personally very detached from the office -- lives abandoned to the Will of God. He places himself in the hands of Divine Providence.'"

"'Moreover,'" he quoted Archbishop Dziwisz as saying, "'he is afraid of creating a dangerous precedent for his successors, as some one of them might be exposed to subtle maneuvers and pressures by those who wish to depose him.'"

TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Prayer; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: johnpaulii; jpii; papacy; resignation; vatican

1 posted on 01/27/2006 5:00:19 PM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...

2 posted on 01/27/2006 5:01:02 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer

Heroic obedience -- to the sacred tradition popes are traditionally sworn to defend?

3 posted on 01/27/2006 6:04:16 PM PST by donbosco74
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To: NYer

"'he is afraid of creating a dangerous precedent for his successors, as some one of them might be exposed to subtle maneuvers and pressures by those who wish to depose him.'">>

Smart man. The Church is in an era of stability and high public opinion, but it has had dirty times in the past 2000 years and will again in the next 2000 years--unless Christ comes.

4 posted on 01/27/2006 9:22:42 PM PST by Appalled but Not Surprised
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To: donbosco74
Yeah, Johannes Paulus Magnus, freq. called "great" by Pope Benedict, was heroically orthodox; even Saintly orthodox.

I have no idea what your personal opinion of tradition is. I do know the Magisterium decides what is and isn't tradition.

. I know his elevation to the altars will cause many "more-catholic-than-the-pope" types to wail and gnash their teeth

5 posted on 01/28/2006 4:35:18 AM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic
. I know his elevation to the altars will cause many "more-catholic-than-the-pope" types to wail and gnash their teeth

Many of us conservative Catholics were a bit too demanding of man who was, after all, just a man. JPII had enormous talent, and was an incredible "salesman" for the Church. He was not, however, the best administrator, and I believe his infinite compassion for his fellow human beings was, at times, not his best friend.

His replacement, while lacking the abundant charisma of JPII, promises to be the administrator the Church needs at this moment in her history.


6 posted on 01/28/2006 9:05:18 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Peace Begins in the Womb)
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To: bornacatholic
Now it's "heroically orthodox?" I hope I don't have to ask you if you are considering the opinion of the Orthodox in that. We all know what they have to say about his "orthodoxy." You're using both heroically and orthodox improperly. You have a lot more study to do.

My personal opinion of what tradition is has nothing to do with it. I defer to the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, who based their opinions and judgments on Apostolic Tradition, which, by the way, is where we get the Bible. You ought to learn more about this, too.

And by the way, the Magisterium as you call it, is not a group of people, so your reference to it as "them" is erroneous and uninformed. You are way behind in your study and comprehension, my friend.

The only discomfort we feel is due to our knowledge of the corruption proceeding apace by such illegitimate manouvers. Uninformed and presumptuous thinking like yours is rampant today because of this very corruption: this diabolical disorientation.

Ask the Orthodox if you want a disinterested, third party opinion. They wouldn't even allow JPII "the great     (fill in the blank)    " to drop in for a visit when he begged them. You can read up on history first, and then we can talk.

7 posted on 01/28/2006 10:39:20 AM PST by donbosco74
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To: donbosco74
Everything which the Catholic Church proclaims and teaches was not tradition at one point in history. It was new. Including the Scriptures. Including the Church itself. Including the Mass.

Tradition by definition, had a beginning and only becomes tradition after the passage of a certain period of time. Furthermore, the Church's "traditions" did not materialize simultaneously and instantaneously. They evolved and developed over years and centuries. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit working through the proper ecclesiastical authority.

And still are developing.

That's because the Church is a living Church. It will continue to develop its traditions and customs until the end of time under the leadership of the Pope and the Church united to him.

It's pride which deludes people into thinking that they and not the Pope are the true custodians of tradition.

8 posted on 01/28/2006 12:24:43 PM PST by marshmallow
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To: NYer

The Pope - in the best tradition of the Catholic Church - thinking in the longterm, rather than 3 seconds in front of his face, like the modernists, dissenters, and innovators.

9 posted on 01/28/2006 1:11:28 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: donbosco74
LMAO You are to Humility what Ted Kennedy is to asceticism.

The Magisterium is not a collection of Dogmatic texts, old Manuals, Encyclical Collections etc. The Magisterium is living.

Like so many of your ilk you wouldn't know Tradition if it bit you in your arrogant arse.

Ta-Ta, tough guy. I ain't interested in your bluster, composed as it is of equal parts arrogance and ignorance.

10 posted on 01/28/2006 1:20:37 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Jeff Chandler
The most recent edition of This Rock has an excellent article by Fr.Johansen, "Why Bishops don't get fired." When it becomes available on line, I will post it.

But, don't hold out any hopes that Pope Benedict will excise the theological/spiritual cancer endemic in so many Bishoprics. It doesn't work that way.

Now, if I were Pope...:)

11 posted on 01/28/2006 1:33:54 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: marshmallow

I appreciate your patience and willingness to share what you have learned. Catholic tradition has been very important, and will continue to be so until the consummation of the world. While it was in many ways new at the time of the apostles, their own personal infallibility protected that newness until it took hold and became established in the hearts of the faithful. So, while we are bound to respect the organic development of tradition, we should not expect that changes as dramatically new as were the ones put in place by the apostles are just as legitimate today. For the bishops of the world do not enjoy the personal infallibility that the apostles did. And therefore the modern, broad latitude that bishops today are allowed in all manner of practice and discipline is rightly suspect, especially when we see the consequences of their newfound freedom. Without traditional restrictions, they have lunged headlong into the most alarming new behaviors, some of which are objectively sinful and others of which are morally scandalous. It is not without due consideration of the immediate implications that I make the statements I have made. If things proceed in the current trend, the Church as we have known it might not have long to survive.

There are currently too many issues at stake to even briefly summarize them here, but the point is, we should not let public scandal shake our faith, even when it reaches the highest offices. We are not required to forget everything in the past and accept every new trend without question.

I have recently spoken to several admissions counselors for "Catholic" universities in the USA. There is a stage play being planned for the next few weeks at 21 of them but the counselors do not consider this to be a sign of the schools' defection from the faith of Catholics. You would not believe all the excuses they give for countenancing the practice of women getting up on a public stage and describing their reproductive organs. And Jesuit priests (as well as other congregations) sit there, year after year, and defend it with the most sophisticated, abstract language you could ever dream up. Is this a good example of "developing traditions?" Where are the bishops? Why does the Pope say nothing about it? Is issuing an encyclical on "love" and demanding copyright fees from any publisher enough to protect the purity of impressionable students at such schools of higher learning?

I think not. And if you are reasonable, I should think you would agree.

12 posted on 01/28/2006 8:01:43 PM PST by donbosco74
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