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Correspondence between St. John Paul II and married woman is 'tempest in teapot,' says biographer

February 15, 2016

A BBC television documentary, disclosing a long and close friendship between St. John Paul II and a married woman, is "a tempest in a teapot," says papal biographer George Weigel.

The Polish Pontiff carried on a long, intense correspondence with Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, a Polish-American philosopher. But there is no hint of impropriety in the relationship, and John Paul-- both before and after becoming Pope-- had many close friends of both sexes. 

"Why should anyone find it odd that priests and bishops should have friendships with women, including the kind of friendships in which emotions and ideas are expressed in correspondence?" asks Weigel. 

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Feb. 16, 2016 12:11 PM ET USA

    There is something unsettling in this story, and it takes courage to admit. The intimate photos have been around for some time. If one just can't appreciate the unsettling aspect at all, try sharing the letters and the photographs with your school-age children. "Why should anyone find it odd that priests and bishops should have friendships with women...?" Or married women? Why should they? Nonetheless, I wonder what the children would say. They say the darndest things some times.