Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Controversy erupts over letters between Pope John Paul, Wanda Poltawska

Catholic World News - June 02, 2009

Pope John Paul II’s closest aide is strongly criticizing Dr. Wanda Poltawska over her decision to publish five decades’ worth of private correspondence with the late Pontiff. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow says that Dr. Poltawska-- a psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor-- is claiming “a special relationship where none existed” and that many others corresponded privately with Pope John Paul.

Father Adam Boniecki, former editor of the Polish edition of L’Osservatore Romano, countered that Pope John Paul and Dr. Poltawska had a strong relationship, like that of a brother and sister-- akin to that of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Francis de Chantal.

Meanwhile, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, is asking Poltawska to send photocopies of the entire correspondence to Rome, to be reviewed by officials involved in the cause for beatification of the late Pontiff. Italian journalists have reported that the progress toward beatification of John Paul II has bogged down, in part because of questions raised by the Poltawska correspondence.

Another factor reportedly delaying the investigation, Vatican-watchers report, is the reluctance of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the longtime Secretary of State, to testify before the investigating commission. Cardinal Sodano, according to several accounts, has reservations about the accelerated process of the investigation; he remains a powerful influence within the Roman Curia.

Also Cardinal Leonardo Sandri has not yet testified, Italian journalists report. Cardinal Sandri, who is now prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, was Cardinal Sodano's top deputy, the sostituto, or assistant Secretary of State, from 2000 to 2007. The sostituto supervises virtually all of the paperwork flowing through the Roman Curia, and in that capacity then-Archbishop Sandri met with the Pontiff daily.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Holding bishops accountable: the next steps 11 hours ago
The real story behind the French ambassador's nomination to the Holy See 14 hours ago
A joyful noise unto the Lord: Goal met! May 26
De Lubac’s notes on the Second Vatican Council, section 3 May 26
Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. May 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days