The Polish Seminarian and the Jewish Girl he Saved

I'd heard this story but never heard it told before by a member of Edith Zierer's family. It is the very touching account of what happened when a young Jewish girl, released from Nazi prison and cold, hungry, too ill to walk, encountered a Polish Catholic named Karol Wojtyla, a year before his ordination. In January 1945, at 13, she emerged from a Nazi labor camp in Czestochowa, Poland, a waif on the verge of death. Separated from her family, unaware that her mother had been killed by the … [Read more...]

John Paul II and Women

It's funny, but Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a Democrat and secular Jewish fellow who says he is "not much of a believer" seems to "get" John Paul II so very well.We'll be seeing and reading a lot about how "Catholic women are dissatisfied" with the church, and that JPII did not do enough. Please keep in mind that the folks making these claims are not speaking for all Catholic women. There is authentic and thoughtful teaching behind all of the issues which critics say the church "MUST bring into the … [Read more...]

Just how vehemently DID John Paul oppose the Iraq war?

Are the media presenting this issue fairly or accurately?It's a good question. Last night we heard CNN's Christiane Amanpour, among others, say approximately 7,392 times that Pope John Paul II "deeply opposed President Bush's Iraq war..."Sometimes we got the addendum, "...although he was supportive of Americas Just War in the Balkans, under President Clinton."I don't know about that second part - this article seems to suggest otherwise.Pope John Paul II, in the midst of a talk on the newly … [Read more...]

JPII on Christ’s love – Youth Day, 2000

A friend, Theresa, a Benedictine nun, had put together a prayer vigil service for her community which contained excerpts from some of JPII's speeches. She writes this to me:One section John Paul wrote on Eucharist was so beautiful-it was to the young people at World Youth Day in 2000. JP writes: "The Eucharist is the presence of Christ who gives himself to us because he loves us. He loves each of us in a unique way in our practical daily lives: in our families, among our friends, at study and … [Read more...]

THE comprehensive JPII read, by the great John Allen

This is a keeper. It's got everything and John Allen is probably the most reliable American reporter to write about the Vatican in an unstinting but fair manner. Thanks to my brother, Thom. … [Read more...]

Live blogging the Lion’s last breath…

"I have looked for you, now, you come to me." (John Paul II, April 2, 2005 in extremis)I love that. It is rich, packed with meaning. I love this picture, too.Much of the coverage we are seeing on the cable networks has been wonderful, and much of it is very good, still. But we are seeing, now, little things, like Chris Matthews screaming at a young priest that celibacy is (basically) stupid (how come Buddhists never have to deal with that crap? Everyone calls them enlightened! ) As I said, most … [Read more...]

Ignorant. Foul. Adolescent. Idiotic. Offensive. Ugly.

So - Matt Taibbi thinks he's found fifty ways the pope's impending death/death is funny.I won't link to it - it's such a waste of time.For my delicate readers, please skip this post, because not only am I going to quote this tawdry, pathetic asshole, but I'm going to use the word asshole, too.I guess I'm just not sophisticated enough to enjoy this dweeb's "humor." A few samples of what passes for sophisticated "wit" from this member of the "tolerant left."49.After beating for the last time, … [Read more...]

The holiness of BE-ing

Newsweeks Christopher Dickey makes report that is so odd, I wonder why Newsweek printed it, because it seems terribly unfocused. Reporting on Pope John Paul's seeming refusal to pack it in, Dickey writes:Even as the aged pope's body shuts down in the late stages of Parkinson's disease, his will to live—and to impose his will on the Roman Catholic faithful—remains as stubborn as ever.In the days before he was readmitted to the hospital...the pope insisted on making public appearances...The pope al … [Read more...]

John Paul II: The Lion in Winter

You have to hand it to the old man. His mind, sadly encased in a disobedient body, is still hardy, and he still has something to say, no matter how the Secular Humanists of Europe and the American Left might not want to hear it, no matter how it might tick off people who are too busy reacting and kvelling to really hear what is being said, no matter how much it might offend the increasingly prickly and defensive media.He has written a new book, Memory and Identity: Conversations Between … [Read more...]

Buckley: Let the pope die!

William F. Buckley speaks for many, I think, in this essay wondering why, if the Pope was so near death recently, he was not simply allowed to die.That sounds colder than Buckley is meaning, of course. He relates a nice anecdote about John Paul II and then wonders about it, that's all. I remember him as he was leaving Havana to return to Rome. Fidel Castro was there to recite the diplomatic amenities. The pope was standing on the gangway of his airplane and suddenly rain fell. As John Paul spoke … [Read more...]