Archive for February 22nd, 2016

John Paul ll and Anna Theresa

February 22, 2016

De Rosa

Peter De Rosa was one of  Great Britain’s best Catholic theologians who broke with the institution after Humanae Vitae. He left the priesthood in 1970 and became a Staff Producer for the BBC in London. He then became a full-time writer in 1978., He wrote Bless Me, Father which became a TV sensation shown in thirty-five countries. Other publications include Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy; Rebels: The Irish Uprising of 1916 and Pope Patrick a hilarious send up of papal politics. He currently lives in Bournemouth. His short book is available on Amazon



When John Paul II was beatified and canonized there was no mention of a mystery woman who had dominated his life. He called her ‘My dear Teresa Anna’.
Now his letters to Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka over a span of 30 years have just been revealed. There are hundreds of them. They constitute an essential missing fragment of his autobiography.
He had appeared before millions of Catholics in country after country and gave no hint of what he was really like or what went on deep in his mind and heart.
Those were secret places that only one p

erson had access to: his Polish compatriot Anna-Teresa. To her he was utterly devoted.
The cache of letters took the Vatican by surprise. Officials laughed at the idea of a special relationship between the Pope and a married woman as ‘smoke without mirrors’. Was this wishful thinking or one big lie?
They surely saw that this is the most devastating exposé of a public figure in our time. It is likely to influence the Church’s approach to priestly celibacy for generations to come.
The letters reveal the identity of this woman who came out from under the Vatican radar. She was married with three children and a husband very much alive. For decades, she had been more intimate with John Paul than any woman has been with any pope in centuries.
She was no Mother Teresa, either, but as beautiful as he was handsome.
For many years, from his days as Cardinal of Krakow in Poland, they vacationed together. Coloured photographs have now come to light of them together in one beauty spot after another. On occasion, he was bare to the waist in a pair of shorts, looking happy and relaxed. This scarcely suggests that he was giving the lady spiritual direction.
In his letters, he speaks of her as his ‘vocation’, the one who gave meaning to his life, first as Cardinal and then as Pope.
He gave her his most precious possession, a scapular whose full significance I bring out in this book. John Paul had worn it for over 40 years. He wanted his Teresa Anna to wear it close to her skin for the rest of her life so he could feel her presence even when they were continents apart.
She even had a hitherto unknown behind-the-scenes role in getting John Paul elected as Pope. That, too, is an intriguing story.
When he became Supreme Pontiff, she alone had free access to his private papal apartment where they often took meals together. In summers, she would spend quality time with him in his glorious retreat in Castel Gandolfo among the Alban Hills.
After he was shot four times in St Peter’s Square by a would-be assassin, she flew in from America to be by his bedside, one of the very few visitors permitted to see him.
In his final years, John Paul wrote to her many times, telling her that the happiest days of his life were spent in her home in Vermont where they walked the hills and woods together.
The day before he died, his Teresa Anna was with him to bid him goodbye.
From then on, the Vatican treated her as a nobody. That was a major blunder. The letters prove that this Nobody was the uncrowned Queen of Pope John Paul’s heart.