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Notes of a Saint

John Paul II's Secretary Didn't Burn Notes

When I read John Paul's specific instructions on the event of his death, nothing troubled me more than the directive that his longtime secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz burn all of John Paul's notes. But shouldn't the writing of this saint and mystic be preserved?

WARSAW, Poland, JUNE 5, 2005 ( Pope John Paul II's longtime personal secretary said he did not burn the late Pontiff's notes as his will demanded, arguing that the papers contain "great riches" that should be preserved.

"Nothing has been burned," said Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow to Polish state radio on Saturday, reported the Associated Press.

The Archbishop-elect also suggested that some of the notes could prove useful in the late pontiff's beatification process, especially after Pope Benedict XVI lifted the five-year waiting period to start the process.

Dziwisz said he took his own daily notes throughout John Paul's papacy, but didn’t say if he would publish them.

Like Pope John Paul, Pope Paul VI requested in his will that his personal unpublished writings be burnt. His personal secretary, Msgr. Pasquale Macchi, who later became the Archbishop of Loretto (Italy,) accomplished his will.

The archbishop, who worked with the Pope from 1966 until his death earlier this year, said that "nothing is fit for burning, everything should be preserved and kept for history, for the future generations -- every single sentence."

"These are great riches that should gradually be made available to the public," he said.

See also Catholic News Agency

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