Day 201 “Benedicto XVI y Juan Pablo II, Heads and tails of the same coin”
Posted March 15, 2013on:
The media and social networks around the world agree in saying that the Vatican curia and the Church bureaucracy made life impossible.
That’s when I did the first questions: Is there really such a confrontation between the pope and his companions? Why did you start? When did it start? I decided to go in search of someone with the authority to explain. I found just around the corner.
“The problem started ten years ago,” she says Professor input Guillermo Leon Escobar, one of the few Colombians who knew well the two most recent popes.
For seven years he was Ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See, for the last fifteen years is professor of political science at the Gregorian University in Rome legendary (where studying to be priests become bishops) and in the last five years he has worked as a consultant the Pontifical College of laity, by appointment made Benedict himself, with whom he met once a month until he resigned.
“Ten years ago I was starting the pedophilia scandal that involved many priests in several countries. Arrived early injunctions. Pope John Paul II gave strict orders to his aides:” The Church does not deliver their children to human justice , to make a mockery of them ‘, and ordered simply that the defendants move to another place. ”
It took just two years. John Paul died in the odor of sanctity. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, that position as Chairman of the Sacred Congregation of the Faith, no less, became Pope. “A few days after taking office, he told his colleagues:” The Church is a moral obligation to deliver the criminals to justice. “Used that exact word: criminal. Since then have been arrested over a hundred priests, two cardinals and dozens of bishops. lot of them are still in jail. ”
From that moment, the frame of internal power revolted against the pope. “How serious the situation is that a few days ago, after his resignation, he met privately with the Roman Curia. Said, ‘I admire in you the great capacity to denounce the sins, provided are sins of others. ‘”
So, then, that Benedict is leaving because, as he said, at 85 years old and lacks the strength to such a task. “But also because it will overwhelm the intrigues around,” says Professor Escobar. “Do not forget that Ratzinger is German: the Germans are lonely people, and the Pope has always suffered from loneliness
of power. ”
Combined all these reasons, Benedict became the first pontiff to resign willingly in spontaneous and more than two thousand years of history. In total six popes have retired, but the five previous cases occurred by the threats of the emperors of his time or because there were two popes at the same time, and one of them had to resign.
Since both met and worked with them, is recounting the events that lead me to ask the teacher how Escobar could be a parallel between the last two popes. What was actually distanced what? Was there anything that approached?
“They were very different, but they were heads and tails of the same coin. Juan Pablo was a genius of communication, what today would be called a genius media, which immediately captivated the media and the masses. Nobody ever accepted public debate with him because they knew in advance that it was a lost cause. Benedict, however, is denied to the press, is a man of debate, academic depth, discussing daily with half the world. Juan Pablo was a saint, Benedict is a intellectual. So now that you stop going to church heritage, as if he were a modern version of St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica new for the third millennium “.
When it came to the papacy, John Paul II immediately discovered that the Catholic Church as an institution undergoing a serious image problem. “He went on a pilgrimage to travel the world. Benedict, meanwhile, realized that the main topic of his papacy was the deepening of the doctrine. Juan Pablo lived at ease around people. Pope Benedict was a loner.”
Now I understand the difference: Juan Pablo was a simple and elementary, of the house of Peter, a humble fisherman of Galilee. Benedict is a thinker of exquisite culture, like St. Paul, who so admires. (“How do you explain” asks Escobar, “a German, a German, by God, can speak Italian with that sweetness yours that has become so famous? Culture is, of course.” He’s right: the Germans always speak as if he were scolding one. Except the pope).
The two banks of the Gospel
On average, Guillermo Leon Escobar remains eight months a year in Rome. But he is currently enjoying a sabbatical in Colombia, dedicated to his home in Bogota sort, organize your library and visiting friends who had lost sight. So I can talk to him soundly. I wonder how deep became the disputes between John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger.
“He always was. Remember what happened one night when Ratzinger was leaving a meeting with the Pope in Castel Gandolfo cottage. A Latin American priest who was there looked at him, puzzled, because anything discrepancy is fight , and said, ‘You here, Cardinal? Did you two are not enemies?’. With the same soft voice and loving who has had a lifetime, he said, ‘No, we are not enemies. both shores Us the same river, facing each other. What unites us, the river that runs through the middle of us, is the Gospel. ‘”
They were superior men, no doubt, and so they both knew that their disparate criteria were not mutually exclusive, but complementary. The full truth, at last, after all, is built with pieces of truth that bring those who think differently than one, not those who think alike.
The wings of the same bird
They knew so clearly, and respected both in the midst of their differences of opinion, “that one day John Paul asked Ratzinger to write the famous four hands encyclical Faith and Reason. You see, the pope wrote the part of faith and Cardinal’s part of the reason. That perfectly defines what each one was. ”
Disagreements between the two men became so famous, that in those same days Ratzinger someone asked how it was possible that John Paul had written the text of the encyclical. No repeated the metaphor of the two banks of the same river, “but responded with another beauty. ‘If you see a bird carefully’ discover ‘he said never a wing moves first and the other later, because it may fall . fly To move the two wings at the same time. The Church is the bird. Juan Pablo and I are its two wings. We move together to keep flying. He is faith and I’m the reason. ‘”
Professor Escobar holds a moment of silence that I dare not break. Struggling with the nostalgia of his best memories. Look over the balcony to a couple of pelicans flying over the sea of Cartagena. Move both wings while. Then he turns to me and says: “When you know both John Paul will dazzle the soul and
Benedict will quivers the brain. ”
From Armenia to Germany
Benedict’s resignation surprised Guillermo Leon Escobar while in Colombia. Unable to say goodbye to him, but remember vividly the first time I saw, more or less forty years. Escobar had left his native Armenia to study at the University of Bonn in Germany.
“I know a lot,” he says, his arms crossed and a beard peppered with gray, “because in the 70s we occasionally dictated lectures in the huge auditorium of the university. I can not say that I was his student, in the everyday sense of the term, because only sporadically came to read us the original of a book he was writing. At that time there never spoke with him. I saw it from afar. ”
The future pope had been a professor at the university a few years before Escobar came from Armenia, “but had to resign harassed by young rebels who joined the revolution started on May 68 in Paris. Debated openly with Daniel ‘ Red ‘, leader of the insurgents, who studied in France but was German. ”
It was then, on the walls of Paris, the boys wrote those immortal Julio Cortázar signs up in a great book. “There was the famous phrase ‘forbidden to forbid’ and Ratzinger, educated profound doctrine of the Church, reacted immediately. University said in his talks that the new enemy of Western Christian civilization was not Marxist communism, but relativism, tolerates everything. If nothing is forbidden, we said one day, then there is no sin. ”
And saw him at the Vatican. It took a great book on Christian social issues. “I said I had attended his lectures in Bonn, but I had not even seen in the audience. ‘But I remember perfectly-he said he gave a lecture of his openness to the Roman synod.” He asked me not away, though I had just resigned from the Colombian Embassy and suggested me to continue with my classes at the Gregorian University. ”
Then, having become pope, he was named the College of Laity consultant and expert pontifical. Those days are becoming longer dust of the past. They are history. “He says he lacks strength, but not sick. Ten years ago a cardiac pacemaker was installed and operated for three it absolutely secret to change the batteries. Was then that he began to change the reading of St. Paul, intellectual and writer, like him, and took San Pedro, less rational, but more human. Pope began to wonder, as Peter asked, ‘Am I losing strength? Will I need someone to help me dress?’. Y concluded that he should resign. ”
Professor Escobar recalled that in 2004, and his near death and disease ridden, the closest relatives of John Paul II suggested with great delicacy to think about the same chance. Someone, less discreet, I openly asked, stroking the trembling hands: “Why do not you resign?”. Escobar says that it can never forget what the Pope said, “because I’ve always said that life is faith turned into actions.”
The truth is that Juan Pablo and could barely speak. It was difficult to understand his words. It was hard desgonzada lift his head, but even so, meekly, that man who was dying replied in a whisper:
-For Christ did not get off of the cross …