Cardinal Schönborn: John Paul II was ‘the Great’


Archbishop of Vienna: Saints on Sunday creates “two good friends in heaven” – human dignity, God’s mercy and value of the family as the central concern of the Polish Pope 

Vienna ( / KAP) Pope John Paul II was in the eyes of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn a “rock” and “man of God” who deserved the nickname “the Great”: Looking at the life and work of Wojtyla-Pope, the dimensions of his pontificate, and influenced by his world-historical changes is not so exaggerated, writes the Cardinal in the current issue of the Vienna church newspaper “Sunday”. With the canonization of John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. would get the faithful on Sunday “two good friends in heaven.” 

Three key points he saw in the life’s work of the Polish pope, declared Schönborn: “The defense of the immeasurably high dignity of every human being, an awareness of God’s mercy, which we must bear witness to Christians, as well as the central value of the family as Grundort of human dignity and the Mercy. “ He himself was the future saint often met them for the first time. Yet as editor of the Catechism in one of the first Papal Audiences after the assassination of 1981, and later as Archbishop of Vienna

The Pope from Poland just in Austria desired interface between East and West a place of theological, philosophical and social foundations of the family, recalled Schönborn. Why go to John Paul II and his belief that the future of the world depended on the family, the foundation of the International Theological Institute for Marriage and Family (ITI) in Trumau back. 

No stopping on errors 

Did John Paul also “like every pope certainly not always done everything right,” he was nevertheless have been grateful for the open and honest communication also of unpleasant things. At his first audience as the new Archbishop of Vienna in 1995, he had the Pope “un the problems of the Church in Austria and among the bishops” announced, Schönborn recalled. “That’s it then probably with his benevolence, I thought to myself -., But three weeks later he invited me to give him the retreat” He had been very pleased with this latest mark of confidence, so the cardinal. 

In his column in the free newspaper “Today” (Friday) Schönborn went to the credibility of John Paul II: he was by many people as’ very credible Christian “was worshiped, whereupon the already loud become the funeral of the Pope in 2005” santo subito “calls were due for a rapid canonization. Even saints have had errors and committed sins, they are but it has not stood the Cardinal. 

Furthermore raised Schönborn – back in the “Sunday” – the humor and cheerfulness out that John Paul II had never lost despite his difficult life path. “One of my favorite memories of him is his peals of laughter as I once told him an anecdote about the Polish philosopher and Dominican Joseph Bochenski,” said the cardinal. 

Impressed but have it especially the “incomparable” praying the Pope. “Once I was after a dinner with him in his chapel for evening prayer as he is literally immersed there in God, without any bias by the presence of another human being -. I’ll never forget,” Schoenborn said. It was true here a saying of St. John XXIII also starting Sunday. “Man is never so great as when he kneels.” 

The “papa buono” 

About John XXIII. wrote Cardinal Schönborn, he must have been a “wonderful person” and have all a “papa buono” – want to be – a good father. The Archbishop of Vienna, reported experiences of a Protestant friend who opened while bathing on a concrete slab and was paraplegic admitted to hospital in Rome 1961 graduation trip in Italy. Its appeal to the Catholic hospital chaplains to host the Pope greetings was, in fact complied with: Pope’s secretary Monsignor Capovilla had been sent a total of four times by the pope as his representative to the hospital. John XXIII.had also received the parents of the affected person’s private audience and comforted them.




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