Karol Wojtyla: The Thought of the Man Who Became Pope John Paul II

By Rocco Buttiglione; Paolo Guietti et al. | Go to book overview

6. Wojtyła and the Council

As we have already had occasion to note, the Second Vatican Council is at the center of Wojtyła’s entire philosophical work. Consecrated bishop on July 4, 1958, he participated in the Council as capitular administrator of the diocese of Cracow, of which he would later become archbishop. The Acting Person, the book which crowns and concludes Wojtyła’s philosophical activity, was probably conceived in its essential lines during the Council, as an attempt to give a philosophical account of the conception of man presupposed in the conciliar documents.

It will help us to understand this connection if we look closely both at Wojtyła’s participation in the Council and at the particular interpretation which he gave to it. Before going into detail about these two elements, it seems opportune to sketch what Wojtyła sees as the nucleus of the conciliar event, thereby creating a hypothesis about the connection between that extraordinary spiritual experience and the fundamental thesis of The Acting Person.1

1. This task is facilitated by the fact that Wojtyła in many ways kept the faithful of
the diocese of Cracow and all the Polish faithful updated about the development of the
works of the Council, allowing them to experience the main conciliar events together
with him from the inside. His speeches on the Vatican radio, his articles for Tygodnik
Powszechny,
and his other articles in the Polish Catholic press at the time of the Council
are evidence of this. Cf. “Przemówienie radiowe” (discourse given on Vatican Radio on
25 November 1963), in Tygodnik Powszechny 17 (1964); “List z Soboru do du-
chowieństwa I wiernych,” in Tygodnik Powszechny 18 (1964); “O Soborze,” in Tyogodnik
Powszechny
18 (1964); “Problematyka drugiej Sesij II Soboru Watykańskiego. Z kazańks.

-177-

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