To those who talk about a crisis in the priesthood, he cites the example of Blessed Maximilian Kolbe, the Franciscan who gave his life in Auschwitz to save the father of a family. Wojtyla has the traditional Polish attitude toward women, though slightly softened by his regard for Blessed Hedwig, the queen of Poland who founded the Jagellonian University in the late 14th century.
But past performance is not necessarily a sure guide to future actions. Pope John Paul II is a thinker. He already has shown he has great respect for the local churches. His pride in the ancient diocese of Kraków will enable him to respect the rights of other churches, including the newer ones.
It is difficult to imagine, for example, that he would want to interfere with preparations for the deferred meeting of Latin American bishops, now that they have revised the documents in the light of the storm of criticism to which the previous draft was subjected.
Perhaps the best symbolic expression of Wojtyla's new style came last Wednesday when he spoke to the college of cardinals. Instead of blessing them at the end of his speech, he asked them to bless one another. He could hardly have found a better way of saying he will think of himself as not above his fellow bishops but with them.
( November 3, 1978) How did the 111 cardinals reach their surprising decision in the October conclave? After the indiscretions of August, Cardinal Jean Villot, secretary of state, had exhorted them to complete secrecy, and lips were sealed more tightly this time. The inquiring observer was rather in the position of an intelligence officer who has to interrogate captured troops determined to give away nothing more than their names and serial numbers.
So I cannot -- nor can anyone else -- tell you what happened in the conclave. "None of the figures given for the August conclave," said Belgian Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, "were even remotely correct." Guesses about the October conclave are even less