It reminded one of the saying: "He is very balanced -- he has a chip on both shoulders." But it was very alarming and worrying. Said a Polish friend, "The pope is more Polish than he is papal."
But when I put this more technically and said, "He is more Polish than primatial, for Peter has the charge of the universal church," I was practically thrown out of the house. Poles may criticize him; others may not.
John Paul has forgotten what he knew when he was elected. Two days after his election he said, "The particular nature of our country of origin is from now on of little importance. As a Christian, and still more, as pope, we are and will be witnesses of a universal love."
Once he knew the theory of the Petrine office; now he has cast it to the winds. □
( December 13, 1991) Rome -- Rather than try to pour a quart into a pint pot, let me rather give the flavor of the Nov. 28 to Dec. 14 Synod of Bishops for Europe here by selecting a few "sayings." Do not expect dazzling wit; they have all gone through the mangle of inadequate translation, several times.
Jews, for example, are regularly referred to as our "big brothers," which was not quite what George Orwell had in mind in 1984.
Archbishop John J. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for the Means of Social Communications: "My four grandparents were German, English, Welsh and Irish-American."
Passionist Bishop William Kenney, auxiliary, Stockholm, Sweden: "In many part of Europe, the Good News of the gospel is no longer new and no longer news: That is why we need new ways of presenting it."
Augustinian of the Assumption Antonios Varthalitis, archbishop of Corfu and other Greek islands: "From the East we have to learn about collegial and synodal government to replace the monarchical system we have invented in the West."