Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Saint or Martyr

While dining at Dundee's for lunch Donald made a comment about the Late Pope John Paul ll
beatification. He told me that there has been an issue where the Late Pontiff would be beatified as a Martyr after his shooting and survival. If this is true and happens, this will not require the "miracles" stipulation. You don't need miracles to beatify a Martyr. This report came across the wires late night. I will keep my eyes open for corroborating information.

Pope John Paul II penned an unpublished letter to the Turkish gunman who shot and seriously wounded him in 1981, news reports said Tuesday.

In a letter written shortly after the incident, John Paul asked Mehmet Ali Agca why he tried to take his life given that both men revered the same God, Italian news agency Apcom and Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reported.

"Why did you shoot me, if we both believe in a single God?" Apcom quoted John Paul as writing.

Stanislaw Dziwisz, Pope John Paul II's longtime private secretary, confirmed the letter's existence, Apcom said.

"I confirm that (John Paul) wrote such a letter to Ali Agca, but it was not sent," Apcom quoted Dziwisz as saying.

Rzeczpospolita said John Paul had intended to publish the text as an open letter, but decided instead to meet with Agca personally.

The pope met with Agca in an Italian prison in 1983 and forgave him for the shooting. Agca was extradited to Turkey in 2000 after almost 20 years behind bars in Italy. He is serving a 17-year prison sentence in Istanbul for earlier crimes in Turkey.

Dziwisz said the letter would be sent to clerics presiding over John Paul's beatification process. He added it would be several years before this and other documents were made public.

"The archive is closed to outsiders, and so it shall be until the material is catalogued," Apcom quoted Dziwisz as saying. "This will require a few years and during this time it won't be open to anybody."


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