Pope John Paul II’s longtime private secretary said Saturday he did not burn the late pontiff’s notes as his will demanded, arguing that the papers contain “great riches” and should instead be preserved.
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who worked with the pope from 1966 until his death earlier this year, told Polish state radio there are “quite a lot of manuscripts on various issues,” but he offered no details.
“Nothing has been burned,” Dziwisz said. “Nothing is fit for burning, everything should be preserved and kept for history, for the future generations — every single sentence.”
“These are great riches that should gradually be made available to the public.”
Dziwisz did not say when or how that might happen.
In a March 1979 entry to his testament, John Paul said he left no material property and asked that Dziwisz burn all his personal notes.
Useful in sainthood campaign?
In Saturday’s radio interview, Dziwisz suggested that some of the notes could prove useful in the late pontiff’s beatification process. Dziwisz said he took his own daily notes throughout John Paul’s papacy, which he said also could prove useful to that process but contain no opinions about individuals.
Last month, Pope Benedict XVI announced he was lifting a five-year waiting period to start the process to beatify John Paul, the last formal step before the late pontiff could be made a saint.
On Friday, Benedict — who was close to the late pope — appointed Dziwisz archbishop of Krakow in southern Poland. John Paul, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, held the same post before his election to the papacy in 1978.
Dziwisz said there is a general feeling Benedict will not travel as extensively as his predecessor, but that he would like to visit Krakow and the Polish capital, Warsaw. No dates have yet been set.
So far, Benedict has only one foreign trip planned — to the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in August.