Retired pope suggests St. John Paul II be called “the Great”

Associated Press

May 15, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has honored St. John Paul II on the centenary of his birth and floated the idea that he should be called “the Great,” as only two other popes have been.

John Paul’s longtime secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, held a press conference in Krakow, Poland, on Friday to present a letter by Benedict, which was released to the media in a half-dozen languages. The fanfare suggested that Dziwisz wanted to draw attention to the praise of his beloved John Paul, who was born 100 years ago this coming Monday.

The four-page letter covers territory long of concern to Benedict, but is also heavy on Polish history and John Paul’s personal background, suggesting that the 92-year-old Benedict didn’t write it alone. The letter traces John Paul’s quarter-century pontificate, his encyclicals, devotions and foreign trips, as well as the final moments of his life and the chants of “Santo Subito” or “Sainthood Now” that erupted soon thereafter.

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