Many people sent me a link to this story in the Daily Mail … and you can stop sending it now.
I have a proposal for a PROJECT at the end.
I read this as one who was ordained by Pope John Paul II:
Pope John Paul ‘would whip himself before he ordained priests‘
By Nick Pisa
Last updated at 1:18 AM on 24th November 2009
Pope John Paul II regularly whipped himself in ‘remorse for his sins’, a nun has revealed.
Pope John Paul, who died in 2005, is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church – the ultimate accolade and a tribute to his holiness.
As part of the Vatican’s investigation, thousands of documents have been collected and examined by officials from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Among them is the testimony of Polish nun Tobiana Sobodka, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus order, who worked for Pope John Paul in his private Vatican apartments and at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome.
Sister Sobodka said: ‘Several times he (Pope John Paul) would put himself through bodily penance.
‘We would hear it – we were in the next room at Castel Gandolfo. You could hear the sound of the blows when he flagellated himself. He did it when he was still capable of moving on his own.’
The flagellation is also confirmed by another bishop who has given testimony, Emery Kabongo, who for several years was a secretary for Pope John Paul.
He said: ‘He would punish himself and in particular just before he ordained bishops and priests. Before passing on the sacraments he wanted to prepare himself.
‘I never actually saw it myself but several people told me about it.’
Sister Sobodka’s leaked statements were published in Italian newspaper La Stampa and are part of new book on Pope John Paul II by its Vatican correspondent. [No doubt Andrea Tornielli.]
I know some priests (myself included) who often themselves do the penances they give to penitents in the confessional. I have never heard of any bishop doing what he did before ordinations.
What do you think?
How do you prepare for ordinations?
It strikes me that if all the people of God of a diocese would do some kind of penance – such as fasting or almsgiving – accompanied by their own good confession before the local bishop would ordain new priests for their diocese, for their parishes… well… that would be a good start. No?
Is this a project worth proposing?
Could a bishop, also doing penance himself before ordinations, invite the entire diocese to fast and give alms, make a good confession and Communion, before ordinations?