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Polish intellectual highlights Pope’s profound respect for women, maternity and celibacy

.- In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Wanda Poltawska, one of Poland’s brightest scholars on the philosophy of Pope John Paul II, revealed details of Karol Wojtila’s profound vision about women, sexuality and parenthood. Poltawska, who formed part of a group of young Catholic intellectuals who were close to then-Father Wojtila, noted that, “Ever since he was a young priest, the Holy Father consecrated all of his time to contact with the youth…in order to observe the human person and to truly understand who man is as such.”

Karol Wojtila “wanted to save the holiness of human love,” Poltawska said.  “Women are the ones most in danger, especially young women.  The heart of a woman is her treasure and her danger. And John Paul II was concerned, above all, about caring for them.”

Poltawska revealed that the future Pope always reminded men “they should respect women because they have received life thanks to women, to mothers, who have given their blood for the life of a new human person.”

“Maternity, as a divine plan, was fascinating to him.  As a young priest, we wrote a poem about mothers, a tribute to their fundamental role.”

For Pope John Paul II, “masculinity unfolds in the role of the father, who should help his wife and protect his children,” she added.

According to Poltawska, “The Holy Father always believed celibacy to be holy.  Because it gives priests this divine strength allowing them to develop in holiness, without sin, without neglect, without anything, because they have a grace that comes from the sacrament of the priesthood.”

The Pope “spoke of holy celibacy, which is freely embraced, as a way of fulfilling the divine plan in oneself.  Not a celibacy that is assumed simply because one is not able to find a spouse.  He saw celibacy as the fullness of possibilities, as fuller and more developed parenthood.  Priests are spiritual fathers.  Because of celibacy, a priest can have thousands of children.  The potentiality of a priest to develop himself as father is greater than that of a man who has one or two children,” Poltawska explained.

Poltawska concluded her interview lamenting that today, “respect for mothers has disappeared.  Women do not understand that their greatness is because of maternity. Some girls are stupid and do not understand; they do not want to be mothers.  And men do not treat mothers as persons they should appreciate for their gift of life.”


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August 20, 2014

Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

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