From the very beginning, Karol Wojtyła was a different Pope. Different, of course, as he was the first non-Italian Pope after almost five hundred years. And, that was a traumatic reality for many. I recall how the next day after the election, the Holy Father went to Gemelli’s Polyclinic to visit his very sick friend, Bishop Andrzej Deskura. One big Italian newspaper put the title on the first page: “The Pope from the foreign country on the streets of Rome”. Are you getting it? Foreigner!
But, Karol Wojtyła was a different Pope due to his interpretation of the Peter’s role. Undoubtedly a new way but referring to what the Second Vatican Council stated in the Constitution “Lumne Gentium”, going back to the principle of collegiality of Bishops. Not only but referring to the first millennium of the Christian community, when the Church of Rome united around its Bishop, was leading in love all other local churches. In other words, the Pope – as now it also represents Pope Francis – is not a monarch, does not represent an absolute power, but is one that belongs to College of Bishops and naturally, at the same time, is the head of that College.
At the permission of Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz – “At the side of the Saint”
St. Stanislaus BM Publisher, Kraków 2013