📷Reuters

Such a funny story, although in a very serious context

It reminds me of such a funny story, although in a very serious context.   It was probably the last visit of George Bush with the Holy Father.  I remember, that he Holy Father was quite weak, had problems with reading, speaking.  At first, he met with Bush in the library, for a private audience, in four eyes.   And then – as the president brought with him a very large delegation, we organized a second meeting, for everyone.  Not in the library, as it will not fit such a big group, but in the Clementine Hall.  There were approximately one hundred people.  The Holy Father was supposed to deliver a very important speech, so called messaggio.   He had everything ready and he was reading very slowly.  He was weak.  We even suggested that somebody else would read it, but the Pope wanted to read it by himself.  He was reading clearly, but in a very slow manner.  The next day, in the press such interpretations were published: “Mr. President, I am reading slowly, as I would like you to understand everything.”

– Maybe there was something in these interpretations?  Maybe for that reason the Holy Father was reading it even slower and more clearly than usually?

– Maybe, I do not know.  However, he was weak, so rather that was the reason.   In the Clementine Hall, I saw that despite the Pope’s weakness, everybody was listening to his words with a great interest and dignity.  Also, President Bush.  This weakness was, I feel, another argument in the discussion.  On some of them, it worked the most as they knew that the Pope, despite the illness, is fighting for human beings, for each of them, each one of us.  I remember, when after the funeral of the Holy Father, George Bush said that it was the most important day of his presidency.  A year earlier, he must have clearly understood what the Holy Father was reading to him so slowly and clearly. 

Archbishop Mokrzycki “He liked Tuesdays the most”

M Publisher, Kraków 2008