Polish Film Director Says John Paul II Is Still Sharp

Krzysztof Zanussi Thinks Pope´s Resignation Is in God´s Hands

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ROME, MAY 24, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II can carry out his «spiritual role» even if he lacks the strength and vigor of youth, says a major Polish film director and friend of the Pope´s.

In statements today to the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, Krzysztof Zanussi, author of three films on Karol Wojtyla, explained that he met with the Pope recently, and that it is easier to see his «lucidity and sharpness» in private than in public.

«The Pope is not a manager who, grown weak and infirm, is replaced because it is believed that he is unable to handle a business´ interests effectively,» Zanussi said.

«In the Orthodox Church, it is impossible to remove the figure of the elderly wise man,» he added. «I think it is the best perspective to evaluate the question — superfluous from my point of view — of the Pope´s resignation.»

«In other religions — I am thinking of Buddhism or Islam — the problem of resigning does not arise,» Zanussi noted. «No one would think of asking the Dalai Lama to resign. There is a Western pragmatism that deforms the problem.»

Even from the standpoint of communication, the Polish film director believes that old age and bouts of illness are elements in the Pope´s favor.

«When seeing an athlete, one suspects that he pursues immediate objectives. However, a weak man can only think of eternal things and transmit extremely valid messages,» the Pope´s friend added.

It has been rumored that the Holy Father might announce his resignation in August, during his trip to Poland. Zanussi responded: «I don´t think so. It would go against Providence. More than the Pope, it is the Holy Spirit who must decide.»

Zanussi is making a new documentary on John Paul II and how he is addressing the topic of globalization. «For the first time, the Catholic Church has realized that it lives in a world, the global city, made up of great diversities, including spiritual and religious, which cannot be ignored,» Zanussi said.

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