Cardinal Deskur's Comments on John Paul II

“I Know He Will Not Give Up; It Is the Lord’s Will”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, July 3, 2002 ( The Vatican’s confirmation on Tuesday that John Paul II will visit Poland from Aug. 16-19 is another indication the 82-year-old Pontiff is keeping an active schedule.

“I know he will not give up; Cardinal Andrej Maria Deskur, a longtime friend of John Paul II’s, said in a recent interview. “It is the Lord’s will.”

“He is unsurpassable, as always,” the Polish cardinal, 78, told the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The Pope too knows well the phrase “to serve the Church till martyrdom,” said the cardinal, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who is confined to a wheelchair.

Q: You have also demonstrated great will power by not refusing to exercise your pastoral mission despite your physical problems.

Cardinal Deskur: But I don’t have the Pope’s will power. He is strong, he is indestructible: It is a real gift of the Lord. Yes, I have never given in, and continue even with my illness, but the Pope is on another level, and he will never abandon the Church, until the Lord wills it.”

Q: Undoubtedly, the Pope is a great witness that you, yourself, Eminence, know very well.

Cardinal Deskur: Oh yes, since I was about 50 years old, I have been constrained to move in a wheelchair, but I have never given up. It is the Lord’s will.”

Q: With [Saturday’s] homily, the Pope has cleared the field of all the inferences about is possible resignation. Is this true?

Cardinal Deskur: Yes, absolutely. The Holy Father has silenced all. He is a man who is used to doing the Lord’s will, but if one doesn’t know his spiritual strength, he cannot be understood.”

Q: You, being a friend of long-standing, must also have known this, his spiritual strength. Can you tell us about it?

Cardinal Deskur: He was always a strong man. He is so today, as he was when he was young. He was a leader, an apostle for the youth in Poland. He taught others to be strong, to never be discouraged. And he himself never refused any sacrifice in the name of the Lord.

Q: So, despite the illness, he will never abandon the leadership of the Church?

Cardinal Deskur: No, never. What is more, whoever has faith, knows that the Lord decides everything. He is the one who decides. He is the one who knows when to say enough. If the Lord wishes me to go on, I go on. This is the Pope’s strength.

Q: Even when faced with a total impediment? For example, a mental illness or complete physical blockage?

Cardinal Deskur: I exclude this completely. Knowing the person and his spiritual strength. I exclude it completely.

Q: Hence, you exclude the possibility that the Pope has entrusted to someone his letter of resignation to give notice in face of a total impediment? Every so often there is talk of this.

Cardinal Deskur: Absolutely. There are no letters of this type or of any other type. He will do God’s will.

Q: And [Saturday] he said till martyrdom. What effect does talk of martyrdom have on him?

Cardinal Deskur: “It is his most profound conviction, till martyrdom …”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation