Letters Between Karol Wojtyla and Philosopher Friend Published

«Complete Dimension» Appears in Poland

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The private correspondence between Karol Wojtyla and his philosopher friend Stefan Swiezawski has just been published in Polish, offering glimpses into 50 years of John Paul II’s life.

The work, published by Biblos, begins with the first letters written by young Father Wojtyla, and ends with letters written after his election as Pope.

The 406-page volume, entitled «Pelny Wymiar» (Complete Dimension), not only includes letters of the present Pope, but also the missives written to him by Swiezawski, now 95, as well as correspondence between the latter and two other priests.

One of them, Father Tadeusz Federowicz, now deceased, was for a long time Wojtyla’s spiritual adviser.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Polish theologian Father Janusz Krolikowski explained that the volume is «a testimony of dialogue» with the world, with the Church, and at the personal level. The influence of this dialogue can be seen in the 1998 encyclical «Fides et Ratio,» he said.

In the book, Swiezawski also expresses criticisms of the Church in Poland. He writes: «The older I get, the more I love the Church, but also the more anti-clerical I become.»

Father Krolikowski confirms that Wojtyla understood the philosopher and expressed «his concern over the reception of Vatican Council II in Poland,» accepting the professor’s criticisms for what he regarded as the «the faults of the Church in Poland.»

He cites, for example, «the Church’s lack of openness toward the laity, or the fact that the Church is not always concerned with applying the liturgical reform.»

The theologian says that Wojtyla confesses his «strong preoccupation over the Church at the present time.»

Among the novelties the volume contributes on Wojtyla’s personality, Father Krolikowski emphasizes his profoundly human character. «We see a man who lives friendship, who remembers the family, who refers to cherished memories of the past,» he said.

At the same time, the theologian adds, Wojtyla is very concerned about people — he asks after the professor’s wife, his children and grandchildren.

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