Pope's Suffering Carries a Message, Says L'Arche Founder

Jean Vanier Sees Something Luminous About John Paul II

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ROME, FEB. 9, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II’s testimony of suffering is an even more eloquent message than that of encyclicals, says the founder of an international network of communities for people with disabilities.

«John Paul II is the Pope and it is up to the Pope to decide» whether he should resign, said Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche Communities, on Vatican Radio today.

«When he was asked what he thought about the possibility of resigning, he replied: ‘Did Jesus want to come down from the cross?'» Vanier recalled.

«The Pope is a man who suffers,» the 76-year-old Vanier said. «He suffers physically, but I also think he suffers enormously in his heart. And, at the same time, there is in him something that is extraordinarily luminous and limpid. The Pope is the sign of what Christianity is.

«Today, humanity finds itself in a condition of particular poverty. Christians are often in conditions of poverty. Jesus asks each one of us, in the face of all the suffering that exists in the world, to believe that he is present and invites us to trust him, and to grow in that trust.»

«Today the Pope, more than with any encyclical, or any other writing, is a sign of holiness with his presence,» Vanier said. «Today the world does not need great ‘athletes of God,’ it needs men and women, like John Paul II, who accept the mystery of what they experience.

«St. Paul says: My strength is manifested in my weakness. This is precisely what the Pope is living today.»

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