At a press meeting today, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls revealed that the original is written in Polish. It was read to the 122 cardinals present in a provisional Italian translation.
“The fact that its publication was not made to coincide with today’s reading is simply a problem of translation,” he explained. “It was read in a draft Italian translation and must now be revised, that is, made literarily satisfactory.”
Questioned by journalists, Navarro Valls said: “I think it is some 15 pages long. It is a testament written in several moments. Some pages have a paragraph of only a few lines written at a later date. On some, the writing is just a half a sheet, etc. The first part of the testament was written in 1979.”
Papal testaments, for example, that of Paul VI, are usually above all a reflection before God on life and death.
John Paul II entrusted his testament to his secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who in turn gave it to Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, chamberlain.