Friday, February 19, 2016

The Holy Father was asked a lot of questions.

He answered well.

One question mentioned the latest news about JPII's friendship with women.

Question: "The media have referred to the intense correspondence John Paul II and the American philosopher, Ana Teresa Tymieniecka. … According to His Holiness, can a Pope have such an intimate relationship with a woman?"
Pope Francis: "I would say that a man who does not know how to have a relationship of friendship with a woman … well, he is a man who is missing something. … A friendship with a woman is not a sin. It is a friendship. … But the Pope is a man. The Pope needs the input of women, too. And the Pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends – Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross. ... But women are still not well considered; we have not understood the good a woman can do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help and healthy friendship". Source

I'm glad that's settled.


  1. Dear Terry,
    Thank you for a bit of silliness at the end of the post. I benefit from a little silliness in my life from time to time.

    Greetings from St. Paul,

  2. You have readers as far away as St. Paul?


  3. Even as far as Rochester! New York that is not Minnesota. As for friendships across the sexual divide I think of Thomas Merton and his nurse, Dorothy Day and many priests, my wife and various priests we have considered friends. This underscores to me that friendships, even deep ones, do not need to be romantic or sexual to be genuine love. This story makes JPI more of a human being in my mind and I respect his capacity to value another person be it a woman. It also confirms for me that marriage should not be denied to clerics if so inclined. It would, I think be a healthy choice. Now a married Pope might be to much to comprehend but as we evolve who knows what God has in store for us!

  4. A married clergy would neuter the Church.

    But the point of this is to show that friendships are good for that in themselves - friendship. Not as a precursor to married relations. Of course, correspondence in letters is one thing - regular one-on-one contact is another. I doubt the latter was ever happening with the Pope and this lady.

    1. I realize the idea of a married clergy is a shock to the system Joel, but we already have it in the Eastern Rites and in Anglician priests who have been accepted along with their wives and children. So, I have to think your objection is a moot point. As for JPI, I have seen several pictures from private meetings including a swim session at her home in Vermont. So you see these private meeting were happening. Not that it necessarily means anything more transpired.

  5. JPII really understood women which is interesting because his own mother died when he was so young. However, he was an attentive student at the knee of Mama Mary so it's not surprising he had such insight. Perhaps his friendships with women helped him heal from the loss of his earthly mother.


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