Media Watch

Belgian Cardinal Predicts Popes Will Retire

KNACK MAGAZINE (Belgium) Oct. 13 — Speaking to the Belgian magazine Knack, Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Brussels engaged in some speculation about the future of the papacy. He suggested that someday popes might choose to retire when their health failed, rather than serve until their deaths, the magazine reported.

“We live too long and people cannot continue to carry that responsibility if they turn 90 or 100,” he said. “It doesn't matter how well they are looked after. …That the pope in the future will abdicate before his death will take place is a matter of course.”

The cardinal pointed out that he did not expect the Church ever to set a mandatory retirement age — as it has for bishops, at age 75. In any case, future popes would still have the power to set aside such a rule, since they are the sole judge of Canon Law.

Cardinal Danneels stressed that papal retirements would remain in the hands of the pope alone: “Otherwise you'll end up with too strong a lobbying in the pope's surroundings once that moment draws nearer.”

Pope John Paul Doesn't Need Dialysis, Says Vatican

CBC NEWS, Oct. 11 — Countering media reports, Church officials in Rome denied that Pope John Paul II's failing health has required him to seek kidney dialysis, according to Canada's CBC News.

Speculation had been sparked by Italian news agency AGI's previous report that the papal physicians feared the pope's kidneys were being overloaded by his medications and would require dialysis to cleanse them.

But Vatican sources denied this claim, saying there is “nothing new that is alarming” about the Pope's health. The Pope has kept up his busy schedule of audiences and official duties, CBC noted.

John Paul's Philosophical Writings Collected

VATICAN INFORMATION SERVICE, Oct. 13 — In a long-awaited pub lishing feat, the Italian press Bompiani will be publishing the philosophical works of Karol Wojtyla written between 1948, when he received his licentiate in theology at the Angelicum in Rome, and 1978, the year of his election to the pontificate.

Vatican Information Service reported that the volume will be 1600 pages long, including all the future Pope's philosophical essays, most of which were published individually while he taught at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. Key essays and books included are: “The doctrine of the faith in St. John of the Cross” (1948); “Evaluations on the possibility of building up the Christian ethic on the foundations of the system of Max Scheler” (1954); Love and Responsibility (1960), and The Acting Person (1969).

The book will first be published in Italian. It was introduced at the Holy See Press Office Oct. 13 by philosopher and papal confidante Rocco Buttiglione, who now serves in the Italian government.