Pope John Paul II 'regularly whipped himself'Breaking News
The book also described how, as a bishop in Poland, the future pontiff would often sleep on a bare floor as an act of self-denial and asceticism.
Msgr Oder, who like the former Pope is Polish, also revealed in the new book that John Paul had decided that in the event of an "incurable sickness" he would voluntarily step down rather than stay in office until his death.
He declared in 1989 that in "the case of sickness that is deemed to be incurable, which prevents me from sufficiently fulfilling the functions of my apostolic ministry," he would renounce his positions as the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome.
Senior Vatican cardinals would then have been entrusted with the task of putting the resignation into effect, after which a new Pope would have been elected.
Had he stepped down, he would have been the first Pope to do so willingly since 1294.
comments powered by Disqus
- Letters collection offers unique glimpse into ordeal of Australian aborigines
- War, More Than ISIS, Is Destroying Syria's Ancient Sites
- Pew Poll: Trust in government is at historic lows
- If "The Donald" Said It Happened, It Happened! And Don't You Forget It!
- Solved: the mystery of Britain’s Bronze Age mummies
- Anne Frank Faced Challenges Similar to Syrian Refugees, Richard Breitman Says
- Douglass North, Nobel Prize-winning economics historian, dies at 95
- Craig Shirley says Ted Cruz is right and the Huffington Post wrong about Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Presidential Campaign
- Mystery at Notre Dame: A priest-historian has been forced to back off a project promoting authentic Catholic education
- William & Mary launching a gay history project