Thursday, April 07, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Pope's Will mentions only two living people -- his personal secretary and Rabbi Toaff

"-- John Paul wrote that he left no material possessions behind and asked that his personal records be burned. Other than his family, he mentioned only two people -- his personal secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, and the former chief rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, who hosted John Paul in 1986 when he was the first modern pope to visit a synagogue. "

-- CNN [Full text of will is not yet available in English, but will be posted when it is]

UPDATE: Thank you 'Atlantic' (see comments, and, yes, Rabbi T was only one of two living persons recalled, which the posting heading made clear. However, he is also the only specific religious leader - Catholic or not - mentioned. ) I think that in Catholic theological terms that is a huge gesture. The relevant text is:

"During the more than 20 years that I am fulfilling the Petrine service "in medio Ecclesiae" I have experienced the benevolence and even more the fecund collaboration of so many cardinals, archbishops and bishops, so many priests, so many consecrated persons - brothers and sisters - and, lastly, so very, very many lay persons, within the Curia, in the vicariate of the diocese of Rome, as well as outside these milieux.
How can I not embrace with grateful memory all the bishops of the world whom I have met in "ad limina Apostolorum" visits! How can I not recall so many non-Catholic Christian brothers! And the rabbi of Rome and so many representatives of non -Christian religions! And how many representatives of the world of culture, science, politics, and of the means of social communication!"

From: The complete text of the Pope's Will in the UK 'Times'. It is of itself a fascinating document.

--- and in addition, Haaretz carries a banner saying that according to Israel radio Israeli singer Noa (Achinoam Nini) will be the "only" performer at the funeral.

  • Can anyone give any other source / confirmation for this??

If accurate, both (or, in fact, either) of these pieces of information are astonishing, IMHO. We live in interesting times.

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