Controversy erupts over letters between Pope John Paul, Wanda Poltawska

Pope John Paul II’s closest aide is strongly criticizing Dr. Wanda Poltawska over her decision to publish five decades’ worth of private correspondence with the late Pontiff. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow says that Dr. Poltawska– a psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor– is claiming “a special relationship where none existed” and that many others corresponded privately with Pope John Paul. Father Adam Boniecki, former editor of the Polish edition of L’Osservatore Romano, countered that Pope John Paul and Dr. Poltawska had a strong relationship, like that of a brother and sister– akin to that of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Francis de Chantal. Meanwhile, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, is asking Poltawska to send photocopies of the entire correspondence to Rome, to be reviewed by officials involved in the cause for beatification of the late Pontiff.