Tonight at 9 pm, April 5, 2016 PBS is airing a “documentary” on the letters of Pope Saint John Paul II to a woman. The BBC “documentary” on these letters was obviously biased. Although I have not yet seen it I believe that they strove to imply that the Pope had an improper relationship with this woman. That malicious implication is as outrageous as it is obviously false.
Listen to Al Kresta’s comments :**20 Minutes into program – PBS Tonight: The Secrets of St John Paul
**PBS will air a documentary on the so-called “secret relationship” between St John Paul II and a married woman named Anna-Teresa Tyminiecka, with whom he kept a correspondence for more than 30 years. The same topic was featured in a BBC documentary earlier this year. Despite what some sensationalist headlines say, there is nothing secret about the friendship between the two. Al looks at the letters the Pope sent to his friend and what we can learn from them. avemariaradio.net/audio-archive/kresta-in-the-afternoon-april-5-2016-hour-2/
If a person was wanting to indulge is some sinful behavior he would not go out of his way to declare that those acts as gravely immoral.
While there were dissenting theologians during Pope Saint John Paul II’s pontificate who opposed him and his moral teachings, the Pope went way out of his way to condemn the theories of these dissenting theologians in his Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, “The Splendor Of The Truth.”
You can read a short summery and analysis of the Pope’s Encyclical by Very Rev. Kris D. Stubna, S.T.D., from the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the form of a short pamphlet.
So, I watched the program. It was so frustrating. When they honestly looked at the facts they were forced to admit that there was nothing in Pope Saint John Paul II’s letters that would suggest that any sexual barriers had been crossed. But then they would say things that were so out of context and seemed to imply that the Pope’s relationship with this woman was some sort of scandal.
They had no facts, but still had the desire to slander with implication.
THEN, there was the “investigative reporting.”
Please … They really made me to want to throw up.
They constantly showed segments of John Cornwell giving his negative slant as best he could. Yes, John Cornwell, who also wrote **Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII.
Investigative journalism ???
Give me a break.
Remember how he used photoshop on the cover of his American edition of his book to make it look like the Nazi’s were saluting the Pope when in reality the German soldiers pictured on the cover of his book were before the Nazi era as indicated by the helmets.
There are many examples of men and women corresponding usually for spiritual guidance. Many are the male and female counterparts of religious orders. Perhaps they should consider that this woman may be on her own path to sainthood.
I don’t know if the PBS programme was the same as the BBC one - however I was not left feeling that the BBC reporting was particularly biased or had an agenda (if it was a different programme then I guess my contribution here is kind of moot )
One might argue it was structured in such a way as to make a hypothesis, viz. ‘John Paul II had a particular sort of relationship…’, and then tested, and the hypothesis disproved. But there’s nothing wrong with undertaking investigative journalism in that fashion as long as one has an open mind.
Whatever the general public in some places tends to think of the BBC, it is actually very very rarely biased in its religion-related broadcasting (to the point that one sometimes tears ones hair out at the scrupulousness) - in contrast to its position on some social/economic issues.
All TV these days has to SEEM sensational, because producers have come to the conclusion that it’s the only way to get people to watch the programme (I don’t know if this says more about producers or the viewing public). It doesn’t mean the content is anything to be outraged about. I don’t think there was any sort of slander attempted or implied except in the minds of those seeking to be outraged. (By the by, when it’s an audio narration on a TV programme is it slander or libel!?!?).
The issue is that in 2016 the general public finds sadly finds it next to impossible to believe that two people can have an intimate friendship that is yet entirely platonic. (Hence in part all the risible suggestions that ‘X was actually gay’ (Lincoln, Shakespeare, Gladstone, whomever) that crop up every so often). The general public includes those who make TV programmes, and so even in reaching correct conclusions come at them from a bizarre direction.
Most TV shows are about sensationalism. There is no evidence to suggest that JP II was ever unchaste with this woman or even that he loved her romantically. There is evidence to suggest that he felt a deep friendship and empathy with this correspondent. There is also evidence that suggests she was in love with him. I expect many women were. He was a loving person, and love attracts love.
On the surface, I question his wisdom in continuing to write to a married woman who told him “I belong to you,” but as I do not know the whole story, I make no judgments. We aren’t to judge anyone anyway.
The Polish National Library, which has copies of her letters to JP II as well as his letters to her, is going to release them in book form in a few years. Then this friendship may seem much more clear, and we may be able to discern why the pope continued it.
Certainly we should be charitable to her, but I can’t help but find something askew when she wrote “I belong to you” to JP II and he found it difficult to answer her. On the surface, that seems wrong for any married woman to write to any man not her husband, but I will form no opinion until I read her letters.
Sainthood does not appear to be what this woman was pursuing, but one never knows. She has passed on now, so she has been rewarded or not by God, and I’ll leave it at that.
When the Polish National Library publishes the book containing her letters and his, I will read it because I do want to know as much about JP II as possible, and this was an important friendship to him.
It’s so easy to be critical of someone else’s feelings and intentions. but to do so with such a Holy Pope makes me wonder what “their” own intentions are. To destroy the Pope’s credibility ??? My what a task for someone to take on regarding SAINT Pope John Paul II. Seems some are being judgemental already. To the Pope and the woman. God Bless, Memaw
Just to clarify, I didn’t watch the documentary and haven’t read the letters but I suspect that some things have been misinterpreted, or lost in translation. Taking a simple line out of context can be very misleading. Personally I don’t suspect any wrongdoing.
Edit: also, ‘I belong to you’ … in English, at the end of a letter we may write ‘yours truly’ or ‘yours ever’ or ‘yours sincerely’ etc., and these words could be taken to mean something else entirely if translated into another language. We must remember that they were friends.
They cared that you watched–and that you would get others to tune in.
And although PBS is not advertiser financed, the greater the viewership they can demonstrate, the greater they can justify their continued support from the government.
I do appreciate you taking a stand for Truth here, though.
I’m just not inclined to support their malevolence.
Best response imo, is to write your congressmen–explain your objection to their programming; ask that PBS be defunded…
CC PBS with your letter.
IMO, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with that approach, than any other.
NOTE: the end game here isn’t to ‘defund’ PBS, necessarily–it’s to show them what their childish antics may be calculated to achieve–i.e.–getting the wrong kind of attention of the very source (congress) they will be hitting up for money, to continue to sustain them.
It would also be helpful if you have ever contributed to them in the past, to so withhold any further such contributions–and let them know about it–as long as they promote such bush league journalism, and transparently bogus programming.
You imply you want to know why Pope Saint John Paul II continued his friendship with this woman. Is the Pope incriminated if we did not have an answer for everything he did ?
From watching the show without a desire to dwell on smutty implications and false insinuations, I can tell you at least one reason why he continued his friendship with her. She was helping publish his Catholic philosophical ideas, to promote the beauty of God’s truth. And I suppose we could add another reason, and that being that there is something somewhere, if I am not mistaken, about being friends loving everyone in the Gospel.
I agree we should protest Government’ funding of PBS.
I disagree that they wanted Catholic apologists to watch this show, or at least they did not want me to watch it anyway.
I will point out their errors and to the extent that others are influenced by me (which might be null set, but at least I tried)
and make it harder for PBS to get funding. I rarely watch it. I have never voluntarily funded it. And my purpose here, by watching it and therefore making my critique of it more plausible in the minds of others, will, hopefully, help others to stop funding it.
I didn’t watch any privately funded commercials so advertisers did not benefit from my watching it.
Having watched it though, I can tell you that this was One Big Commercial to drive up private funding. They keep saying how this program was made possible “by your private contributions to PBS.” During the program the “investigative scholars” like John Cornwell keep hinting that they wanted to do more research on her letters.
Hint, Hint : Send more money to PBS so we can fund ourselves to promote more malicious insinuations and twisted half-truths.
I have listed on page here my objections to John Cornwell and my objections to anyone considering his research worth reading
Without a doubt this program was biased in its presentation against the good name of Pope Saint John Paul II.
I believe it was the BBC program re-aired. Several certainly had British accents. Some people just have better radar on picking up on how others use the language to mislead others and to promote depraved agendas. And some just naively allow themselves to be led astray as if they had a ring in their nose. Listen to the link by Al Kresta in my previous post and let me know what you think ?
People on opposite sides of the Pond must have peculiarly differing interpretations of the same programme. Having watched it when it was broadcast in the UK there was quite certainly nothing one could find reprehensible in it. They basically asked a question - admittedly several times as if hoping for a particular answer - and concluded that it had to be answered in the negative. It didn’t insinuate: that’s in the mind of the suspicious, only, IMO.
Not all journalism is part of a conspiracy to de-hoodwink the gullible (ie. us, as Catholics/Christians/or whomever else). Sometimes people just find a source, think it interesting, have a question to ask it, and then report the conclusions. If anything in this case my already wide admiration for St. John Paul II increased.