George Weigel on Benedict XVI's Poland Trip
"He Wants to Thank the Polish People"
WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 16, 2006 (Zenit) - George Weigel has spent ample time in Poland, researching his famous biography on Pope John Paul II and leading seminars for students.
Recently, Weigel was the second non-Pole to receive the Gloria Artis Gold Medal, Poland's highest honor in recognition of contributions to Polish and world culture.
We turned to Weigel, a senior fellow who holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, to glean the significance of Benedict XVI's forthcoming trip to John Paul II's homeland.
Q: Pope Benedict XVI has not traveled extensively in his first year. Why do you think he has accepted an invitation to Poland?
Weigel: Pope Benedict is traveling as much as he thinks appropriate, given his age and his other commitments.
As for why he accepted an invitation to come to Poland, I expect that he wants to thank the Polish people for the gift of John Paul the Great -- and he may want to challenge Poland to take a leading role in the re-evangelization of Europe.
Q: What is the significance of the Pope traveling to places that were very important in Pope John Paul II's life, such as his birthplace in Wadowice and the shrine at Kalwaria?
Weigel: For Benedict to visit John Paul's hometown, Wadowice, as well as Kalwaria and Czestochowa, is a way to recognize, by way of his own pilgrimage, that the late Pope learned lessons in these places that were important for the entire world Church -- and still are today.
Q: What role do you think Benedict XVI believes Poland plays in European affairs?
Weigel: The Pope surely recognizes that Poland -- in addition to its stable democracy and its growing economy -- is home to an intact Catholic culture, at a time when the faith is dying in Europe and Europe is dying in part because of that.
I suspect that the Pope hopes that Poland's faith will help re-energize Catholic faith throughout "Old Europe," and that Poland will help resist the drift in the European Union toward imposed lifestyle libertinism -- what the Pope referred to the day before his election as the "dictatorship of relativism."
Q: What is the state of the Church in Poland? What are the challenges to the Church from prosperity and Western secularized culture?
Weigel: Many observers predicted a Polish Catholic meltdown -- similar to the meltdowns in Spain, Portugal and Ireland -- after the Revolution of 1989.
That hasn't happened. Polish Catholic practice remains intense, certainly the most intense in Europe.
As for challenges in the Polish Church, most thoughtful Polish Catholics I know believe the country needs a new injection of dynamic episcopal leadership if the Church is going to seize the culture-forming opportunities that lie before it.
Q: Do you expect the very high level of vocations to the priesthood to continue in Poland?
Weigel: Yes, at least for the immediate future.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Benedict, Poland, Weigel, Trip, Pope
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Museum of the Bible to open in Washington D.C., here's what you want ...
- Daily Reading for Thursday, October 19th, 2017 HD Video
- Missionary priest kidnapped in Nigeria
- St. Luke: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, October 18, 2017
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, October 18, 2017
- Callista Gingrich is the next U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican
- Museum of the Bible set to open in D.C., will be one of the city's ...
- Virgin Mary appears to Hindu schoolchildren in India, miracles reported HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 HD
- Intro to Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD
- Trump ends taxpayer giveaway to insurance companies HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way