LESSON OF RESPONSIBILITY
Prelate priest Ireneusz Skubiś talks with cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ: - Eminence, we were witnesses of a lesson of investigation which was given to us by John Paul II. How shall we understand another lesson – responsibility for the Church, this time given to us by Benedict XVI?
CARDINAL STANISŁAW DZIWISZ: - John Paul II was very close to cardinal Jospeh Ratzinger – later cardinal Ratzinger as pope Benedict XVI was very close to the thoughts of John Paul II. John Paul II consulted all important matters also in the last days of his life with cardinal Ratzinger. Certainly, each of them has his charisma. Holy Father Benedict XVI is a great pope who influenced the renewal and deepening religious life of the Church through his intellectual and theological preparation and spirituality.
He will surely come into history as a great pope.
His charism was unique, like the unique charism of John Paul II, who was realising his pontificate in a different way. But we see a kind of fulfilment in it. The present Holy Father surely considered all his personal matters and presented his decision at consistory. We must respect it and pray for it to God. The Holy Spirit reigns the Church and enlivens it in every moment. We accept it as God’s will, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
– Benedict XVI often said about the Church as a boat thrown on restless waves of the ocean of the world. How should we interpret his decisions in the spirit of faith? Should we start relying on the Holy Spirit?
– We must absolutely accept it as God’s will. The decision was full of prayers, reflections and the Holy Father can’t surely have made it easily. Being for so many years near John Paul II, I know that such decisions cost a lot. And this decision was difficult but brave.
– Was the decision about the resignation from the ministry by Pope Benedict XVI a surprise for Cardinal?
– The decision of Benedict XVI surprised all of us very deeply. We did not expect it, but we accept it with faith and we thank the Holy Father for everything which he did and is still going to do for us. He will surely have devoted to contemplation and he will still support the Church in his prayer with his person and charism.
– Having a special Roman experience, Eminence was surely looking at Benedict XVI in a different way than we all. Can Eminence tell us something about it?
– In the previous century we had really great popes. Each of them had his charism but they complemented one another. In this way the Church was directed, whose pastors knew how to be a support at a particular moment, on which the Church relied as well as the whole humankind. Beginning from Leon XIII, through Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII and, certainly, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II, each of these popes had his charism, each of them brought his personality into the Church, beside what they gained from the Holy Spirit. Benedict XVI is bringing his person, his special talent and charism into the Church, beside what the Hole Spirit is saying to him. All this is going to bring fruits. The new pope will also bring himself into the Church, will enrich the Church with new charism.
– As Cardinal was right to say – the pope is a support not only for the Church, for believers, but also for the whole humankind. So, we are waiting for a new pope, who will lead the Church safely through storms and winds of the present times…
– The Church is a sign of opposition. It was, is and will be this sign because it has its ministry, it is bringing its message which is not convenient to everybody. Therefore we are praying deeply for a pope who will be able to lead the Church in such a way, that it would be able to fulfil its mission given to it by Jesus Christ.
– Eminence, as Cardinal elector of the future conclave is facing a big task now – the vote of every elector is very important for the Church and the whole humankind. Cardinal will have to think deeply on a candidate for the pope….
– We must return here to the texts of John Paul II, who, among the others, in his testament wrote the significant words: ‘The Holy Spirit will show’. Cardinals gathered at a prayer are supposed to recognise this will of God, accept the indication of the Holy Spirit and in this way introduce a new pope. It will be the first time I will have participated in a conclave but as I heard from cardinals, one can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit on a conclave. One has to open to His inspiration and choose a man whom God wants.
– We will support this election with a prayer…
– I have much trustfulness in the prayer of the Church, we can ask the Holy Spirit through it, so that the Holy Spirit would show the most suitable person among candidates, for today and tomorrow of the Church. Apart from that I am sure that we will be supported by care of blessed John Paul II…
– Benedict XVI used to say that he felt how John Paul II was looking at him from the Heaven’s window. I think that also now he is together with his Church through his cordial care.
– Surely blessed John Paul II remembers about all of us, because he was always faithful in his love to God and the man. We will also rely on every spiritual support of Benedict XVI who said that he would ask God, so that all matters in the Church would be successful, in the name of Jesus Christ. But I invite also all Readers of ‘Sunday’ to a great prayer for the Church and a prayer to the Holy Spirit, so that he would point at a person who is needed by the Church.