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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Papal privacy: Or anyone else's

Pope John Paul II   (Public Domain)
History might rightfully dub this the "Age of Omniscience" in which everyone knows everyone else's business. 

Between people willingly funneling their blow-by-blow scenarios to such media as Facebook, and people unknowingly being watched by such organizations as the National Security Administration, there's hardly a secret left in this nosy noisy world.

Is that good, bad, and/or just plain ugly? 

Now it's true that omniscience has long been considered to be a holy quality of God's.  However, this type of omniscience has been protectively coupled with God's perfect benevolence.  Omniscience without such sacred protection can run quite amok, especially when coupled with all-too-human fallibility.

Just recently, Pope John Paul II's secretary and "trusted confidant" went against the late pope's clearly (and probably legally) expressed wishes and published John Paul's "personal notes."  This secretary, the Rev.
Stanislaw Dziwisz, claimed to be "having them published as a precious insight into the inner life of the beloved pontiff, who will be declared a saint in April."

Was this the right thing to do?  Is such insight worth the breaking of trust and confidentiality?  Although The Associated Press points out that Dziwisz did "not go against papal infallibility…which applies only to matters of church doctrine," he might have heavily contributed to the rapid demise of a cherished value:  privacy.   

Copyright February 4, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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