“The pope is a man,” the Holy Father declared Wednesday as he flew back to Rome from Mexico. “And the pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman.” These were the exact statements used by Pope Francis post the expose of intimate letters by BBC from Pope John Paull II to a married polish woman named Anna Teresa Tymieniecka. Clearly Pope Francis wanted to street this boat out of murky waters of illicit relationship to a holy friendship between the two.

Anna Teresa Tymieniecka has been in correspondence with Karol Wojtyla (Future Pope John Paul ll) ever since they met in 1973. Their relationship blossomed to an unprecedented personal level in the autumn of 1974. In one of his letter, Karol Wojtyla writes back to Anna from Rome “I didn’t answer them earlier because I cannot trust our post office, however, I have kept these letters, brought them to Rome with me and I am reading them again – they are so meaningful and deeply personal, even if they are written in a philosophical ‘code’.”

During the seventies Poland was, of course, a communist state, and the Church was regarded as the enemy, so its leaders were closely watched by the secret police, known as the SB. Clearly this raises a curious question as to why Karol Wojtyla wanted to avoid the prying eyes the SB and what prompted him to sent them from Rome. Around 1975, the BBC journalist who unearthed the letters, suggested that Anna-Teresa declared her love for him in 1975, when he was already the Archbishop of Krakow in Poland.

In 1976, while attending a conference in US, the Archbishop spent an entire summer with Anna and her family at their summer house in Pomfret. The average viewer would certainly mistake this picture for a happily married middle aged couple who seem to be enjoying each other’s company by the lakeside. After returning from that trip, he wrote to Ms Tymieniecka describing her as a “gift from God”.

PICTURE CREDIT MUST READ "“Photograph provided by Bill and Jadwiga Smith” " Images supplied by BBC of personal photographs of Pope John Paul II circa 1973.   BBC Panorama uncovers letters detailing the relationship between Pope John Paul II and married woman Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka picture supplied by  BBC Panorama
PICTURE CREDIT MUST READ ““Photograph provided by Bill and Jadwiga Smith” “
Images supplied by BBC of personal photographs of Pope John Paul II circa 1973.
BBC Panorama uncovers letters detailing the relationship between Pope John Paul II and married woman Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
picture supplied by BBC Panorama

Post his elevation to Papacy, In May 1981, there was a assassination attempt on Karol Wojtyla. Anna-Teresa immediately sent a telegram to his secretary, saying: ‘I am overwhelmed by sadness and anxiety and want desperately to be close to you. I arrive on Saturday.’ She was one of the few people allowed to see him in his hospital bed.

Devotional scapulars are formed of two tiny bits of cloth, worn next to the skin over the chest and back, designed to echo the full-length, apron-like garments which monks wear over their habits. Not many Catholics wear them now, but for centuries they were widely used as a symbol of commitment to the Christian life. This one had been given to Karol Wojtyla by his father at the time of his first Holy Communion, and it seems that he invested it with a special significance in his relationship with Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka.

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In 1956, Anna married Hendrik Houthakker, a Dutch-American economist at Harvard University, who served on President Nixon’s Council of Economic Advisers. They had three children and were married for 52 years, until his death in 2008. Post his death, she sold her archive of their correspondence of over 350 letters to the National Library of Poland in Warsaw. It has taken nearly eight years for these letters to surface to the non Christian World but still many of the secret letters have been reserved from the public purview.

Indian media is known for its vociferous fight againt the intimate relationships and illegal activities of Hindu pontiffs. In March 2010, a sleazy video of Swami Nithyananda and Tamil film actress Ranjitha, in spite of its objectionable content, was repeatedly aired on a loop in almost all South Indian channels owned Sun TV Group. Aarthi Rao and Lenin Karuppan, the master minds behind this operation were hailed as heros for exposing the illegal activities in the ashrams of Sawmi Nithyananda.

Same can be quoted with controversial Hindu Godmen/Godwomen like Asaram Bapu and Radhee Maa. Exposures of their controversial lifestyles have certainly been an eye opener to many ignorant devotees who fall prey to these self styled pontiffs.

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What seems to be debatable is the dubious double standards of Leftist Media houses when it comes to Popes and Imams, making us wonder if they above the sanctity of secular media? If the fights of these Leftist media houses are against the hardcore right wing elements of the world, why didn’t they shed any light on this juicy affair involving the Pope?

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