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January 25, 2007



Good for him! What fun. Wish I could do that.

Tim J.


I always thought there was a sort of mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Anyone in a position with that much power and responsibility needs to "clear the cobwebs", occasionally. Good for him. Good for us, too.


As a developer and inventor of long board skateboards I often mention to folks that the pope was a skiier--and even until he was of an advanced age. And since the motion and thrill of longboarding is indeed very similar to skiing, I note that there is really no reason why adults shouldn't 'longboard', for the same reason that adults ski. So, the pope is a great witness to the thrill and stress relieving attributes of the 'gravity'type sports.

John F. Kennedy

The Pope "escaping" from the Vatican reminds me of the movie "The Shoes of the Fisherman" with Anthony Quinn as the Pope. He would borrow a priest's clothes and leave to walk the streets of Rome.

The movie's Pope is surprising similar to JPII's reign. This is one more parallel to JPII.


Jimmy, what do you think about one of the more widely reported items in Cardinal Dziwisz's book, namely that in 2000 John Paul seriously considering abdicating because of ill health and also changing canon law to allow popes to retire at 80?


Dan Hunter

John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
Pope John Paul did not want to sell the treasures of the Vatican like Anthony Quinn's character in ,"Shoes of the Fisherman".Thank the good Lord.The treasures of the Church are always needed to reflect in a sensible way the glory of the Heavenly realm.
The Pope in that film was extremely liberal,completely the opposite of our late Holy Father.Go sixties Hollywood.
On another note,I once heard that Pope John PaulII lifted weights in a special Vatican gym.Has anyone else heard this?
Viva Cristo Rey!

Dean Whinery B.

Not being a moviegoer, I have not seen the Anthony Quinn film.
However, when I was in Europe during the early 60s, there was a popular, if unfounded, story that several of the popes had strolled the streets of Rome dressed as priests or monsignori.
Popes are human, too. Why should they not have a little "time off"?

John F. Kennedy

In the movie, I do not remembering him selling the treasures. He agreed the Church would raise money to feed China and preventing a war between them and the eastern block.

I thought that if the people did not financially support this need, then they would sell them. A sort of ultimatum. I thought it was a novel approach.


This story made my day.


I am a little uncomfortable with the pope's friend and private secretary releasing a book containing private stories about the pope. Would John Paul II have wanted these things known? Is Cardinal Dziwisz just seeking to be in the limelight?

JPII gave instructions that his private papers were to be burned; Dziwisz didn't carry out his wishes.

Mary Kay

Sharon, my guess is that the stories are not too personal. Yes, John Paul II did ask that his private papers be burned, but time will tell about Dziwisz' decision. Fr. Mendel ("father of genetics") had his private papers burned and after reading his biography, wish there had been more information.

At any rate, John Paul II's ski day story made my day. Good for him for making the time to do what he needed.

Are there any tales of the younger Pope going sledding, building snowmen, or perhaps snow-informants?


That made my day. I always like the idea that Pope was a normal human being. I mean, he wasn´t like "Hey, all of you bow down, I´m The Pope" but you had to bown down before his humanity. And I liked the children sparks in his eyes. Do you think that Benedikt XVI also does such secret escpapes? To somewhere?


From an April 6th, 2005 artical in HERITAGE SKIING NEWS:

"..Upon his arrival at the Vatican, Wojtyla told the Italian cardinals, "In Poland, 40 percent of the cardinals ski." When it was pointed out to him that Poland had only two cardinals, Wojtyla explained, "Cardinal Wyszynski accounts for 60 percent." He later expressed his love of skiing to a journalist by saying, "I wish I could be out there somewhere in the mountains, racing down into a valley. It's an extraordinary sensation."

Will Pope John Paul II ski again? Says Wojtyla, "It would be impossible for me not to."

* * *


B-16 is a cat lover. *grin* Supposedly, he goes to visit his cats, too. How could I not love that in a man?

JP2 always seemed like one of the two perfect priest, too me-- much like The Leprechan, an Irish Catholic priest that I knew when I was so young that I honestly don't know if his name was Patrick or not.
(He knew the priest that got my mother to stay in college and later blessed my parent's marriage, so stopped to say hi to her, but mom was out. When she got back, she had three excited children telling her that "a leprechan!" had stopped by.)
The other perfect priest type was Father Pat Kurst, who was the classic secret-crush type. ;^)


"B-16 is a cat lover. *grin* Supposedly, he goes to visit his cats, too. "

What? It's bad enough he's not Irish, but a cat lover too?

Well, nobody is perfect. I'll try not to hold it against him. At least he's Catholic. :-)

Fabio P.Barbieri

The stories of Popes on secret outings are a staple of Roman talk - and I should know, most of my family live there. There are parallel stories about the Queen of England. Apparently Elizabeth II can be quite convincing as an old country woman in a headscarf, although sometimes she receives comments on how much she looks like the Queen. The same kind of stories are also told of many Hollywood actors.

I don't think Pope Benedict will be so eager to go out in mufti. He is, for one thing, an older man, and for another, he was always more academic and withdrawn than the incandescent Karol Woytila.

Joseph D'Hippolito

John F. Kennedy, I too thought of the movie, "The Shoes of the Fisherman" when I saw this item. Even for somebody like me who doesn't care for the late pope (and that's putting it mildly), this story brought a smile to my face.

BTW, it's a pity that the movie wasn't released in video or CD. Or am I mistaken (hint, hint... ;D)?



Do you prefer Pope Benedict XVI's style of leadership better?

... just curious why people have their likes and dislikes when it comes to 'Popes'.

I personally like Benedict XVI better than JPII. However, I can also see the enourmous good JPII has done for the Holy Church, and without which, Benedicts Papacy would probably be much less effective. JPII, I think, did the 'foundation work' for the so called "Reformation of the Reformation"-and in a time of enourmous political and spiritual turmoil. To this I give him great credit!

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