First and foremost there are two things wrong with the TITLE of this PBS special. The title for the pope is dead WRONG! He is “Saint Pope John Paul II” or “Pope Saint John Paul II“. It is important that ‘Pope’ is in the title along with Saint. Plus, and this is important, he is NOT, and I REPEAT, NOT “John Paul”. He is, was and will always be “John Paul II“. There is another Pope John Paul who will one day be a Saint. They actually got this pope’s name dead wrong too! When talking about his election in 1978, and then Cardinal Karol Jzef Wojtyla paying his homage to the new pope, they referred to the pope as “John Paul”. NO. He was NEVER, EVER “John Paul”. From the moment he accepted the papacy he was “John Paul I”. These are small but important things that PBS should have got right.
Then the title claims “secrets” — in plural. But from what I can see this program is all about his relationship with Polish Anna Teresa Tymieniecka (who by the way had a Hanover, New Hampshire connection). The program tries to insinuate that it was a platonic relationship with no physical element. But there is no proof either way. Plus popes are notorious for their scandalous very intimate relationship with women, married women as well, over the millennia. So in the scheme of things this is not such a big deal.
What would have been more interesting is the oft stated belief that the Pope was a widow or a divorcee! He supposedly having been married, young, ahead of WW II.
So bit of a disappointing and tedious program. Just one SECRET and it is not that intriguing unless there is proof that she was actually his mistress in the accepted connotation of such relationships.
>> “Secrets of the Vatican” special.
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