Cardinal Defies Pope John Paul II’s Wish To Burn Diaries

Publishes late pope's notes instead

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A cardinal and former aide to Pope John Paul II has caused outrage by publishing the deceased Pope’s personal notes, defying instructions in his will to burn them.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz claimed that he “did not have the courage” to destroy the notes, saying he had no doubt they were “important items” and that “it would be a crime to destroy them,” the New York Times reports. He claimed that destroying the diaries would be comparable to the burning of Pope Pius XII’s letters, an incident many historians consider to have been a grave mistake.

Titled I Am Very Much in God’s Hands, the diaries are due to be published in the late pontiff’s native Poland on Feb. 5. This has caused outrage among the faithful there, where much of the devoutly Catholic population regard the cardinal’s actions as treacherous and disrespectful.

However some Catholic academics have expressed support for the release of the diaries, claiming they are not subject to the doctrine of papal infallibility and are a valuable resource for scholars and historians of Catholicism.