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John Paul II wrote a letter of resignation in case he was not able to fulfil his duties

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Uploaded on Jan 26, 2010

The late pope John Paul II was willing to resign as the head of the Catholic Church if he were to come down with a incurable disease or if anything happened that would keep him from fulfilling his task. Thats what he wrote in his resignation letter, which the office of his cause of beatification has now published.

The pope wrote the letter in February of 1989, during the Cold War, a very uncertain moment in history. Back then he was 68 years old and healthy.

In the letter, John Paul II said he would resign from the papacy in one of two cases: one, if he had an incurable disease that would prevent him from exercising the apostolic ministry; or "in case of a severe and prolonged impairment that wouldve kept him from being the pope. Perhaps the pontiff was thinking about an accident, an attack or a war.

John Paul II entrusted in the Dean of the College of Cardinals, the cardinals of the Roman Curia and Vicar of Rome, to decide when to accept his letter of resignation.

The postulator, Slawomir Oder, published the entire text of the letter in his new book, "WHY HE IS HOLY".

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