ROME (CNS): In a new autobiographical book, Pope John Paul II says he thinks he may have been too lenient as a pastor.
“The pastor’s role also includes admonishing. I think that, in this category, I have perhaps done too little,” the Pope wrote in Get Up, Let Us Go, a book distributed in Italian and other languages.
“There’s always a problem of balance between authority and service. Perhaps I should rebuke myself for not having tried hard enough to command,” the Pope said.
“In a certain sense, that’s a result of my temperament,” he added.
The book reviews his 20 years as a bishop in Poland, but also includes reflections on activities following his election as Pope in 1978. An English edition is expected to be published in coming months.
The Pope reflected on his authoritarian shortcomings in a chapter that recalled his ordination as bishop in 1958. He said episcopal authority and how to wield it is a question faced by every bishop.
The Pope said that, despite his temperament, he had tried to strike that balance over the years.
He recalled that as Archbishop of Krakow, he tried to make decisions in a collegial manner, consulting with auxiliary bishops and others.