Holy Father’s Last Rites Declaration

An email is going around that contains what is said to be John Paul II's "last rites declaration" made on April 2, 2005. Here's what he supposedly said:

"The unforgiveable sins this earth must confront and overcome are Nationalism, capitalism, and hoarding. The idea of every nation should be forgot, price should be struck from the commons, and princes should be seen for the devils they are. The sins include our church, secret societies, and other religions which make of the spirit of God a divide."

That would be a pretty remarkable statement for the Pope to make since it seems to promote a form of socialism. It certainly wouldn't square too comfortably with the economic policies of the Bush administration. And what's that part about 'the sins include our church' supposed to mean? The question is: did the Pope actually say it? Variations of the email state that this last rites declaration can be found on the Vatican website. However, I've been searching their website, and I can't find it anywhere. If anyone can find it, let me know. Otherwise, I'm assuming that this quotation is a hoax.


Posted on Mon Apr 11, 2005


There is quite a bit of info here:


Some of it is in Italian, suprise.

I suspect your original material is a hoax, as a slam against Bush, because I seriously doubt that the Vatician weighs the USA in their decisions. Remember, PJP was against the USA invasion of Iraq.
Posted by Bill  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  10:13 AM
The Pope did at time seem to back socialism but he did not. Nor did he back capitalism. He did state that there were seeds of truth in both. I'm pretty sure this is a hoax, someone trying to get thier own opinion seen as more important then it is by passing it off as being said by someone else who is in the news. Happens alot.
Posted by TWM  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  11:41 AM
Speaking as a sometime professional translator, I think if it was written by the Pope, it's a pretty terrible translation. Though I didn't always agree with him, John Paul II did usually write and speak quite coherently. Also, the date given must be when it was released, not when JP II said or wrote it, since April 2, 2005 was the day he died, and I very much doubt that he could have said anything that day.

To the extent that it isn't unintelligible, though, the statement is completely consistent with many public statements and writings of the late Pope. He was a very consistent critic of both capitalism and communism, as well as nationalism.

I've noticed that in all the obitiuaries of him recently in the mainstream U.S. media, there has been scant mention of his consistent condemnations of war (and the death penalty) and capitalism, and his insistence on helping the poor. He was very conservative in other areas, but downright radical in these.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  01:31 PM
If you select a portion of the text (ten or more words), and google it with quotes around it, the vatican website fails to show up, no matter which selection of words you use.

All that show up is websites with it posted, and no vatican source.

And there is no chance in hell (heh heh) that the pope would cut down the church with his final words, ater going through life supporting it, because then he'd miss his chance at 'getting into heaven' for blasphemy.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  01:39 PM
I got an Email from JP2 a week before he died. He said: "Hairy, it's okay to forget to Jelly, but never forget to Jam". Words to live by
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  04:20 PM
It must be jelly, 'cause jam don't shake like that.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  04:36 PM
After the fall of Communism, JPII gave several speeches warning of the potential evils of capitalism. He also opposed the Second Gulf War, although the media seemed to downplay it.
Posted by Mark  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  09:09 PM
Let us not forget that the greatest socilaist thinker of all time was Jesus Christ - He urged people to toss aside possesions and work for the community, rewarded those who abandonded their families for serving the church, and decried wealth for wealth's sake.

And in the modern church, the Vatican is beatifying the most socialist of all the cardinals of South America, one step one the ladder to sainthood.

It's like being an atheist in America - You jump on the exact opposite directed train to everyone else as a protest move if you feel strongly about something.
Posted by DFStuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Tue Apr 12, 2005  at  02:53 AM
"unforgiveable". I'm far from perfect, but if I were translating/transcribing something from the pope I'd make sure to use spell check.
Posted by toby  on  Wed Apr 13, 2005  at  02:58 PM
Good point toby. We have come a long way from transcription by ranks of monks with quills one would hope.

As for Papal infallibility, this issue dates back to the First Diet of Worms, a council of cardinals that sat upon many ecclesiastical troubles prior to the Renaissance. They decided that the Pope is infallible and is always right. The sitting Pope whose name escapes claimed they were wrong and that the Papacy was able to make mistakes; Making Christainity again the perpetrator of The Cretan Paradox.
Posted by DFStuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Thu Apr 14, 2005  at  12:38 AM
I believe this is what the Pope meant by secret societies:

Posted by Anthony Brodowski  on  Sun Jul 30, 2006  at  12:52 PM
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