Pope John Paul II meditating on the Tarot?


Another very intriguing addition to the perception of the possible esoteric interests of Pope John Paul II came from a friend of my Alpheus web site in the form of a set of photos, one of which shows the pope sitting behind his desk with a stack of books. The bottom two books are arguably the 2-volume set of “Die Grossen Arcana des Tarot,” which is the 1983 German edition of the French original and out of which sections were taken and published in English as “Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism.”

Pope John Paul II at his desk

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4 thoughts on “Pope John Paul II meditating on the Tarot?

  1. Of course, photos lie. If you’re in charge of preserving doctrinal orthodoxy, it’s part of your job to inspect suspect writings. I venture to guess that you have some occult books on your desk or bookshelf, given how much you write about them. What should we conclude from a photograph of you that happened to feature one of these books front and center? I had a bunch of books about Freemasons, until I destroyed most of them. Looking at (one of) my bookshelves, you’d likely think that I must be a Freemason. Charity in all things and all that.

    1. I agree completely. I don’t know what to think of JPII. I do know that Gnostics and Masons (like even Muslims!) believe that they have the true and real Christianity. Do I believe that John Paul II was part of a secret Satanic cult? Probably not. Do I believe that many of John Paul II’s ideas resemble that of the “mysteries” of paganism? Yes. Do I think that John Paul II had some aspects of genuine Catholic piety? Yes as well. He is a complicated figure

      1. I agree that I don’t know what to think of him. I accept that he is a canonized saint. That’s why I generally refer to him as St. John Paul II. Still, I find him “problematic,” to use a very squishy modern term. I certainly don’t accept the title “the Great.” At the same time, I accept the testimony of people who knew him and said that he personally was holy.

        It seems that the pre-Vatican II court ritual and protocol of the Vatican was designed to allow men who were mediocre in themselves (as most rulers/leaders are) to do good things for the Church. With the expansion of the Papacy since Bl. Pope Pius IX, it seems like the Papacy requires great men and allows their faults to be accentuated in ways the faults of Popes since, say, the 1600s could not be accentuated, or even manifested. This, I believe, is a mixed bag at best.

      2. I accept that the Church has canonized him, but, perhaps in the future the new process of canonization will be reevaluated—the miracles that are attributed to him seem kind of dubious. I think John Paul II believed either in some sort of progressive unfolding of truth in which the encrustations of rigid classical and medieval thought were being stripped away be the intellectual discoveries of the Enlightenment. He also seemed to believe that when Muslims, Jews, and even pagans were praying to their gods, they were somehow praying to the Holy Trinity. He also seemed have a very liberal view of salvation. While not a universalist (he told President Bill Clinton that he was jeopardizing his soul by legalizing partial birth abortion), it seems like John Paul believed that a person did not have to be Catholic to get to heaven. I don’t think he was either a CIA or KGB asset, but both intelligence agencies (especially the former) tried to influence his pontificate. I used to be a JPII generation Novus Ordo conservative BTW

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