Pope John Paul II And Pope Benedict XVI: Their Charts And Their Apologies


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Not surprisingly, both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have their Venuses in Taurus, making them warm and affectionate. They are able to make commitments and long-lasting attachments, such as working for the Church well past their second Saturn Returns. They are also prone to enjoy beauty, luxury and comfort in their surroundings. Most of the Popes, including these two, have a lot of Venus and Taurus, Libra influences in their charts, which is generally thought to have a softening effect. This makes a man more kindly, benign and more subtle in relationships. Venus allows for pliability. Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul both have their Neptunes in Leo. This is considered a religious element, no doubt contributing to their Pope-ness. They are naturally attracted to selflessness as a worthy life goal. Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul share Pluto (to transform) in Cancer (instinctive and protective). This generation reaches out into the world to protect what is important to them, such as the Church, in a sensitive, emotional, sympathetic way. APOLOGY To say you are sorry you did something Pope John Paul II set many records for Popes during his lifetime. This included making over 100 public apologies for the Catholic Church. From the persecution of individuals such as Galileo and Jan Hus, to sins against large numbers of people, such as the Church’s participation in the African slave trade, burnings at the stake and religious wars following the Protestant Reformation, and missionary abuses against indigenous peoples of the South Pacific. During a Public Mass of Pardons in 2002, there was a blanket apology for the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating “the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [for showing] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions.” A Taurus with a rising sign in Libra, Pope John Paul II valued peace and harmony at all costs, yet also preferred real results from a situation. Therefore, when an apology was due, it would be in his nature to give one. With his Mars in Libra, he knew the value of cooperation with others to further any efforts, and was fair-minded and impartial, with a natural ability to sense injustice and make amends. Events in his life reinforced these tendencies. An event that occurred just the year before his first Saturn Return was significant. Even though his doctoral work from the Angelicum had been unanimously approved, he was denied the degree because he could not afford to print the text of his dissertation. Taurus would feel deeply the unfairness of this, and would be quite capable of working out the apology in various ways for a long time, such as apologizing to others for the injustices done to them. For things that just aren’t right. Or, put another way, Pope John Paul might have agreed that one learns to forgive and to apologize by being given opportunities to do so. “I prayed for patience,” we say, “and the Lord sent me twin daughters.” Pope John Paul had many opportunities to grapple with forgiveness. His mother died when he was just 9, and his brother when he was 12. He spent time with the Jewish community when young (and would have heard their stories), and then was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman. (He later visited Agca in prison and “pardoned” the man.) He later survived another assassination attempt from a right-wing Spanish ex-priest. He dealt with apologies and forgiveness at the personal level. He said in one address, “No, we shall not be saved by a formula, but by a Person.” APOLOGIA To defend an intellectual position Pope Benedict XVI, now serving, is an Aries with a Libra Moon and Gemini rising. At his first Saturn Return, he became professor of Freising College, and at the University of Bonn. His inaugural lecture was “The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy.” With the Libra moon, he would probably like to avoid conflict, but with Sun in Aries and Uranus in the 1st house, Pope Benedict will always prove to be his own man. An Aries is fiercely independent and will rush in where angels fear to tread. An Aries can be blunt, and with the idealism of a Jupiter in Pisces, he would make a distinction between something “academic” and “not academic”. The address that got him in trouble was delivered in an academic setting, ironically at the university where he had taught theology when he was a professor. With his Mars in Gemini, he loves to argue and debate. With his Uranus in Aries, he takes it personally when someone tries to restrict his independence and will strongly defend his right to self-expression. Pope Benedict’s apology was like that of an academician – an apologia (the defense of an intellectual position). The philosophy, you know – “was that really something I should apologize for … but first, just what does the word ‘apologize’ mean … and what does one apologize for … or for what ought one to apologize … and was it what I said, or was it the way they took it ….” The Libra balancing of the scales as well. After all, he tried 3 times to retire. Called upon to apologize to Muslims for what he said, Pope Benedict’s “apology” is a study. “I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages … which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims.” My goodness, look at the qualifiers in there, and the distancing, and what he did not say. He did not say, “I apologize for offending Muslims.” It was a “quotation,” he clarified, which did not “in any way express my personal thought,” he who chose the quotation. He then said he hoped this “serves to appease” Appease means to bring to a state of peace or quiet, to cause to subside. It also means pacify or conciliate, “to buy off (an aggressor) by concession usually at the sacrifice of principles.” The Aries. In true Aries with Libra fashion, this was the apology that was not an apology. As CBS evening news put it, it was “a statement which stopped short of the apology demanded”. The headline read, “Regret but No Apology from Pope.” Of course the Mars in Gemini person can become too aggressive and antagonistic in argument and others will take offense where none was intended. Later, when the president of Venezuela demanded an apology for a comment Pope Benedict made in Brazil in 2007, and an Ecuadorean organization responded that the Church had perpetrated “one of the most horrific genocides of all humanity,” the Pope replied a week later that it was “not possible to forget the suffering and the injustices …” Forget, of course, is not “forgive.” “Forget” means something happened. “Forgive” means the something that happened was wrong. Being asked to apology for something he considers the “truth,” the tensions in Pope Benedict’s chart get activated. His father was also a policeman, and children of policeman, and ministers are often conflicted in regards to rules and authority – a sort of a love hate thing. This is also Libran, to weigh the scales, to waiver, while the Saturn in Sagittarius makes Pope Benedict conservative and respectful of traditional authority figures. So how about an “apologia” instead of an “apology.”

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