(NEWSER) – Photos and more than 350 "intense" letters from Pope John Paul II to a married woman he corresponded with for more than three decades have been found at the National Library of Poland, Deutsche Wellereports, via a BBC documentary. The notes and images—often showing the pontiff, who wasmade a saint in 2014, in casual wear—reveal a friendship between himself and American philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka that included holidays spent together and an intimate relationship that historians are trying to figure out.
"Here is one of the handful of transcendentally great figures in public life in the 20th century, the head of the Catholic Church, in an intense relationship with an attractive woman," a Christianity history professor at Cambridge University tells the BBC, which notes there's never a "suggestion [he] broke his vow of celibacy." "I would say they were more than friends but less than lovers," Edward Stourton, the documentary maker, tells AFP, via Deutsche Welle.
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