"In his closet, among his vestments, there was hung on a clothes hanger a particular kind of belt which he used as a whip," Oder writes.So it's not kinky, then. I am glad we cleared that up. An old single man who surrounds himself with younger single men, who wears dresses and who whips himself: nothing peculiar about that.
When he was a bishop, he often slept on the bare floor so he could practise self-denial and asceticism, Oder writes.
Many saints of the Church, including St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine of Siena and St Ignatius of Loyola, practised flagellation and asceticism as part of their spiritual life.
"It is clear the aspect of penitence was present in the life of John Paul II," Oder told a news conference today. "It should be seen as part of his profound relationship with the Lord."
Of course, if you really want to practise self-denial and asceticism, why bother with a bare floor? Fly Air New Zealand: you can be uncomfortable and pay $1400 extra for the privilege. It's called the Skycouch.