Sunday, August 23, 2009

As The English Say - Spot On!
As The Caveman says - hell, yes!

Yes, I'm breaking one of my own cardinal rules, I'm going to publish a long post... very long. But well worth it. I'm also going to keep my big mouth shut. Form your own opinions of what Damian Thompson of The Telegraph (London, UK) has to say about the possible canonization of the late Pope John Paul II;
Why some conservative Catholics want to stop Pope John Paul II being made a saint
By Damian Thompson

Pope John Paul kisses the Koran, outraging many Catholics

For a long time now, some conservative Catholics – most of them hardline traditionalists – have been discreetly slagging off the late Pope John Paul II. One priest I know grimaces every time his name is mentioned. “Oh, you mean, ‘John Paul the Great’,” he says,” rolling his eyes. He does not want him to be made a saint – not because he thinks he was a bad man, but because he thinks that, despite his heroic witness against Communism, he damaged the Church.

The charge sheet against JPII goes something like this:

1. He allowed truly terrible appointments to be made in Rome and to diocesan sees around the world. England and Wales was bad enough, but some bishops in Germany and France are what you might call “Vatican II protestants”. These bishops are now intent on wrecking the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

2. As a result of bad appointments, especially in America, the scandal of clerical sex abuse gathered pace, and for one reason or another – perhaps because he was so busy travelling – John Paul II failed to act swiftly (or at all, in the early days). He allowed guilty priests to be moved to parishes where they carried on abusing minors.

3. He tried to improve the liturgy, but in practice allowed bishops and priests to do their own thing, turning the sanctuary into a sort of talent show for women “eucharistic ministers”. And the papal MC, Archbishop Piero Marini, set a terrible example by dressing the Pope in Star Trek outfits and adding a touch of Butlins to international jamborees.

4. John Paul’s attempts to reach out to other faiths effectively celebrated and validated non-Christian religions. Conservative Catholics still feel outrage at the memory of the Pope praying with the Dalai Lama et al at Assisi, and kissing the Koran on a visit to Syria (see photo above).

Until now, most anti-JPII sentiment has been expressed prviately. But take a look at
this post on the website RenewAmerica, from Eric Giunta, a conservative law student.

Once again, the Catholic world has been rocked by yet more allegations of sexual impropriety by Legionnaires of Christ founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel. It seems the now-disgraced founder-cum-pervert fathered more children than previously suspected; the latest claimants to his paternity purport to have evidence that the late Pope John Paul II knew of Maciel’s sexual dalliances, and turned a blind eye to them …

The allegations highlight what for all too many Catholics is the elephant-in-the-room when discussing the ills which beset the modern Church: the extent to which the late Pope John Paul II was an enabler of these perversions, from sexual and liturgical abuse to theological dissent and the scandal of Catholic politicians who support the most immoral of social policies with the tacit or express blessings of their Church.

One does not need to deny or disparage the personal sanctity, thoughtful conservatism, or religious orthodoxy of the late Pontiff in order to acknowledge that his Pontificate, by all accounts, was a glorious failure. Yes, he aided in the fall of Eastern European Communism, but the Pope of Rome is not primarily a mover and shaker of state politics, but a Christian pastor whose mission it is to save souls, convert the lost, and govern his church in such a way that it resembles, as best as possible, the city on a hill, the light of the world …

Giunta does not want to see the feast day of Pope St John Paul II added the calendar:

Though Catholics and others are loathe to admit it of an otherwise beloved Pope, John Paul II oversaw a church which deteriorated in both its inner and outer life. His callous indifference toward the victims of priestly sexual abuse in refusing to meet personally with a single one of them, and his stubborn refusal to compel the resignation from office of any of the bishops who aided, abetted, and covered-up the abuse, are testamentary to his utter failure: not as a Catholic or a theologian, but as a Pope.

And this is precisely why he should not be canonized. For in the Catholic (and popular) understanding, canonization is not simply a technical decree indicating one’s everlasting abode in Paradise; it is, in addition, the Church’s solemn endorsement of a Christian’s heroic virtue. The question the Catholic Church must ask herself is: Was John Paul II a model of “heroic” papal virtue?

Contrary to leftist media reportage, the late Pope was not an authoritarian despot, bent on enforcing Catholic orthodoxy on an unwilling church. Quite the contrary: theological liberals and dissenters flourished in all of the Church’s structures, from lay politics and Catholic universities, to the ranks of priests and bishops. Not a single pro-abortion Catholic politician has been excommunicated from the church; only a handful of openly heretical priests were asked to stop teaching theology, but were otherwise permitted to exercise their priestly ministry unhindered. The Church in Austria openly dissents from orthodox Catholicism with papal impunity. Fr. Richard McBrien, Sr. Joan Chittiser, Roger Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles, Hans Kung, Charles Curran, Notre Dame University, dissenters galore: the overwhelming majority of prominent far-leftist, theologically modernist Catholic organizations, speakers, and theologians are Catholics in good standing with their church, and are frequently given an official platform at church-sponsored institutions and events. To give just two more examples, several Catholic parishes and universities flaunt themselves as “gay-friendly” in a directory published by the Conference of Catholic Lesbians. These speakers and institutions are in just as good standing with the Church as so-called “orthodox” Catholic pundits and writers.

I don’t endose these views: in fact, it seems perfectly obvious that the reign of John Paul II was one of slowly growing orthodoxy in the Church, nurtured by his Catechism and a series of magnificent encyclicals. And those Catholics who want to draw a sharp distinction between the agendas of John Paul and Benedict are overlooking the fact that the theological direction of the last pontificate owed an enormous amount to the current Holy Father, who would be horrified by Giunta’s article.

Yet this debate is clearly gathering pace. JPII loyalists are also on the warpath. (George Weigel is using the Maciel scandal as a stick with which to beat this administration, not the last one.) So I’d be interested in your views.


Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

We have to wait about 100 years in my opinion to see how history treats JP-II. I also do not think causes for sainthood should be rushed. 100 years ought to do it. Yes, I know the Little Flower made it quickly as did Padre Pio and Maximillian Kolbe. Then again, St. Joan of Ark's canonization took about 700 years!

As I stated on some previous occasion, I had read the JP-II was more afraid of schism than heterodoxy.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

I'm confused. Is our salvation based on how well we do our job or our holiness?

If Pope John Paul II made mistakes as a Pope but was a holy man...

I'm having a hard time following this "don't make JPII a Saint" argument.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I love JPII, and his outreach to the world, I think he sometimes went too far in trying to be ecumenical. I think I understood what he was trying to do, "be all things to all people", but I was sometimnes disturbed by what he did, as in his kissing of the Koran.

The blogger makes a good case for JPII not to be canonized. He also makes a good point about the Pope not being as authoritarian as the LeftMedia made him out to be.

Yet the blogger forgets how the youth were drawn to JPII in staggering numbers wherever he would go. That says alot in todays age of areligious youth. His brilliant writings spoke the Truth of the fundamentals of the Faith to the World. His leadership gave us the Catechism, something we hadn't had in centuries.

How do you balance the scales of saintly justice in this case? Do his successes outweigh his failings? Or do his failings completely disqualify him for the title of Saint? Personally, I would love to see him be named a saint (though I know others here would wail and gnash their teeth over this thought). But that's the job for those who are investigating his cause.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Simplex Vir said...

These types of debates are left to much smarter men than I. However I will offer that before we talk about the canonization of any human we must measure them against the likes of other Saints. Lest we begin to reduce the meaning of Sainthood.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

I'm confused. Is our salvation based on how well we do our job or our holiness?

Well...Pope St. Celestine V was a huge screw-up as a Pope...but he's still a saint.

I say we need to elevate Pope Pius XII to the altar first.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Smiley said...

I have to say this for everyone. A saint is a person who is worth imitation and who is in heaven. We need to ask oursevles is Pope JP II someone to be imitated? and is he in heaven. If he meets both criteria and it is the will of God then yes he will be a Saint.

4:35 PM  
Blogger kimberley said...

I'm not for cannonization just yet. Maybe in 20 years.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Athos said...

I really have problems with idolizing Tarantino's idiotic film and the industry that soaks poor basterds of millions of dollars straight into the pockets of Tarantino, Brad Pitt, et al. Sorry, man. It has no redeeming value, and has no place as a masthead of this particular discussion.

Mental experiment: What would JPII the Great comment about "Inglorious Basterds?" With any luck, nothing at all.

8:38 PM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

History will tell, and that is one reason we should not rush into any cannonization. People are in such a rush to hand out halos to their favourite heroes. Everyone wants something now-they do not want to wait. I say make them wait. The Holy Spirit, in his wisdom, will not allow a mistake to be made.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Baron Korf said...

Celestine V is a saint.

I kinda feel bad for the modern popes and the popes of the future, they will be under scrutiny like none of their forebears ever dreamed.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Old Bob said...

At the moment, there being good points on both sides of the case, I don't know what to think about John Paul II, but I agree with Anita Moore about Pius XII should be elevated first. By the way, Jeanne d'Arc (one of my very favorite saints) was condemned in 1431, vindicated in 1456, beatified in 1909, and canonized in 1920. That said, I agree with Adeodatus in allowing time to tell.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Al said...

Let us remember that the Church requires 2 miracles for sainthood (except a martyr), 1 for beatification & 1 for sainthood. In the end, it is God's hands as some saints have had to wait a long time for them.

Also on the other side of the coin, St. Francis took less than 2 years to become a saint.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Athos, take a look at what replaced the swastika, as well as the replacement of the word "nazi" in the quote used by Brad Pitt's character.

And as far as John Paul the "Great" is concerned, I havent seen one thing great that's happened under his pontificate, unless one qualifies the magnitude of the downward spiral of Catholicism under his watch as such.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

My take on Pope John Paul II --- he was a terrible pope. From kissing the koran, to elevating the statue of buddha, changing the process of Canonization into a high school popularity contest, to forwarding the act of papal groveling to an art form, to figurativly fiddling while Rome burned... he was train wreck of a pope.

Yeah, yeah.. people "loved" Pope Jp2. Why? Because many grew up with him. But besides being a rather cuddly grandfather figure in Rome, what kind of POPE was he? A lousy one, that's what kind.

But much like without a Jimmy Carter there would have been no Ronald Reagan, no Pope John Paul II meant no Pope Benedict XVI.

In that respect, he was a success.

5:25 AM  
Blogger William said...

I agree that we need to wait more than anything else. If we're going to Canonize him for being a good man rather than being a good Pope, let's wait a generation or two. If people still remember his triumphs a hundred years from now, then I think he'll have proven that his "lighter" approach had enough merits and the investigation should begin.

But... yeah. Most people would consider me "Uber" Catholic for going to Church every Sunday and being against condom distribution... can't exactly say we're at a high point right now.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

I hate to risk pissing you off, Cavey, but Pope Benedict XVI is not potentially without fault in his previous Church life. As Fr. Ratzinger he was a Peritus of a German Bishops, one of those German hierarchs that highjacked the agenda of Vatican II as it was being developed, not that I consider the agenda developed by the Vatican's Curia to be such a good thing. AFAIK Pope John XXIII may have had a "brain f*rt" when he precipitously called for 2nd Vatican Council.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*shrug* If we see the miracles, and the right amount of time passes, declare him a saint; if the miracles don't come forward, there's some reasons Someone doesn't want it declared right now, so we don't.

Am I looking at it too simplistically?

11:39 AM  

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