The “Positio” for the cause of beatification of John Paul II is ready

Andrea Tornielli has reported that the positio for Servant of God John Paul II is ready.  Here is my translation:

The cause for beatification and canonization of John Paul II is proceeding smoothly.  The work on the Positio, the redaction of the volumes including the documented biography of the Servant of God and the testimonies, was completed, as Il Giornale confirmed through reliable Vatican sources.

This is another step towards beatification.  Now the Positio must be examined by the theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  Over a period of some months – some foresee not less than 8-9 – there may come a decree on his "heroic virtue", a fundamental stage of a cause.

At first a cause begins because an Actor requests that a cause, a like a juridical case trial, be opened to examine the question.  Then proofs are gathered, in the form of documents and testimonies, if there can be oral interviews.  Everything is assembled in the proper juridical order and the diocesan stage of the case is closed.  All the documents are sent to Rome and the Roman phases begins.

First, the Congregation examines the documents to see that everything was handled with the correct procedure.  If it was, they move to the next stages.  A Postulator has to make sure that the right selection of documents is made to demonstrate the heroic virtue of the person, or that he was a martyr, or that there was a miracle.  This selection of proofs is called the positio, whereby the case in question is "posited".

In the case of heroic virtue, the usual route for a blessed, unless it is a case of martyrdom, theologians must examine the proofs to determine if there is indeed heroic virtue.  Also, another groups is studying the documents and verifying that everything possible was collected and there was no problem on that score.  If everything works out, then the positio is placed before the members of the Congregation by the ponens, a member of the Congregation, Cardinal or Bishop.  If they issue a decree on the heroic virtue, that decree goes to the Pope in a secret consistory, and does with it what he wishes.

That is an abbreviated description of what is going on.
 

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86 Responses to The “Positio” for the cause of beatification of John Paul II is ready

  1. Jack Regan says:

    This is indeed great news. I am sure that the cause of sainthood for JPII and all the processes leading up to it will go smoothly and I am equally sure that he will be declared ‘great’ by the people too. In fact, he is already by many.

    He was a man who had an amazing presence and a gentle and brilliant holiness. I was actually privileged to be present at his last ever public appearance – when he appeared at the window to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square on March 30th 2005. It was an amazing moment. And I remember too watching the funeral on TV with the crowds of young people chanting his name. Their message said that JPII had defined a whole Catholic generation, and defined it with love and with the power of the Spirit.

    He is indeed a saint and I hope that he is recognised as such as soon as possible. In the meantime, allow me to jump the gun massively, by saying:

    Pope Saint John Paul the Great, pray for us!

  2. I am not spartacus says:

    Let us remark, however, that the Catechism of the Catholic Church that was published under the authority of the aforesaid Servant of God, and that teaches his conception of the Ascension (nos 645-646, 659), does not make either Heaven or Hell a place (nos 1027-1033), but only a state. On the contrary, the Compendium published by Pope Benedict XVI reintroduces the notion of place (nos 209 et 212) by referring to the elect « gathered around Jesus and Mary, the Angels and the saints » (no 209). Knowing that the risen Jesus and His divine Mother are raised body and soul into the glory of Heaven, « Their mutual presence, the Abbé de Nantes wrote, necessarily constitutes a space, inaugurates a place, called Heaven or Paradise, the blessed abode of the elect. »

    Ahem…

    1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

    1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in Christ,”598 but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.599

    Were I involved in the process, I’d use the CRC documents to help start a charcoal fire and when the briquets were ready, I’d cook a big beautiful steak over them.

    And in doing that, I’d have at least found a useful purpose for the daft documents of the CRC.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Deo Gratias! Laudetur Iesus Christus! Ioannes Paulus Magnus, ora pro nobis!

  4. Jack Regan says:

    I agree 100% there ‘I am not spartacus.’

    The internet has brought us many many great things. Sadly though it has brought a few negative things too and one of those is that groups like the CRC have a voice.

    How on earth anyone can cut into JPII leaves me utterly speechless.

  5. Jon says:

    I don’t know what to say. I cried like my own father had died when JP passed. I saw him at Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden in 1979 when I was only 17. It affected me for a lifetime. I loved the man. But to do this will also canonize every liturgical aberration of Marini First and every questionable ecumenical gesture of the Wojtyla pontificate.

    If the late Holy Father is in heaven and not purgatory, he is interceding for us already, and time has no meaning for him. Maybe a hundred years from now, but not now. I think it too soon and a grave mistake.

  6. Tom says:

    de mortuis nil nisi bonum, but if the Church is proposing someone for beatification, there is a process, not simpply a coronation. JPII was a man, after all, and to raise potential objections to canonization is not to denigrate the man, but merely to ensure that the Church deliberates rather than rubber-stamps.

    So, issues such as the Assisi scandal, visiting and praying at synagogues and heretical churches, the apparent conflation of nature and grace in some of his writings (consistent with his neo-modernist heroes, de Lubac and von Balthasar, men who were under just suspicion in the 1950′s); these objections are not gratuitous attacks but rather substantive issues that the Church must resolve before pronouncing on his case.

    Even if he was personally holy, formal canonization is not always indicated when other aspects of a public figure’s life are not worthy of emulation. A good and holy man can be an unsuccessful pope. The same observation applies, mutatis mutandis, for the causes of John XXIII and Paul VI: these three conciliar Popes presided over a gradual decomposition of the Church without apparently taking much forceful action.

    Let us hope and pray that BXVI’s program to change course will reverse some of the damage that has gone unabated for 40 years.

  7. Jack Regan says:

    Rightly or wrongly (I think rightly) the Church won’t hold back at all. It’s full speed ahead. Postponing the Beatification and Canonisation of JPII will create waves the magnitude of which nobody has the courage to create.

    I mean, if the Church did deny JPII recognition of sainthood, can you imagine how it would be interpreted and what it would lead to? Everybody not to the right of JPII – i.e. 95% of the Church – would feel massively, massively alienated and I dare say that a great deal might even split away.

    Leaving aside the debate about whether JPII should be canonised, a more relevant question is to ask whether anybody has the bottle to come out and say NO… I really can’t see it somehow.

  8. techno_aesthete says:

    Perhaps the Congregation can apply the same speed to the cause of Pius XII. It’s only been 50 years since he died. Why don’t they apply the same deliberation to John Paul II’s cause? If he is a saint, then he will still be a saint 50 or 100 years from now. What’s the hurry?

  9. Geoffrey says:

    Jack Regan said: “How on earth anyone can cut into JPII leaves me utterly speechless.”

    I agree 100%. Looks like this is another comment box I will stop reading in order to avoid the anti-JPII rants.

  10. Geoffrey: I don’t think there will be many. I will delete the weird or mean-spirited comments, and perhaps lock those who post them out of the blog by IP address.

  11. Jacques says:

    Why such a hurry? It looks strange. It was the same with the “good pope” John XXIII.
    Joan of Ark waited for 400 years to become saint although she was less controversial than JP II. Moreover she was martyred in an atrocious manner.
    This delay didn’t create so much waves.
    What would bring more to the Church the fact our beloved pope is made saint immediately or in 50 years?
    There was such a big number of saints made under JPII’s reign, more than ever. We can wait with confidence: Never we will lack saints to pray.
    Moreover we can pray him before he becomes a saint. That’s not forbidden.

  12. Geoffrey says:

    I’d like to recommend to everyone the recent book “A Life with Karol” by Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz. It provides amazing insights into various aspects of the pontificate of John Paul the Great. His Eminence also specifically mentions the so-called “scandal” at Assisi:

    “The harshest accusations came from the Lefebvrists. And there were critical judgments even in the Church and the Curia, but most of the critics were older people who were afraid that the day of prayer in Assisi might open the door to syncretism, to the idea of a big spiritual melting pot where every religion is as good as every other. But that completely missed the point. Completely. The Holy Father explained over and over again that we met together to pray, not that we met to pray together” (p. 212).

    His Eminence also adds:

    “That’s why we have to thank Benedict XVI, who, unlike others, did understand John Paul II and always stood by him. And since I’m on the topic, I’d like to contradict the claims of those who said, and still say, that Cardinal Ratzinger didn’t agree with the Pope regarding Assisi. That’s completely false” (p. 213).

    The books also shows JPII’s sense of humour regarding the whole thing:

    “Let’s keep going; let’s continue, even though they almost excommunicated me” (p. 212).

  13. Tom says:

    Though ordained by the late Holy Father, Fr. Brian Harrison O.S. has often expressed doubts that this would
    ever happened. Among the most powerful arguments that I’ve heard against it, is the amount of writing he did.

    Lesson, if you want to be canonized, don’t write anything down!

    From KARL KEATING’S WEBSITE

    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0310fea2.asp

  14. Richard says:

    I have nothing against JPII, God bless his soul, but I believe the Congregation is proceeding with this much to fast. There are others that I think should be beatified before JPII, such as Pius XII, Leo XIII, and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

  15. As my students tell me a lot “slow down!” No need to rush the beatification process.

    Everything should be looked at in is intirety. St. Augustine didn’t exactly live the most perfect life at first. Inspite of the Liturgical Disasters that happened under Marini I, I’d say that the good outweighs the bad…Pope St. JPII? not yet? JP the Great? still not yet. Venerable JP II, absolutely. Patience is a good thing let it be excersised.

  16. Michael says:

    “Everybody not to the right of JPII – i.e. 95% of the Church – would feel massively, massively alienated and I dare say that a great deal might even split away.”

    I would not go as far as 95%, but I agree with what you write here. Now the question becomes, is this sufficient? Is it truly adequate to say that John Paul II should be canonized because too many people will be angry if he is not?

  17. Henry Edwards says:

    I wonder about the connection between sancity as a person and greatness as a pope. Can or should the issues be separated when the candidate for sainthood was a pope?

    Or must his effectiveness as pope — and how the Church fared on his watch, under his care — be considered in assaying his personal saintliness?

    Historically, the issue of sainthood has usually been decided very deliberately, but the time required for history to judge a papacy accurately may be even longer.

  18. Lee says:

    Santo subito!

  19. Joe says:

    I don’t think you can even call this pope the greatest of the century preceding his coronation let alone raise him to the ranks of Magnus along with only three others: Leo, Gregory, and Nicholas.

    The best thing the congregation could do is sit on the whole matter for a decade or so to let the hysteria lessen. I think JPII would want to be at the bottom of the stack of cases before the congregation when so many others demand attention now.

    Oremus.

  20. prof. basto says:

    Let me offer my input…

    1. The Pope decided to waive the 5 year waiting period, and that is his call. I wouldn’t have done it, but Our Lord didn’t chose me to be the Successor of Peter. I believe, however, that the general rule of the waiting period exists for a reason, and, even if it was waived to allow the process to start before 5 years of the death of the Servant of God, the process of beatification should not reach the finish line before the same five years are passed. Care should be taken to ensure that everything is examined properly and with due dilligence, without rushing to judgements that transform the beatification process in a mere rubber-stamping act. The process shouldn’t be understood as a mere formality, and fair access should be given to those that oppose the recognition of heroic virtues.

    2. Is John Paul II a saint? Probably, in my opinion.

    3. – Is he worthy of being called “the great”? There I see an exaggeration, in spite of personally recognizing his holiness, his sainthood. He shouldn’t be so adressed before St. Pius V, the great counter-reformation Pope, St. Pius X, bl. Pius IX, also most probably a saint, all receive the same honour, at present restricted to a very limited number of canonized Supreme Pontiffs (only two, in fact – St. Gregory the Great and St. Leo the Great – both not only officially recognized Saints, but also holders of the title Doctor of the Church , a title held by only 33 saints).

    4. – I believe we can all agree, without prejudice to the virtues of Pope John Paul II, that the importance of St. Leo the Great and St. Gregory the Great is a very high standard, and shouldn’t be trivialized. And problematic aspects, such as Assissi, cannot, in my view, simply be ignored when it comes – not to holiness but – to this “the Great” question, especially bearing in mind the two pontiffs who serve as models for comparison. Several other holy pontiffs weren’t – in spite of recognition of sainthood and even martyrdom – equalized to Gregory and Leo by means of the title “the Great”. Also, Pope John Paul II should not be adressed as the great unless (or until) he is both canonized and subsequently declared a Doctor of the universal Church.

  21. Michael says:

    “The harshest accusations came from the Lefebvrists. And there were critical judgments even in the Church and the Curia, but most of the critics were older people who were afraid that the day of prayer in Assisi might open the door to syncretism, to the idea of a big spiritual melting pot where every religion is as good as every other. But that completely missed the point. Completely. The Holy Father explained over and over again that we met together to pray, not that we met to pray together”

    I can believe that John Paul II did not intend to cause a scandal at Assisi and did not intend to “open the door to syncretism”. I believe that he was good hearted and humanitatian. Still, the fact remains that it did cause a scandal and it did open the door, regardless of any noble intentions. And it wasn’t just the “Lefebvrists” who believed that this was happening. Many in the Church today, rather than being scandalized by Assisi, welcome it.

  22. Allen says:

    I stopped reading this blog because it seemed, to me, to blindly cheer
    everything the pope, any pope, says or does, right or wrong.
    It appears that that has not changed.

    In the previous entry you post videos of two extremes in the
    Church. Can you honestly say that John Paul II had nothing to
    do with creating a world where such things happen, especially
    the puppet Mass?

    A reporter, on the occasion of his death, asked an aging nun
    why she loved John Paul II so much. Her reply: “Because he
    taught us that all religions are equal.”

    Those at the puppet Mass will cheer his sainthood most of all.

  23. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    I think some of the movement to make JPII a saint is selfish. I was born in 1969. JPII was the only pope I have a memory of, so of course he must be a Saint, because he was the pope when I lived, and I know God would never give such a great person as myself a second rate pope. In other words this is predictable for our narcissistic generation.

    With regard to needing to be a great pope to be a Saint, I believe that was settled with the canonization of Pope St. Celestine V, who resigned the papacy. He was a Saint, but he was definitely a horrid administrator. However, to be accorded the title Great, does require you to be a great Pope, and JPII was definitely lacking in that category. He was a disaster as a pope, and put forward some of the most incompetent bishops possible (not liberal just completely incompetent). Assisi was a disaster. Yes you can say that they came together to pray, but the world did not see it that way. Also when pagans pray they are committing objective sins. JPII facilitated their sin, and therefore must share in the sin. Yes to pray with them would be a greater sin, but to encourage prayers to multiple gods is also sin. Perhaps Geoffrey can tell me how Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz gets around that. I am sure JPII saved his soul, but to canonize him, is to canonize Assisi and altar girls, and false ecumenism. His canonization could be the death of the Benedict’s reforms. After all his program requires the abandonment of much that the last pope did, especially with regard to liturgy, and if the canonization goes through he will have to abandon the program of a Saint.

  24. Ottaviani says:

    I mean, if the Church did deny JPII recognition of sainthood, can you imagine how it would be interpreted and what it would lead to? Everybody not to the right of JPII – i.e. 95% of the Church – would feel massively, massively alienated and I dare say that a great deal might even split away.

    Then one has to ask, on what foundations are the faith of those people built on? The church or some idealised image of JP II that hardly corresponds to reality?

    I find the rush to beatify JP II very suspicious to say the least. It’s almost as if they have something to hide or swept under the carpet that they don’t wish the masses to find out. The longer time passes by, the more sober people will become and less hysteria there will be – and it is only then people will begin to see what the papacy of JP II was really about. This is what the “JP II – we love you crowd” do not want to happen. The beatification of Pius XII has waited a long long time. It is at the very least, a worrying trend, that more effort was put into rushing the beatification process of JP II, than any other papal cause in the history of the church. If people were so secure that JP II is deserving of being raised to the altars, then why the need to cut corners and pull in favours?

    With all due respect to JP II, just because a pope does “good things” does not entitle him to canonisation. That is why the last canonised Pope was St. Pius X and he died in 1914.

    I too find the title “Great” seems to be thrown around a lot these days.

  25. Willebrord says:

    Personally, I will trust Pope Benedict for his decision.

    That said, whether or not he is raised to the altars (I’m not going to think of that for the moment, as there were many pros and cons of his papacy), but I don’t really care for the title of “the Great.”

    Why should he be called the Great when so many other great popes have been passed over? Pope St. Pius V, Pope St. Pius X, and others.

    Furthermore, I do believe that the Assisi meetings were scandelous. The Psalms tell us that the “gods of the nations are demons”. If they are demons, why ask people of other religions to pray to them? And there was the matter of kissing the Koran (and the Franciscan proto-martyrs died rather than kiss it, even without accepting Islam).
    And I don’t really care for his “new springtime.”

    However, there may well be things about I don’t know, and I’m putting my trust in the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Father!

  26. Geoffrey says:

    It seems that many only look at the “non-traditional” aspects of John Paul the Great’s papacy. What about all the good he did? He was the Pope of Fatima. He brought down athiestic Communism. He defended human life in all its stages. He defended the Church from the onslaught of heresy (women priests, etc.). He inspired a whole generation of Catholics. He brought the papacy to the world through his countless apostolic journeys.

    I was never “scandalized” from anything John Paul the Great did. Assisi? Kissing the Koran? While not to my personal taste, my faith is not so shakey as to be scandalized from these very minor items.

    Regarding the use of the title “the great”… there is no law or decree needed. It comes from constant use.

    Ioannes Paulus Magnus, ora pro nobis!

  27. Gerard says:

    I was going to ask, “What did he do that was so great?” and saw Geoffrey’s post. I don’t intend this to be a JPII smackdown but not acknowledging his failings as Pope does no one any good.

    “What about all the good he did?”

    Nixon did some good as president but it doesn’t mean he should be on Mt. Rushmore.

    “He was the Pope of Fatima.”

    So was Paul VI and John XXIII. Fatima has become another bone of contention as far as the secret goes.

    “He brought down athiestic Communism.”

    Not really. Read about Antonio Gramscii.

    “He defended human life in all its stages.”

    Yes. Absolutely. But what Pope over the last few centuries hasn’t? But he didn’t quite seem understand the realities around the legitimate use of the death penalty and just punishment for crimes as Pius XII taught clearly.

    “He defended the Church from the onslaught of heresy (women priests, etc.).”

    Actually he was very lax in this. He could have done a lot more. He was asked to do a lot more and didn’t. If he’d only not given the red hat or allowed the consecrations of a number of men, he’d have prevented a lot of damage to souls.

    “He inspired a whole generation of Catholics.”

    That don’t really know the Catholic faith. I’m finding in my encounters people who were inspired by JPII and then become more clear in their enunciation of the faith than he was. But this is more due to their becoming familiar with Bishop Sheen or St. Thomas than JPII. I was one of them.

    “He brought the papacy to the world through his countless apostolic journeys.”

    But he didn’t bring the world to the papacy. That is more important.

    “I was never “scandalized” from anything John Paul the Great did. Assisi? Kissing the Koran? While not to my personal taste, my faith is not so shakey as to be scandalized from these very minor items.”

    St. Paul felt St. Peter needed a strong rebuke for doing far less. And God thought it significant enough to make Paul’s account of it, His words. They weren’t minor and in any case, the Pope is there to protect the weakest of the faithful, not cause the weakest of the faithful to lose their faith. God is not Darwinian in his giving the keys to Peter. To believe otherwise is to make the Shepherd into a wolf.

    Regarding the use of the title “the great”… there is no law or decree needed. It comes from constant use.

    That’s a prescription for propaganda. Fr. Peter Gumpel said on EWTN that the “santo subito” at JPII’s funeral was orchestrated and phoney.

    There was one other point above in an earlier post that needs correcting.

    The Pope is not “chosen” by Christ. He is permitted by Christ to be chosen by the College of Cardinals.

  28. Cory says:

    My question still remains–why has not Leo XIII even been remotely considered for canonization? Has anyone seen any reason why this would be? I am a scholar of Pope Leo’s writings; I may even write a thesis on them for my BA in Theology. He is as clear a thinker as any, and was a great Pope–why has his cause not even been opened?

  29. S in Severn says:

    Another good word!

    Just a laywoman, but one thing I always thought of was something of a miracle, all the people that came as the Holy Father, the late, Pope John-Paul the Great, (yes, I have been saying that for awhile now). I had friends that were able to go and keep vigil and pray in those final hours and stay through the Funeral Mass.

    Millions came during that week, but there was very little if any crime. The weather was bad, but they still came, and hundreds of groups and the governments found ways to feed, shelter, and provide sanitation services for all those millions.

    There had been threats made, and nothing happened. And the weather for the Mass; it was as if the Heavens opened up so all the Saints and Angels could participate as well.

    I cannot look at the many photographs published during that time without feeling, not sad, but happy for Karol, now he was united back with his “earthly family” and with our Lord.

    Much can be said for the changes in Liturgy, but I personally believe that they would not be happening now, without John-Paul the Great as pontiff. I do not believe that the Holy Father would right not be Benedict XVI if not for John-Paul the Great.

    Just this laywoman’s viewpoint.

  30. Geoffrey says:

    Cory said: “My question still remains—why has not Leo XIII even been remotely considered for canonization?”

    Candidates for canonization need a cult (in the proper sense of the word) following. There must be strong devotion to him, as there is for the Servant of God John Paul the Great, Blessed John XXIII, Blessed Pius IX, Pius XII, etc.

  31. Mike says:

    POPE JOHN PAUL II APOINTED ALL RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD IN THE ASSISI MEETINGS IN ORDER TO PREACH THEM THE GOSPEL OF JESUSCHRIST, WHICH HE REALLY DID, IN MANY WAYS, ALTOUGH MANY PEOPLE DON´T WANT TO UNDERSTAND IT. PERIOD.

  32. Geoffrey says:

    In reply to some of Gerard’s comments:

    “Nixon did some good as president but it doesn’t mean he should be on Mt. Rushmore.”

    Comparing an American president to a Vicar of Christ makes no sense so I cannot comment.

    “So was Paul VI and John XXIII. Fatima has become another bone of contention as far as the secret goes.”

    I was referring to the “Third Secret”, i.e. “the bishop dressed in white”, the assassination attempt on May 13, the fall of communism, etc… is this mere coincidence?

    “Not really. Read about Antonio Gramscii.”

    Never heard of him. I will look it up.

    “Yes. Absolutely. But what Pope over the last few centuries hasn’t? But he didn’t quite seem understand the realities around the legitimate use of the death penalty and just punishment for crimes as Pius XII taught clearly.”

    Who are we to judge whether a Vicar of Christ “didn’t quite seem to understand” something? It seems very arrogant. The Catechism is very clear regarding capital punishment. The state has the authority, yes… but how necessary is it in this day and age?

    “Actually he was very lax in this. He could have done a lot more. He was asked to do a lot more and didn’t. If he’d only not given the red hat or allowed the consecrations of a number of men, he’d have prevented a lot of damage to souls.”

    Fr. Z has written something very good about this here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/05/time-benedict-may-have-killed-off-american-catholic-liberalism/

    “That don’t really know the Catholic faith. I’m finding in my encounters people who were inspired by JPII and then become more clear in their enunciation of the faith than he was. But this is more due to their becoming familiar with Bishop Sheen or St. Thomas than JPII. I was one of them.”

    Perhaps in your encounters, but the world is a very big place. I know many orthodox Catholics who credit John Paul the Great for their faith, myself included.

    “But he didn’t bring the world to the papacy. That is more important.”

    Didn’t he? Look at the vast numbers who attended his funeral. Look at the conversions, the grace.

    “That’s a prescription for propaganda. Fr. Peter Gumpel said on EWTN that the “santo subito” at JPII’s funeral was orchestrated and phoney.”

    I have not heard this. Propaganda? Orchestrated? By who?

    “The Pope is not ‘chosen’ by Christ. He is permitted by Christ to be chosen by the College of Cardinals.”

    So the Will of God is bound by the College of Cardinals?

    I hate writing such a long comment, but I must add one more thing: Consider John Paul’s early life. He witnessed close friends being hauled off to certain death by the Nazis for no reason other than their race and religion. He witnessed hatred and violence first hand. As the Vicar of Christ, Christ who is the Prince of Peace, John Paul worked to make certain nothing like the Jewish Holocaust would ever happen again. Assisi, kissing the Koran, meeting with representatives of other religions… all was done to promote mutual peace, harmony, and understanding, so that never again would such violence at the Holocaust and World War II take place.

  33. David2 says:

    Geoffrey writes

    “I was never “scandalized” from anything John Paul the Great did. Assisi? Kissing the Koran? While not to my personal taste, my faith is not so shakey as to be scandalized from these very minor items.”

    These are not “very minor items”; people who might otherwise have converted may have lost their souls because they were led to believe that their false religious beliefs could save them. A Muslim or Hindu, knowing in their hearts that the Catholic Faith is true, but hesitating on the brink of conversion may have abandoned thoughts of converting because of Assisi or the Koran-kissing. We do not want even one soul to be lost; damnation is a terrible thing indeed – the most terrible. And the truly evil thing about scandal (in the true, rather than popular sense), is that it causes souls to be lost. Well may Geoffrey praise JPII and congratulate himself on the strengh of his faith, but one questions why Geoffrey has so little care for possibly lost souls as to see the risk of hellfire a “very minor” matter.

    Consider the now Church-approved Marian apparition at Laus in the French Alps. We are told that a shepherdess and OP tertiary, Benoite Rencurel had Marian visions for some 50 years, but was sternly admonished by the Blessed Virgin when she told some Protestants who had asked her if they could be saved that she would leave that to the mercy and judgment of God. Whilst not an unorthodox position, the BVM admonished her for showing too much human respect because, if she had said no, some of them would have been converted. This they have not done.

  34. Geoffrey says:

    David2 said: “people who might otherwise have converted may have lost their souls because they were led to believe that their false religious beliefs could save them.”

    Has a poll been taken? Do we know people were about to convert but then suddenly stopped? Those who say that John Paul said “all religions are good” have no idea about what he really said and did. As Mike said above, John Paul always preached the Gospel of Christ, even if people didn’t realize it. Christ was persecuted, and He warned that His followers, which includes His Vicar on Earth, would be persecuted as well.

  35. David2 says:

    If one soul was lost because of Assisi, that is a grave matter indeed, and the mere possibility should give the Congregation for the Causes of Saints reason to pause.

    The Church ought to move slowly and deliberately with this, because by raising someone to the altars, the Church proclaims his life worthy of emulation.

    We need to allow our emotions to take a back seat, and wait until everyone has calmed down so the Church can make a “warts and all” assessment of the Papacy of John Paul II.

  36. Roberto Hope says:

    I cannot understand why anyone would consider John Paul II for canonization when he left the Church in such a disastrous condition after his reign. Aside from the various scandals mentioned elsewhere in this blog and partially as a consequence thereof, any relevant statistics you may wish to examine shows that the state of the Catholic Church was much worse when he died than when he was elected. It is as if General Santa Anna were made a Mexican national hero after his losing one half of our territory to the United States. JPII did not lose any territory but he certainly lost millions of souls to the enemy. May God have mercy of his soul and also of mine. Amen.

  37. David2 says:

    “Has a poll been taken? Do we know people were about to convert but then suddenly stopped? Those who say that John Paul said “all religions are good” have no idea about what he really said and did.”

    Granted, but how we pray is important. It reflects our belief. If we put Bhudda statues on our altars or in our Churches, it says something about what we believe about Bhudda. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, you see. We cannot allow misconceptions to develop because of what we do in our Liturgy; in our public prayer.

    One could add that things were not done that ought to have been done. Would Pius X or Pius XII have allowed so much bad teaching in American Catholic Colleges? Not by a long shot. CTA ought to have been firmly suppressed. JPII’s solicitude for the Neocatumenicals and the Charismatics may prove problematic if these groups ever develop unorthodox practices or beliefs. Indeed it appears that BXVI is considering what is to be done with the Statutes of the Neo-Cats, after JPII approved them ad experementum..

    All good reasons to calm down a little, and wait and see how things develop over the next few years.

  38. Mike says:

    Exact limits of papal infabillity

    First Vatican Council (1869-1870). In the constitution Pastor Aeternus, of July 18 of 1870, this Council gives the theological reason about its doctrine of the Pope:

    “In the way that (Christ) sent the apostles – to whom he had chosen among the world- as He Himself had been sent by the Father (John 20-21), he wanted that in His Church were pastors and doctors until the consummation of the centuries (Mt. 28, 20). But in order that the episcopate itself were ONE AND INDIVISIBLE and the universal multitude of the believers conservate themselves in the unity of faith and the communion through the priests COHERENT BETWEEN THEM; by putting in front Blessed Peter to the other apostles , IN HIM he instituted a perpetual principle of one and another unity, and a VISIBLE FOUNDATION, ABOVE ITS FORTRESS BE CONSTRUCTED AN ETERNAL TEMPLE, and the height of this temple, that would reach heaven be lifted up OVER THE FIRMNESS OF THIS FAITH.

    And because the GATES OF HELL, in order to demolish, if they could, the Church, RAISES THEMSELVES EVERYWHERE WITH HATE EACH TIME BIGGER AGAINST HER DIVINELEY STABLE FOUNDATION, We judge to be necessary for the guard, unharmed ness and increase of the Catholic flock, to propose with the approbation of the sacred council the doctrine on the institution, perpetuity and nature of the SACRED APOSTOLIC PRIMACY –IN WHICH STRIBES THE FORCE AND SOLIDITY OF ALL THE CHURCH-, for it to be believed and maintained for all the faithful, according to the ANCIENT AND CONSTANT FAITH OF THE CHURCH , and at the same time to proscribe and to condemn the errors opposite in such pernicious grade to the flock of the Lord”.

    It is clear, for this doctrine, that the UNITY, FORCE and SOLIDITY of all the Church, DOES NOT REST in Sacred Scripture, not in tradition, but IN THE PRIMACY that Christ granted to Peter.

    Now comes, in the continuation, THREE DOGMATIC TEACHINGS about the Pope different and at the same time intimately tied each other:
    First comes the story from the Gospel in which Jesus promises Peter the Papacy.
    The first Vatican Council continues:

    “And because the Roman Pontiff presides the Universal Church by Divine Right of the apostolic Primacy , we teach also and we declare that he is THE SUPREME JUDGE OF THE FAITHFUL, and that, in all the causes that belongs to the ecclesiastic jurisdiction , can recur at the judgment of itself ;
    now in change, THE JUDGMENT OF THE APOSTOLIC SEDE, ABOVE THERE IS NOT UPPER AUTHORITY, can not be discussed again for nobody, AND TO NOBODY IS LICIT TO JUDGE OF HIS OWN JUDGMENT . For that, GO OUT OF THE RIGHT WAY THOSE THAT AFIRM THAT IS LICIT TO APPEAL OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE ROMAN PONTIFFS TO THE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, as a superior
    authority of the Roman Pontiff “.

    Notice that Vatican I designs the Pope the same as the denomination of “Roman Pontiff” with that of “Apostolic Sede “, because it is about one physical person. “Roman Church” has always signified too the same: the Roman Pontiff is the Roman Church. Therefore is gravely erroneous the distinction between SEDES AND SEDENS: between the sede and the one that occupies it.

    Now comes the next canon:

    “So, if someone says that the Roman Pontiff, has only the duty of inspection and jurisdiction, BUT NOT FULL AND SUPREME PARENTAL AUTHORITY OF JURISDICTION ABOVE THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH, NOT ONLY IN THE MATTERS THAT BELONG TO THE FAITH AND COSTUMES, BUT TOO THOSE OF REGIMEN AND DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH DIFUNDED THROUGHT ALL THE ORB, or that He has the principal part, but not THE FULLNESS OF THIS SUPREME PARENTAL AUTHORITY ; or that this parental authority is not ORDINARY AND INMEDIATE , as in all and each one of the churches as above everyone and each one of the pastors and the faithful, BE ANATEMA”.

    That his parental authority be ordinary means that it is not delegated; that is INMEDIATLY means that in order to be exercised does not need any intermediary. (Then Paul VI could decree by himself the suspension A DIVINIS of Mons. Lefebvre without having to recur to none canonical judgment).

    Consequently:

    THERE IS NOT PAPACY WITHOUT POPE .

    NOT EVEN ALL THE BISHOPS TOGETHER WITH ALL THE FAITHFULL ARE SUPERIOR TO THE POPE: they are lambs subjected to the only Shepard: Peter.

    THERE IS NOT POSSIBLE COUNCIL WITHOUT A POPE.

    THERE IS NOT CHURCH AND COUNCIL AGAINST THE POPE.

    Therefore, IS HERETIC TO JUDGE AND TO CONDEMN THE POPE FOR WHATEVER, because he has not superior on earth.

    Therefore IS HERETIC TOO TO DENIE THE POPE THE FULL POWER TO REFORM THE RITHS AND THE DISCIPLINE IN MATTERS OF ECLESIASTICAL INSTITUTION, THAT CHRIST LEFT TO PETER´S DESITION.

    He left to his decision, for example, the way to elect the successor, for what have had lots of variants since St. Peter, that named his immediate successor.
    That’s why Paul VI could exclude the right of vote and to be voted the cardinals that were older than 80. Another example: the Canon of the Mass is not all directly from Our Lord:

    “It is composed – teaches the Council of Trent – in part of the same words of our Lord, in part of the apostolic traditions and in part of pious institutions of sovereign pontiffs”.

    Therefore, only what was instituted for Christ the night of Holy Thursday is unreformable in the Mass.

    In fact, if the Pope can fall any moment into heresy, then why do we need him?
    Why such a lot of insecurity? Then should be enough to depend always and directly on Christ.

    It’s worth to mention some words of Lion XIII:

    “ What has to be maintained is that in the government of the Church, excepting the sacred essential duty imposed to all the Pontiffs by his apostolic charge, each and every one of them can adopt the attitude that judges to be better, according to the time and other circumstances. IN THIS HE IS THE ONLY JUDGE in the intelligence that for it he has not only special lights, but too the knowledge of the conditions of all the catholicity so he can choose those that are more convenient to his apostolic foresight. He has the care of the universal good of the Church, the one that subordinate the particular good;
    and all those that are submitted to that order should second the action of the supreme director and to agree to the goal he wants to obtain”.
    (Mrs. Baunard, Historie du Cardinal Pie, t.II, p. 657).

    This is the mechanic of heresy: starts by rejecting the SACRED AUTHORITY OF A MAN, bishop or pope, so finally separate from the Church and raises himself a heresiarch as a supreme authority. It is the case of the protestants sects.

    2- Regarding the second dogmatic definition, it explains to us why the papacy is uninterrupted.

    3. And finally the declaration on the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, after remaining of the fourth council of Constantinople that in the roman sede “WAS GUARDED ALWAYS WITHOUT SPOTS THE CATHOLIC RELIGION”.

    So, to conclude, we have three dogmatic definitions by Vatican I on the Pope:

    1- His primacy of jurisdiction above the Universal Church is absolute: whatever he orders or allows on earth, by Heaven is allowed; whatever he forbids on earth, it is forbidden in Heaven.
    IT EMBRACES ALL WHAT IS RELATIVE THE SPIRITUAL GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH, not only his definitions ex-cathedra.

    2- The succession of the seat of Peter is uninterrupted.
    3- It is catholic and divine faith what the Popes defines ex-cathedra.

    But this does not mean that what he teaches and orders in a ordinary way, not ex-cathedra, in matters of faith, customs, Divine cult, discipline, can be heretic.
    It can not be for two reasons:

    Because in his first dogmatic teaching the council says that the PRIMACY OF PETER IS ABSOLUTE, and because in the third states that THE SIT OF PETER IS EXEMPT OF ALL ERROR, WITHOUT DISTINCTIONS.

    The most ample power of the Pope is the PRIMACY, that embraces all and demands an attitude of absolute obedience to each Roman Pontiff regarding regime of the Church or disciplinary , even on what is intrinsically reform able by himself or one of his successors.

    First Vatican Council: “MUST BE BELIEVED AS DIVINE AND CATHOLIC FAITH ALL THOSE THINGS THAT ARE CONTAINED IN THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD OR OF TRADITION AND THAT ARE PROPOSED BY THE CHURCH, WETHER BE A SOLEMN JUDGMENT OR UNIVERSAL AND ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM IN ORDER TO BE BELIEVED AS DIVINE REVELATION.”

    My comment is that the true meaning of ex-cathedra is when the Holy Father teaches faith and morals (morals involve rectitude of regimen and discipline of the Church) to the whole of the Church anytime anyday of his life he can´t be heretic, according to the promise of Our Lord Jesus. If anyone misunderstands is his or her, problem, not the pope´s fault.
    Took from “The Pope has never been and will never be heretic”
    By Salvador Abascal Infante
    Editorial Tradición, México DF 1997
    http://www.editorial-tradicion.com

  39. Mike says:

    A correction:

    It says:
    “So, if someone says that the Roman Pontiff, has only the duty of inspection and jurisdiction, BUT NOT FULL AND SUPREME PARENTAL AUTHORITY OF JURISDICTION ABOVE THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH…

    I wrote it wrong. Now it should say:

    “So, if someone says that the Roman Pontiff, has only the duty of inspection and direction, BUT NOT FULL AND SUPREME PARENTAL AUTHORITY OF JURISDICTION ABOVE THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH…

    By the rest, please forgive me if my english is not very good.
    Thanks to all.

  40. Craigmaddie says:

    Personally I think his last days showed that his was a saintly soul. But I also think the very fact that we are having this rather heated debate suggests to me that it is simply too soon and we should wait until the heat has been taken out of the issue.

  41. Jack Regan says:

    One thing I have always believed is that great men make waves.

    If you ask people about a bad person, then the majority will say bad things. If you ask people about a mediocre or ‘quite good’ person, then the vast majority will say ‘quite good’ things. But if you ask people about a truly great person, then the vast majority will say great things. But… here’s the thing… if you ask people about a truly great person then a small proportion will say very bad things. As in, they will pretty much tell you that he was the worst thing ever.

    In the case of JPII we see this clearly. The faces of most Catholics will light up when they hear his name mentioned. You only had to see the look that came across faces whenever he stepped up to a microphone.

    To me, the small minority of people who grumble about Assisi/ Liturgy/ [insert grumble here] simply provide one of the vital hallmarks of greatness: the necessity that you p**s some people off!

  42. Jack Regan says:

    craigmaddie,

    I agree that there is a heated debate here, but it’s important to remember that the contributors to this blog represent a traditionalist minority – sorry, folks, but it’s true :)

    You just don’t hear these heated debates if you mention JPII in more mainstream circles.

  43. Kevin Quinn says:

    “But to do this will also canonize every liturgical aberration of Marini First and every questionable ecumenical gesture of the Wojtyla pontificate.

    Jon offered this observation afew posts up, which I agree with. Although John Paul II was himself personally very holy and mystical, He did support numerous liberal causes in Catholicism which have had a terribly negative effect on the Catholic Faith:
    1) radical ecumenism with Protestant groups (public joint prayers, the Declaration on Justification with Lutherans (1999), visiting the site of the “martyrdom” of Anglicans in Africa in the 1980′s, the infamous “Assisi #1 & 2 gatherings,
    2) Altar girls.
    3) Delegating his administrative work in the Vatican to several radical liberal functionaries who had their own agenda. Ratzinger was a good appointment, but there have been others like Re, Kasper, and Arinze who were not.
    4) Excessive travels…sometimes 4x to the same country during 26 years.
    5) Appologizing for supposed “sins” or “wrongs” of the Catholic

    Church…this has lead to Bishops and others immitating these actions and appologizing for the smallest, most ridiculous things.
    4) appointing some of the worst Bishops and Cardinals to important dioceses.
    I am sure there are more things to emphasize about the JP II reign which are negative, but I cant’ think of them

  44. Irene Roche says:

    I think it’s far too early to think about canonisation a man who so recently died. His pontificat was controversial to say the least and making him a saint could upset a lot of people. Another thing, holy and good he may have been but he captained a sinking ship with a massive fall in Mass attendance and adherence to Catholic teaching. All my lapsed family just loved him but they all contracept and disobey what he said. All these hero worshippers at WYD etc., were still living their immoral lives. And no, I am not a “traditionalist” but just an ordinary Catholic who tries to live by the Church’s teaching.

  45. RBrown says:

    It seems that many only look at the “non-traditional” aspects of John Paul the Great’s papacy. What about all the good he did? He was the Pope of Fatima. He brought down athiestic Communism. He defended human life in all its stages. He defended the Church from the onslaught of heresy (women priests, etc.). He inspired a whole generation of Catholics. He brought the papacy to the world through his countless apostolic journeys.

    You’re right, he did play a key role in the fall of the Soviet Union. But there were other important events that set the table, e.g., Nixon’s opening to China, Reagan’s economic pressure on the Soviets, and the leadership of Gorbachev.

    And he also did a lot of good by defending human life and the faith (e.g., the question of woman’s ordination).

    On the other hand, some think that he was negligent in not reforming the seminaries, religious orders, priesthood, and liturgy.

    Regarding the use of the title “the great”… there is no law or decree needed. It comes from constant use.
    Comment by Geoffrey by Geoffrey

    Agree. And that constant use must be over a long time.

  46. Padre Steve says:

    The spiritual and intellectual explosion that will happen at his beatification and canonization will be fantastic! I am excited to see the media try to figure it out all over again. They will again wonder what the attraction is and miss the point, but it will bring real blessings to the Church I am sure! God bless! Padre Steve, SDB

  47. Memphis Aggie says:

    I think all of this hostility (which really surprises me) is a sign of contradiction and evidence for John Paul II\’s sanctity. What part of Catholic (laid before all) don\’t y\’all understand? His Ecumenicism has brought many into the Church and his apology for sins against Jews for example (and there are some incredibly sad Papal Bulls out there) helped bring me into the Church. As for his courage and heroic virtue his life under Nazism and Communism speaks volumes. As for greatness his trip to Poland inspired the Solidarity movement and helped create the first cracks in the Communist empire. It\’s so easy, after the miraculous collapse of the Soviets, to minimize his contribution, but he had vision and faith and saw the possibilities far before almost anyone else (expect perhaps Reagan). While we were living in fear of a nuclear winter with movies like \”The Day After Tomorrow\” making a big splash, John Paul II tours the world and tells us: \”Be not Afraid\” (Antonio Gramscii was a Marxist by the way: get real). John Paul II suppressed the liberation theologists in Latin America, publicly rebuking one Sandinista priest. He was bold, warm open and Christ-like in forgiveness of his would be assassin and in his long suffering. Did I like everything he did? Of course not.
    However, before I offer any criticism of such a clearly great man for not being absolutely perfect in every detail I look at my own small inconsequential life and think twice.

  48. TNCath says:

    Irene Roche wrote: “I think it’s far too early to think about canonisation a man who so recently died. His pontificate was controversial to say the least and making him a saint could upset a lot of people. Another thing, holy and good he may have been but he captained a sinking ship with a massive fall in Mass attendance and adherence to Catholic teaching. All my lapsed family just loved him but they all contracept and disobey what he said. All these hero worshippers at WYD etc., were still living their immoral lives. And no, I am not a ‘traditionalist’ but just an ordinary Catholic who tries to live by the Church’s teaching.”

    Irene, do you think the ship was better afloat during the reign of Paul VI? And was it John Paul II’s fault that your family “contracepted” and disobeyed him? Do you think they will now pay more attention to the current Holy Father in this regard? People do and hear what they want to do and hear. The man arrested for speeding will claim that the policeman who caught him was hiding illegally behind a bush. It doesn’t matter who’s Pope when it comes to personal responsibility.

    I am saddened that people are so quick to pounce on the perceived or real weaknesses of a dead Pope. Let’s face it: John Paul II, as was all his successors, was faced with a monumental task than none of us as armchair ecclesiastical quarterbacks (no offense to you Fr. Z) will ever be able to fully understand. He was a human being like the rest of us who had an extraordinarily overwhelming job. He did a heck of a lot better job than any of us could have ever done, and for that we should be grateful. God raised him up to be Pope, so let God take care of how he is judged. As for his beatification/canonisation, quite frankly, it isn’t up to any of us to say. However, I think it’s pretty obvious that had there been no John Paul II, we would never have had a Benedict XVI. And I truly believe that it is now Benedict’s role to continue to carry out what John Paul started and couldn’t finish. Using Irene’s “sinking ship” analogy, John Paul turned the Barque of Peter around; Benedict is now charting the course and direction.

  49. RBrown says:

    The spiritual and intellectual explosion that will happen at his beatification and canonization will be fantastic! I am excited to see the media try to figure it out all over again. They will again wonder what the attraction is and miss the point, but it will bring real blessings to the Church I am sure! God bless! Padre Steve, SDB

    Don’t you think that it will be more fantastic when Pius XII is beatified?

  50. Michael says:

    This comment will probably get deleted, but I’m going to say it anyway. Not everyone who loved JPII loved him for his orthodoxy. Most loved him because they thought he was a revolutionary. They’re right to think that no pope before him (except maybe Paul VI)would have set foot in a synagogue to pray, kissed the koran, traveled all over the world or allowed a cult of his personality to develop and persist. People loved the pope for a lot of the same reasons they love Obama, and eventhough they might have screamed and cried hysterically whenever he came out on stage, how many of these enthusiastic young people can we say actually followed the moral law of the church? How many are still in the Church? Was it the papacy they honored, or the person of John Paul II? When I hear people extoll him for his revolutionary dialogue with other religions or the humility he constantly exhibited, I have to ask people whether those were realy good things or whether they think they were good because John Paul did them. Should the Pope of such an ancient institution as the Catholic Church ever be a revolutionary?

    There’s nothing as disturbing as hearing people call him “John Paul the Great.” I say disturbing because it demonstrates just how disconnected the modern (orthodox) Church is from its pre-conciliar roots. Magisterialism is being confused with orthodoxy. “The Great” Popes are canonized Saints and Doctors, Fathers of the Church, whose writings and governance made such a termendous impact on the Church in history that they are honored aboved all the other pontiffs. John Paul doesn’t even fill the first of the requirements. He might be a Saint someday, but he isn’t right now. I find it especially disturbing that official recognition of that title is coming from some of the very few orthodox orders we have today (ie. the Nashville Dominicans who recently opened up a school under his patronage). Have they forgotten what it was the made Gregory and Leo Greats? Did they not have to read the sermons of Leo and the writings of Gregory when they were Novices? Who could compare these to “Theology of the Body”? Did they never learn about the history of the Church and the thousands of Popes who have governed it since? I get the sense that when Neuhaus et al. use that title, like many of the people on this thread, its because they worry if they don’t push it will never take off. If it’s on a school sign, it can’t go away. But if John Paul really was “the Great” that title should take off spontaneously hundreds of years down the road without any coersion or propaganda.

    If this canonization isn’t rushed, it won’t happen. In fifty years, all those who can remember the euphoria they experienced at their first WYD will be dead. That’s why its so important that it be done at record speed.

  51. I am not Spartacus says:

    Regarding the use of the title “the great”… there is no law or decree needed. It comes from constant use.

    That’s a prescription for propaganda. Fr. Peter Gumpel said on EWTN that the “santo subito” at JPII’s funeral was orchestrated and phoney.

    Gerard. Pope Benedict has, at least twice as I recall, publicly called Pope John Paul II, “Great.” I do not think Pope Benedict is part of a phony, orchestrated campaign.

    As to those who think the ineluctable course to Sainthood is being progressed along too rapidly, once he is Canonised by the Church, will your objections be silenced or will you think it apt to exercise them publicly?

    As to the status of the Church during his reign as Pope, it is not the state of the Church that is being Canonised, it is the person of Pope John Paul II.

    Go back and read what was occurring in the Church – heresies, schisms, scandals – during the time of the Papacies of Pope-Saints. It was not all sweetness and light, folks.

    It seems to me that a lot of commentary is built upon personal judgments about the actions of this radical Pope. FWIW, I think that is perfectly predictable.

    Pope John Paul II was radical (in the original meaning of that word) and those who watched what he did, where he went, and to whom he spoke, often took scandal.

    IOW, Our Sweet Jesus on Earth, Pope John Paul II, acted like Jesus and just like back when Jesus was walking the Earth, friends and foes of His had reactions revealing what was in their hearts.

    Many publicly write about their complaints and criticisms claiming Pope John Paul violated what they think is or ought be Tradition.

    Since when has it been Tradition to publicly criticise Our Sweet Jesus on Earth; even to the point where it is being done after he has died?

  52. Jack Regan says:

    “Appologizing for supposed “sins” or “wrongs” of the Catholic Church”

    Let me see what some Papal bulls have authorised…

    1. Executing heretics by burning them alive.
    2. Giving permission to enslave conquered groups.
    3. Authorising the crusades and the bloodshed that went with them.
    4. The total discrimination and repression of the Jews living in the papal states.

    ..and that’s just off the top of my head.

    I am appaled that, prior to JPII, some of these things weren’t apologised for and frankly I would have found it hard to remain Catholic if we hadn’t apologised.

    I can understand the heartache of those who feel that tradition has been subject to rupture over recent decades, but – honestly – some traditions were just plain wrong. End of!

  53. RBrown says:

    While we were living in fear of a nuclear winter with movies like “The Day After Tomorrow” making a big splash, John Paul II tours the world and tells us: “Be not Afraid” (Antonio Gramscii was a Marxist by the way: get real).

    What is this “we”? I never lived in fear of a nuclear winter.

    I think one good rule for any Catholic is not to be manipulated by the sensationalism of movies and TV.

    And I think you missed the point above about Gramsci. He thought that Marxism shouldn’t attack Western society from outside (as the Soviet Union had done). Western corruption would eventually be the cause of the destruction of society, and then there would be a certain evolution to Communism.

    John Paul II suppressed the liberation theologists in Latin America, publicly rebuking one Sandinista priest. He was bold, warm open and Christ-like in forgiveness of his would be assassin and in his long suffering. Did I like everything he did? Of course not.

    All true.

    However, before I offer any criticism of such a clearly great man for not being absolutely perfect in every detail I look at my own small inconsequential life and think twice.
    Comment by Memphis Aggie

    Isn’t it possible to do both?

  54. TNCath says:

    RBrown wrote: “Isn’t it possible to do both?”

    See Matthew 7:3.

  55. Jack Regan says:

    ‘I am not spartacus’ is once again 100% right.

    If I remember correctly the very first public words of Pope Benedict XVI began with ‘After the death of our GREAT Pope…’

  56. RBrown says:

    I am appaled that, prior to JPII, some of these things weren’t apologised for and frankly I would have found it hard to remain Catholic if we hadn’t apologised.
    Comment by Jack Regan

    BXVI’s comment about being ashamed because of the scandals had much more effect than JPII’s apologies about what had happened hundreds of years ago.

  57. Kradcliffe says:

    If God wants him to be cannonized, there will be miracles. If not, then the cause will founder because there will be no miracles.
    Personally, I don’t see how anybody can doubt that the man is in heaven, praying for us right now. I know that if I was in dire need of a miracle, he would be the first person I’d ask.

  58. RBrown says:

    RBrown wrote: “Isn’t it possible to do both?”
    See Matthew 7:3.
    Comment by TNCath

    But that text says nothing about not doing both.

    Do you think no one should give negative testimony when someone’s cause is being investigated?

  59. Larry says:

    There will always be those who find fault with our popes. Just look at all the negaive remarks made about Pope St. PIus X. One thing that seems to be forgotten is what Canonization means. Yes it is true tht we have begun the “process” very quickly. It is not the first time nor hopefully will it be the last. But starting the process is done here on earth by the Church Militant. But Canonization is not a democratic vote gathering. The Church seems to ask God. “Is this person in heaven?” Then we wait for a “sign” a miracle. But then the Church seems to say: “We think You said he is in heaven, is that correct?” Then we wait for a second sign another miracle. If it comes then and only then does the Church “Canonize” the person. It is God not the Church on earth that presents us with the opportunity to acknowledge Sainthood.

    Reading some of the comments it seems clear that the writers would have joined the Pharisees and Sadducees inditing Jesus for eating with sinners.

    I hope we can all sit down and listen as God testifies to the Sanctitiy of John Paull II. We shall see.

  60. RBrown says:

    I am appaled that, prior to JPII, some of these things weren’t apologised for and frankly I would have found it hard to remain Catholic if we hadn’t apologised.

    I can understand the heartache of those who feel that tradition has been subject to rupture over recent decades, but – honestly – some traditions were just plain wrong. End of!
    Comment by Jack Regan

    I don’t recall any apology about the sexual scandals, poorly trained priests, Protestant liturgy, goofy sisters, lack of respect toward the Eucharistic species, wishy washy bishops, etc.

  61. RBrown says:

    Larry,

    Beatification and Canonization are decisions of the pope. The process (which includes investigation of at least one miracle) exists to aid the pope in his decision–but he can choose to ignore the findings.

    This happened when with Fra Angelico. If I remember correctly (from what the Relator General told me), the process didn’t justify Beatification–there was neither an unbroken cult nor a miracle.

  62. Paul says:

    “1. Executing heretics by burning them alive.”

    I’m being entirely serious here; I can’t see what’s wrong with this. If it saves souls, the death of a notorious and obstinate heretic is completely justifiable. Of course, there are now more humane ways of doing this.

    “3. Authorising the crusades and the bloodshed that went with them.”

    If there have ever been just wars, the crusades were them. At the very least, the first Crusade was a completely justifiable act undertaken because of the request of a Byzantine emperor for the liberation of the eastern church from Muslim oppression.

    Even if these things were wrong (I’m not contesting #2 and #4), they were not sins of the Catholic Church. How can a Divine institution have sin?? Only a person can sin.

  63. Geoffrey says:

    It seems when it comes down to it, “traditionalists” will never be satisified with Pope John Paul the Great because he was not Pope Pius XII. Do they somehow think that if Pius XII had been reigning, he would have simply waived his hand and all the problems in the Church would have been solved? All things happen according to God’s time and will, not ours.

    Take note also of John Paul’s final encyclical on the Eucharist, in which he referred to liturgical abuses. He also planned for the Year of the Eucharist. He wanted a motu proprio like Summorum Pontificum but feared schism. Had he lived longer, he would have tackled the liturgy next. No doubt Pope Benedict XVI, JPII’s closest collaborator, is picking up right where he had left off. Thank God for that!

  64. TNCath says:

    RBrown: “But that text says nothing about not doing both.”

    No, but the log in my eye is much more important to deal with.

    “Do you think no one should give negative testimony when someone’s cause is being investigated?”

    No, of course not. But that is for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to conduct, not us.

    “I don’t recall any apology about the sexual scandals, poorly trained priests, Protestant liturgy, goofy sisters, lack of respect toward the Eucharistic species, wishy washy bishops, etc.”

    That might come at the dawning of the next millennium.

  65. Sarah says:

    MAI SANTO!

  66. Jacques says:

    Jack Regan,
    You say that “the contributors to this blog represent a traditionalist minority – sorry, folks, but it’s true “.
    Possibly, but after reading the 45 previous posts , it looks like these contributors are much more informed on what is right or wrong in faith, doctrine & theology issues than the others. The ones are reacting with their immediate feelings, the others after mature reflection.

    What strikes me is the very very small number of canonized popes in 20 centuries of Christianism.
    What in his life would make JPII more worthy to be saint than hundreds of other popes? What would urge so much to make him a saint, quicker than Pius XII for example?
    If we assess the lifes of the previous popes with the same criterions as for JPII, certainly a lot of them would be found worthy for canonization.

    Besides, I wish to ask our dear Fr Zuhlsdorf to enlighten us on a particular point: I could hear once that the rules for the canonization trials were changed by JPII. In particular there is no longer any “devil’s advocate”. Is that true?

  67. Patrick says:

    My prediction:

    He’ll be beatified and then canonized within the next 10 years.

    He will also be named a Doctor of the Church in the next 10 years.

    These two actions will cause many in the SSPX, and other splinter groups to stay in schism for a very long time.

  68. Breier says:

    Critical issues come up because we’re talking about canonization. If that wasn’t on the table people would be happy to leave the last pontificate alone. For those who take scandal at criticisms of John Paul II, they are only being offered because that’s what a healthy historical assessment of a life demands, especially when we have things like canonization and “The Great”. If people are going to promote that John Paul II be made formally made an example for the whole Church, and to imply that once he’s canonized criticism will be impious,” then they shouldn’t be surprised by people speaking to the good and the bad of the last pontificate.

    So don’t complain about criticizing a dead Pope.

    Don’t complain with a “log in your own eye” argument. That’s irrelevant. If we’re asked to assess John Paul II’s heroic virtue and “Great” pontificate, then it doesn’t matter if we’re sinners and unfit to be Pope.

    If we’re talking canonization, this discussion is perfectly appropriate and very much needed.

    I’m told that the Vatican even heard from Christopher Hitchens for Mother Teresa’s case!

  69. Jack Regan says:

    Paul said “I’m being entirely serious here; I can’t see what’s wrong with [burning heretics alive]. If it saves souls, the death of a notorious and obstinate heretic is completely justifiable. Of course, there are now more humane ways of doing this.”

    Err… you’re kidding right?

    If you really believe that burning people alive because they disagree with the faith is okay, then I would respectfully suggest that you and I have no common ground on which to even debate.

    Can you really imagine Jesus authorising that? It’s certainly a long way from ‘shake the dust from your feet’ or from Paul telling communities to expel or ignore certain people.

    In thinking through this post in my head, I prepared a list of reasons to illustrate why cruel and savage murder is wrong, but… well, if you really have to ask…

  70. RBrown says:

    RBrown: “But that text says nothing about not doing both.”

    No, but the log in my eye is much more important to deal with.

    In so far as the liturgy is the source and summit of Catholic life, the present state of the litury inhibits Catholic life, including dealing with the log in one’s eye.

    Besides which, the pope is a public figure, and so there’s nothing wrong with something noticing his public policies

    .“Do you think no one should give negative testimony when someone’s cause is being investigated?”

    No, of course not. But that is for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to conduct, not us.:

    But that doesn’t mean someone cannot have an opinion.

    If it’s OK for one person to go gah-gah over JPII, it should also be OK for another to say, “Hold on, I have reservations.”

    “I don’t recall any apology about the sexual scandals, poorly trained priests, Protestant liturgy, goofy sisters, lack of respect toward the Eucharistic species, wishy washy bishops, etc.”

    That might come at the dawning of the next millennium.
    Comment by TNCath

    In which case it will have contributed nothing to resolving the present problems.

  71. RBrown says:

    should be: “nothing wrong with someone noticing his public policies.”

  72. RBrown says:

    Can you really imagine Jesus authorising that? It’s certainly a long way from ‘shake the dust from your feet’ or from Paul telling communities to expel or ignore certain people.

    In thinking through this post in my head, I prepared a list of reasons to illustrate why cruel and savage murder is wrong, but… well, if you really have to ask…
    Comment by Jack Regan

    Why do you think it was murder?

  73. Breier says:

    It’s interesting that some people would prefer to repress freedom of thought rather than assess legitimate praise and criticism of a historical figure. Hardly an ecumenical approach.

    Attacking the so-called “traditionalists” is not a way to advance a positive argument. In fact, turning to ad hominem remarks seems an indicator of losing an argument.

    I fail to see how having reservations about a rapid canonization of Pope John Paul II is problematic. Certainly the Vatican has taken that approach to Pope Pius XII. Isn’t it a legitimate question to ask why John Paul II should go to the front of the line?

    There must be an argument that John Paul II is superior to the other popes, in which case an argument would be appreciated, or perhaps one thinks that they deserve canonization as rapidly as John Paul II. If the latter, you’ll end up criticizing the Vatican.

  74. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Mr. Regan,

    With regard to killing heretics, God ordered that this be done in the Old Testament. I assume that you believe the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity during the time of the Old Testament and ordered the Jews to kill heretics is the same Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who became incarnate in the New Testament. If so then the answer to your question is yes Jesus would authorize this. Of course you could hold that God changed and became a different God in the New Testament, but that would open a completely different can of worms.

  75. RichR says:

    I think it is too early to be objective in JPII’s cause for sainthood. There is too much pressure to canonize him. In this culture of immediate gratification and infinite superlatives, I am not surprised that people want a declaration NOW, and they want him to be named GREAT. I agree with above posters. Let this cause sit for a generation.

  76. Jack Regan says:

    “Why do you think it was murder?”

    Okay… here’s the thing… When you take a person by force because they are saying things you find threatening, which you don’t feel you can reasonably argue against and then tie them to a pole and light a fire under them until they die a slow, painful and horrible death… then it’s murder. It just is. If you don’t get that, then I can’t explain it any more clearly.

    If you want a little more, then consider this:

    1. If we believe that our faith is truly the truth, then we should have the courage to let it compete on an equal footing. If ‘heretics’ are really spouting heresy, then it will fail.

    2. I don’t want people to accept the Christian faith because we have forcefully removed all the other options or because we have threatened/ scared/ bullied them into it. Rather, i want them to accept the faith because it is true and because they know the unbelievable love of God.

  77. Jack Regan says:

    Mr. Sarsfeld,

    There is a part of the Old Testament (Numbers 31) where God orders all of the boys (after a battle) to be killed. He then orders all of the girls who aren’t virgins to be killed and all of the ones who are virgins to be ‘saved for us.’

    The OT also says that anybody who handles animal hyde should be put to death. And disobedient children too. And a load of other people.

    Now that may represent a certain kind of truth within the limited understanding of a certain time and place, but it just simply isn’t the case.

    Did God change? No, of course not. But our understanding of him did and if you want to get into everything that the OT said, then that’s a big old can of worms to open up.

  78. Gerard says:

    It’s been stated elsewhere that the haste in canonizing JPII and Mother Teresa is to get some post-Vatican II saints especially one how said the Novus Ordo, in order to give it more legitimacy.

  79. Brian C. says:

    RBrown writes:

    Don’t you think that it will be more fantastic when Pius XII is beatified [than when JPII is beatified]?

    I can speak as someone who has a strong devotion to both pontiffs; I yearn for the day when (soon to be St.) Pius XII is canonized–and personally, I find it scandalous that it’s taken so long. On the other hand, I see no need to make a meticulous comparison of the causes of these two great men; if Pope John Paul II is canonized before Pope Pius XII, do you really think that Papa Pius will somehow resent that? If not, then are we really in a position to do so?

    Just as a perspective: two other Saints whom I love have very disparate canonization records: it took over 300 years for St. Martin de Porres to be canonized, while St. Clare made it in less than three (and the Pope had to be convinced *not* to use the Mass proper to a Virgin Saint, at her funeral)! Perhaps that could be food for thought for those who are tempted to hyperventilate over the “speed” at which Pope John Paul II’s cause is progressing?

    In Christ,
    Brian

  80. Jackie says:

    Brian C.— That is really interesting about St. Clare. Was it St Clare of Assisi or another St Clare?
    Thanks
    Jackie

  81. Michael says:

    “Okay… here’s the thing… When you take a person by force because they are saying things you find threatening, which you don’t feel you can reasonably argue against and then tie them to a pole and light a fire under them until they die a slow, painful and horrible death… then it’s murder. It just is. If you don’t get that, then I can’t explain it any more clearly.”

    Jack,
    You really need to read the Summa.

  82. TNCath says:

    RBrown wrote: “But that doesn’t mean someone cannot have an opinion.”

    Yes, but does it mean we have to express them all the time, especially if they are negative? Cannot one have an opinion and leave it up to those whose opinions really matter?

    RBrown wrote: “If it’s OK for one person to go gah-gah over JPII, it should also be OK for another to say, ‘Hold on, I have reservations.’”

    Yes, within the limits of courtesy, respect, and deference for the fact that he was the Pope.

    RBrown wrote: “In which case it will have contributed nothing to resolving the present problems.”

    Nor is complaining about the fact an apology is not immediately forthcoming.

  83. Jack Regan says:

    I am quite familiar with what the Summa has to say on this.

    Now, do you really want me to list all of the dubious things that Aquinas said??

    We can go there if you want…

  84. Paul says:

    “Okay… here’s the thing… When you take a person by force because they are saying things you find threatening, which you don’t feel you can reasonably argue against and then tie them to a pole and light a fire under them until they die a slow, painful and horrible death… then it’s murder. It just is. If you don’t get that, then I can’t explain it any more clearly.”

    You’re missing the point. The death of a notorious and obstinate heretic should never (in principle) have been done out of revenge. It’s not that their arguments can’t be defeated, or that we’re so angry at them that they just have to die; the point is that they pose a real threat to the salvation of those they may convince to abandon the Catholic faith. As such, particularly public heretics can be properly put to death for the good of souls, as they have been many times.

    It seems you expect all Catholics to subscribe to liberal democratic principles, but I see no reason to. Catholics of the past never did. Do I have to remind you that many saints of the Church explicitly approved of this practice and even carried it out, including many of the great doctors?

    Eternal life is much more important than our temporal existence.

  85. Time to end this. I am tempted to delete all the comments.

  86. Matthew M. Regan says:

    Mr. Regan,
    To say “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit” was precisely
    the error condemned by Pope Leo X in no. 33 of the Bull “Exsurge Domine” (Dz. 733).
    While some try to wriggle out of abiding by, say, the Syllabus of Errors by
    saying that the Syllabus was a mere appendix to the Encyclical, the errors are
    condemned in the document itself in the case of “Exsurge Domine”. I am not sure
    whether that makes it an act of the Extraordinary Magisterium (perhaps an expert
    could enlighten us?) but it must be an act of the Authentic Magisterium and
    probably belongs to the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium, since Catholic
    Bishops everywhere for some fifteen hundred or so years agreed.