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The beatification of Pope John Paul has surprised no one: but it is a great day for the Church

By the time of his death, his greatness had become universally perceived

By on Monday, 17 January 2011

Pilgrims at the funeral Mass of John Paul II in St Peter's Square (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Pilgrims at the funeral Mass of John Paul II in St Peter's Square (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Nobody is surprised by the declaration that Pope John Paul is to be beatified on May 1. It is almost a beatification by public acclaim: the cries of “Santo Subito” that went up in the streets of Rome at his funeral were a sign that his heroic virtue had become universally understood, not merely in his manner of dying, but for many years before that.

The Catholic Herald and the Catholic Truth Society, to mark the 25th anniversary of his papacy in 2003, had jointly published a collection of essays (which I edited) under the title John Paul the Great. When I read on Friday that his beatification had been announced I reread what I had written then. I quote here the last paragraph of my introduction, simply as one contemporary example of what had by then become the general perception. The pope’s poor health had led to calls for his resignation; how could someone suffering so much be expected to lead the Church? That was the question. But it was precisely his courage in the face of suffering which was so inspiring, which gave his leadership of the Church such huge spiritual power. This is what I wrote; and I think it is an accurate indication of what nearly everyone had come to understand:

Be not afraid: it has become almost the watchword for his papacy: not because he has obsessively repeated it for others to follow, but because he has lived it out himself. He is in constant pain; his hands shake with Parkinson’s disease; and still he does not spare himself. The older and more frail he becomes, the more his courage shines out, and the nearer his papal service comes to being a kind of living martyrdom. The word “indomitable” springs to mind; and for an Englishman of my generation that will tend to be followed by the word “Churchillian”: for surely in the spiritual warfare of our age this is one of the great heroes of the faith, not merely a great warrior himself, but an inspirer in others of the great knightly virtues of honour and courage and constancy and persistence to the end. In due course, it will be for the Church to declare if this has been the life of one of her saints: but certainly, by any human measure, his qualities have amounted to greatness of the highest order: it is surely very hard to believe that that will not be the verdict of history, too.

Pope Benedict has constantly referred to his greatness: he called him “the great Pope John Paul II” in his first address from the loggia of St Peter’s Church; he referred to him as “the Great” in his homily for the Mass of Repose, and has continued to refer to him in this way. This has also been a growing custom among the faithful; in the US, the names of the John Paul the Great Catholic University and other educational establishments have reflected it.

But greatness is not necessarily holiness: here, though, they are inseparable. And now the Church has, indeed, declared herself. On May 1, the first stage towards his eventual canonisation will take place. It is clear that the present Pope, who knew him so well, has given his cause a fair wind: but he has done no more than make possible what is very close to being a consensus fidelium

  • http://twitter.com/RCYouthWorker Jack Regan

    Brilliant article, thank you.

    I get very annoyed when I read criticism of JP2 in various blogs and other places on the web. So many see what he did as a little too radical and modern, but when understood correctly what he did should be see as nothing other than completely true to the Gospel.

    I was lucky enough to be in Rome for his last public appearance and lucky enough to be in St. Peter’s Square only hours before news came through that his health had deteriorated and the Square started to fill. More than that though, I am lucky enough to have grown up in JP2′s Church and to be working as a youth minister now in a Church where he made good youth ministry so much more important and possible.

    Whatever happens next in the Church, there will certainly be no winding back the clock on the last pontificate.

    Pope St. John Paul the Great… Pray for Us!

  • RJ

    Have been re-reading Veritatis Splendor. It’s interesting to see how our present Pope is faithful to the legacy of his predecessor. In para 99, Pope John Paul wrote that “totalitarianism arises out of a denial of truth in the objective sense. …If one does not acknowledge transcendent truth, the force of power takes over”, and Pope Benedict refers to the “dictatorship of relativism”. In para 106 ff, Pope John Paul wrote about the need for a “new evangelisation”. Again, Pope Benedict has taken this up.

  • LeFloch

    He may have been personally admirable, but how exactly was JPII ‘great’?
    How much did he do to combat the banal liturgy, destructive re-ordering, poor catechisis, wayward ‘theologians’ and unprecedented self-destruction that the Church has suffered since Vatican II?
    Who was it who kissed the Koran and sucked up to to the Synagogue?
    Who was it who appointed most of the dreadful bishops who have plagued our own church in England and Wales?
    And could he not have done more to tacjle the worst scandal in Church history, that of homosexual abuse by priests?

  • RJ

    I can think of one way in which he did try to improve or restore catechesis: that was to publish the Catechism. A major work.

  • Christina

    But what about all the other things that LeFloch listed?

  • Anonymous

    If only these modern popes would stop worrying about politics and sort out the Church – then we just MIGHT get a pope who deserves to be fast-track beatified.

  • Anonymous

    It’s precisely because of the confusion in the minds and souls of people who grew up under John Paul II’s pontificate that we are in the mess we’re in right now,

  • RJ

    Two other things which I could mention:
    In terms of evangelisation, Pope John Paul gave a great example: he lead from the front.
    He also wrote many solid and timely encyclicals so a great teacher.

    I know this doesn’t address your question directly.

  • Anonymous

    I have yet to meet any Catholic who is not appalled by the announcement of this fast-track beatification – and I include priests. I’ve been surprised at the reactions of priests – from quiet amusement to righteous indignation that the Church is being made a laughing stock.

    The alleged miracle has not been independently verified and that is a complete disgrace. Reports claim that in fact the supposedly cured nun has had a relapse. Why no independent verification?

    If these things are true, then – yet again – Pope Benedict is bringing the Church into disrepute by beatifying a Pope who presided over the almost total collapse of the Church on his watch. Far from being a great Pope, history will show him to have been one of the worst popes in the entire history of the Church. He even admitted himself, in his last book, that he had failed to be a firm disciplinarian – and that, folks, is all we need popes for, really – to defend the Faith which means, when necessary, disciplining and removing dissenters. By his own admission he failed. How can he be officially declared among the blessed in Heaven? I mean, he may well be and we certainly hope he gets there eventually, but why the need for officialdom to make a pronouncement? A beatification, unlike a canonisation, is not an infallible act, but the trouble is that to most punters, one is as good as the other (certainly if you ARE in Heaven!)

    And before I get lambasted for being always “anti” the Pope, I am merely judging by the fact, including his own words. Not silly sentiment.

    I found myself astonishingly close to the Popemobile on my first visit to Rome. Those around me were clapping and waving flags. My sole thought was that if I’d realised I would be so close to him, I’ve have brought a banner to the effect “get to work, sort out the crisis in the Church” – but no; he was first and foremost a diplomat-cum-showman.

    One thing that really does bother me though, is this: that far from helping Pope John Paul II if he has been granted the mercy of Purgatory, all this public adulation will heap coals of fire on his head. So, it is not charitable, this fast-tracking business – another post-Vatican II novelty.

    But most of all I’m puzzled; after all, Cardinal Ratzinger pronounced Pope John Paul II already to be in Heaven – at his funeral! So, he’s been canonised – why bother with a beatification? Seems more like “back-tracking” than “fast-tracking” when you come to think about it.

  • Anonymous

    Trouble is, when Heads of RE Departments, for example, in Catholic schools tried to have staff use the CCC for the basic source when teaching lessons (which is what the Pope stipulated in the foreward it was to be – the “norm” for teachers and priests) they blatantly refused to use it. One teacher I know of personally said “I will not have that book in my home or in my classroom.”

    And what did Pope John Paul II do about this dissent – about the fact that his Catechism was Dead on Arrival (title of one book on the subject by a well know American priest)? He did what he always did when faced with dissent. Sweet nothing.

  • http://jamiemacnab.wordpress.com/ Jamie MacNab

    Yes, indeed, a great day for the Church. It is a modern fashion in Britain today to blame the departed for the things they did not do ; but it would be better to praise them for what they did well. This is an aspect of modernism that might benefit from some easy modification.

  • RJ

    Coming back to address “the list” more directly. I would say tht Veritatis Splendor is a shot across the bows of dissident moral theologians.

  • RJ

    I would see the principles underlying political life as belonging to moral theology, so it wouldn’t be wrong for a Pope to address those. That would be different from engagement in practical politics, except perhaps for emergency situations. The situation would be similar with economics. I note that Leo XIII addressed modern social developments and the principles behind the Church’s response in Rerum Novarum. Again, Pope Pius XI addressed social questions in Quadragesimo Anno. Pope John Paul followed in the footsteps of his predecessors with Laborem Exercens, Solicitudo Rei Socialis and Centessimus Annus (the title explicitly referring back to the centenary of Rerum Novarum, as I’m sure you know). He wrote a good number of encyclicals on other subjects (e.g. Evangelium Vitae, Redemptor Hominis, Ecclesia de Eucharistia), so it’s not as though this was his exclusive concern.

  • Anonymous

    Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI were not dealing with a crisis in the Church, as all these post-Vatican II popes (coincidentally?!) have had to do – but not done, if you see what I mean. Their attention should have been strictly focused on getting rid of dissenters, closing down rags like the Tablet (extending the Catholic Herald blogs!!!) and so on. Not worrying about political systems. Leave that to the laity. They’re making quite a job of it in Tunisia without any help from the hierarchy! I’m being a tad facetious to make a point. I hope you understand.

    In fact, RJ, in Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II WAS addressing the crisis in the Church in that he dealt with the way moral relativity was/is affecting the Church and he essentially was telling the bishops to put things right – e.g. he said the title “Catholic” should be withdrawn from institutions (like Catholic schools) undeserving of the title.

    But then he went back to sleep. As usual, he did not enforce his own documents, from Veritatis Splendor to the1997 Lay Instruction forbidding “even in a packed church” the use of Extraordinary Ministers (article 8) to later giving up the ghost and institutionalizing them.

    One American bishop recently withdrew the name “Catholic” from a hospital performing abortions but that is the one and only example of this happening since the publication of Veritatis Splendor. And NO Catholic schools that I know of, have had their claim to be Catholic removed, even when they invited abortionists to address students.

    Moral relativity? We’ve now got condom companies advertising “gay” Masses, for goodness sake. So a lot of good Veritatis Splendor has done, I think NOT

  • RJ

    It’s easy to get angry about what Popes and bishops are NOT doing, but I am doubtful that this is helpful spiritually. How to judge what they should be doing? Yes, we can name many things we would like them to do but do we have the overall appreciation and understanding of the situation which allows us to say which should be done and when? Do we have the grace of office?

  • Cbchartley

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s easy to get angry with what popes and bishops are not doing (and what they ARE doing), and I suppose that whether or not that anger helps one spiritually depends on how one channels and uses it. Several people on this blog are clearly very angry, but are using that anger constructively, and are thereby showing those who have eyes to see and ears to hear just how one should ‘judge what they (popes and bishops) should be doing’. Pope John-Paul II (and his immediate predecessors), like no other pope in history, introduced novelties into the Church, which have been received by her children with both horror and enthusiasm. This disunity in the Mystical Body of Christ is a dreadful scandal, and, as the bloggers referred to are constantly urging, with copious references to back up what they say, only an appeal to sacred tradition, what the Church has ALWAYS taught will settle the question as to whether a pope or bishop is acting to build up the Church or to destroy it. An appeal to sacred tradition will give us ‘the overall appreciation and understanding of the situation’ by which we may judge it.

  • W Oddie

    HEALTH WARNING: this is not the view of a faithful Roman Catholic, but of a committed supporter of the SSPX. No more need be said.

  • Anonymous

    I am truly appalled at this unjust remark. Not ONE of the priests I referred to in my post are SSPX priests. Not even one. They are diocesan priests with a brain and sufficient faith left after their seminary non-training to know that there is something seriously wrong when a pope does the kinds of things Pope Benedict has been doing lately… condoms, Assisi III, approving the heretical Neo-Catechumenal Way. It was interesting to be in the presence of one of these diocesan priests when the news came through that the Neocatechumenal Way had been given approval. Father X responded immediately – “This HAS to be a practical joke…”

    And when I remarked that there had been no independent verification of the alleged miracle (scandalous) I was merely citing what the BBC had reported. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12194694

    With respect, W Oddie, you are not well informed – notwithstanding your position as ex-editor of the Catholic Herald and writer of this blog. You are a (very nice, I’m sure, although you don’t like me) Pollyanna Catholic, wearing rose-coloured spectacles. Get thee to a Specsavers soon!

    The Vatican has NEVER prohibited attendance at SSPX Masses and it was Cardinal Ratzinger himself who said some years ago that we may receive ALL the sacraments from SSPX priests and bishops, so since you are keen not to be more Catholic than the Pope, I think you are going to have to retract your “Health Warning.” It is you who are receiving the “new” sacraments who are in danger of bad spiritual health, not those who attend SSPX chapels.

    It puzzles me how anyone can welcome, wholeheartedly, an influx of Anglicans, including those with wives and children who will be ordained Catholic priests (another scandal), a group who are to bring their own ‘Liturgy’ and prayer books, and no mention of them forsaking their previous heresies. Yet, the SSPX. guilty of nothing except preserving the Mass and Sacraments, who preach the Faith undiluted and who travel miles every week so to do, are insulted and castigated at every turn.

    “As the world hated Me, so it will hate you…” must be ringing in their ears every time they read about the latest dubious group to be welcomed, without conditions, into the Church.

  • W Oddie

    The former Anglicans who join the Ordinariate must accept the whole of Catholic doctrine unreservedly. They must, inter alia, accept papal authority: and they do, wholeheartedly (unlike you, it seems). “Dubious group”, coming from a supporter of SSPX, is a bit rich.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s a mighty big coincidence that these Anglicans, including “bishops”, suddenly felt moved by the Holy Spirit to “accept the whole of Catholic doctrine unreservedly.” How come, if that is the case, that one of the “bishops” is on record having said, almost right to the last minute, that he still hoped to find a way to stay in the Church of England?

    And, although I’ve corrected the common misconception of what is meant by authentic “papal authority” you just don’t want to know. It is a grave sin to ignore or defy the manifest truth – it is, in fact, THE sin against the Holy Spirit. Papal authority does not extend to leading events, giving interviews, which harm the Faith.

    And the SSPX accept the entirety of Catholic doctrine – that’s why they could not go along with the protestantisation of the Mass all the rest of the Vatican II novelties. You really must get your head round the fact that to refuse to obey a Pope when he is harming the faith, is quintessentially Catholic. St Paul (metaphorically) squared up to the first Pope when he was doing harm to the faith and we must always do the same. Our first duty of obedience is to the Faith, the Truth, not to the Pope. You have not understood this, W Oddie, and it is skewing your judgment. The SSPX pray for the Pope – I’ve attended novus ordo Masses and events where the diocesan priest savagely attacked the Pope in his homily and in one case (on the Feast of SS Peter and Paul) refused to allow a bidding prayer for the Pope – the liberal John Paul II too!

    So, save your righteous anger for the real schismatics and support the SSPX. You know it makes sense.

  • RJ

    I would be wary of judging Popes by one’s own interpretation of Tradition. Wouldn’t that be analogous to judging the Pope according to one’s own interpretation of the Bible?

    Who would you take to be a competent interpreter of Tradition?…the magisterium I would think.

  • RJ

    Further to my post below: I don’t think a certain amount of knowledge of papal documents, with all their valuable teaching, from before the Second Vatican Council would give me an appreciation of the overall state of the Church today or how the bishops ought to respond to it. That’s more what I had in mind when I referred to the grace of state.

  • RJ

    Further to my post below: I don’t think a certain amount of knowledge of papal documents, with all their valuable teaching, from before the Second Vatican Council would give me an appreciation of the overall state of the Church today or how the bishops ought to respond to it. That’s more what I had in mind when I referred to the grace of state.

  • SS1

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church was not “dead on arrival”. It is alive and well, and being used all over the world as the “sure norm for teaching the Faith” that it was meant to be.

    Your hysterical negativity has long since ceased to have effect, Patricia. Please cop yourself on.

  • Anonymous

    “Dead on Arrival” is the title (or part thereof) of a well known book on the subject of the new CCC, written by Monsignor Michael J Wrenne in America. Here’s a link to an article by Daphne McLeod which includes a reference to this book.
    http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2006/features_may06.html

    I’ve been Head of Religious Education in three Catholic schools (two schools, one 6th form college to be precise) so I have some experience in seeing the reactions and hearing the comments of teachers to this Catechism. On what basis do you hold the opinion that “the CCC is alive and well and being used all over the world…”?

    Let me guess: from that wonderful website – http://www.wishfulthinking.com

  • http://twitter.com/RCYouthWorker Jack Regan

    It must irritate you that they are beatifying him so quickly then.

    :)

  • Anonymous

    Yes they would, RJ. For one thing you would see the difference in papal authority. The preconciliar popes commanded, instructed. They did not make suggestions or leave people asking for clarifications! They’re worth reading for that reason alone. If you want to witness a really good pope at work, read the documents of previous Popes. If nothing else, read Pascendi, Pope Saint Pius X. A must-read for any Catholic who wants to be truly informed. What you will read there, is a list of errors condemned by that saintly pope, which are now being promoted by his successors.

  • Anonymous

    As I say above, RJ, read Pascendi and see if you hold to the same opinion. Tradition is very clear in the papal pronouncements prior to Vatican II.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s not a case of being “irritated” Jack, more a matter of being scandalized.

    And, note, The Tablet are thrilled about this beatification. http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/15794
    That really does say it all!

  • http://twitter.com/RCYouthWorker Jack Regan

    Perhaps it also irritates you that I also really like the Tablet

    :)

  • Anonymous

    I said I wasn’t “irritated” – scandlized but not irritated about the beatification.

    And it doesn’t surprise me that you read the Tablet. Not in the least. And why would anything you do “irritate” me, Jack Regan? You have my sincere pity, as someone who has not been taught the Faith at all well. The Tablet boasted of being “an organ of dissent” when they celebrated an anniversary some years back. Anyone who thinks this is a Catholic publication, is not “irritating” but to be pitied.

  • http://twitter.com/RCYouthWorker Jack Regan

    My last comment was a bit flippant. Unnecessarily so. Apologies for that. Posts like that are something I try try to avoid, as they don’t really aid discussion and growth.

    I will leave this discussion at this point, bit I will keep you in my prayers. Perhaps you will return the compliment :)

  • Anonymous

    No need to apologise. I never take offence, Jack – but thanks for your kindness in caring enough to spare my feelings. I don’t have any, so worry not about that in future!

    Of course I will keep you in my poor prayers, for what they are worth. And thank you for offering to pray for me. But then, I suppose you always pray for sinners! Flippant! Sorry!

  • Bvmservant

    Now you have disposed of the messenger, revealed your sentiments towards the SSPX, and given us a glimpse that you know what a ‘faithful’ Catholic is….perhaps you would now like to answer the queries actually put against the beatification

  • RJ

    I have read Pascendi.

  • RJ

    I have read Pascendi but I would say my comments still stand.

  • Anonymous

    Your comment cannot stand. Here’s Pope SAINT Pius X in Pascendi – after setting out what Modernism is and its dangers, he prescribes to the bishops how to eradicate it (giving instructions, not suggestions) then he commands the following, to make sure they obey: (that’s leadership.)

    VII – Triennial Returns

    56. Lest what We have laid down thus far should fall into oblivion, We will and ordain that the Bishops of all dioceses, a year after the publication of these letters and every three years thenceforward, furnish the Holy See with a diligent and sworn report on all the prescriptions contained in them, and on the doctrines that find currency among the clergy, and especially in the seminaries and other Catholic institutions, and We impose the like obligation on the Generals of Religious Orders with regard to those under them. END OF EXTRACT

    This is a ruling pope at work. You can learn an awful lot from that short extract, RJ, about how seriously previous popes took their duty (which the Pope spells out at the beginning of Pascendi, unlike modern popes who waffle on about the dignity of man and other such baloney, never stating their obligation to souls and the next life, too concentrated on this one) and you should be able to realise, on reflection, that this teaches us an awful lot about the whole purpose of the papacy and their governing role – notably missing in modern popes.

    You must surely see that if the modern popes, including the current Pope were to issue clear instructions reaffirming Pascendi and command the bishops to eradicate these heretical views from schools, parishes and anywhere else of influence, that the days of the crisis in the Church would be numbered.

    I marvel at the very idea that anyone could read Pascendi and come to any other conclusion.

  • RJ

    What the Pope said there constitute disciplinary instructions. They are not necessarily valid for all time.

  • Anonymous

    You are missing the point entirely. I urged you to read Pascendi (a) so you could see that the problems identified by Pope Saint Pius X are still with us today and (b) that you would read for yourself, the way a good pope deals with dissent.

    The fact that we are still experiencing rampant Modernism in the Church, as described by Pope Saint Pius X, but that Pope Benedict (who “buried” Pascendi in his Ratzinger days) prefer to lecture the world on the subject of “aggressive secularism” rather than implement Pascendi or issue his own Pascendi to deal with the crisis in the Church, which is what he’s supposed to do, is what I was getting at.

    One thing IS for all time, RJ and it is this: Christ gave us popes to discipline dissenters, to govern the Church, with authority – with Christ’s own authority to be precise.

    Oh and he should really leave it to future generations to work out if he is a saint or not – not nod, nod, wink, wink, at those voting in the next conclave.

  • RJ

    No, I don’t think I am missing the point. It is important to distinguish between matters of discipline (which are subject to prudential considerations in their application) and matters of doctrine. You insist on a very severe approach as though this were indubitable doctrine. It is not.

  • Anonymous

    You are continuing to miss the point. So, for the last time, I will try to make it very clear. The reason I suggested you look at previous papal statements, RJ, was to demonstrate THE AUTHORITATIVE
    METHOD of teaching whiche comes through in pre-conciliar papal documents. Remember, the context for this exchange, is that you said you thought you would not learn much about the state of the Church today from previous papal statements. I’m saying you will and gave the example of Pascendi. Now you are muddying the waters by talking about discipline as opposed to doctrine. Whether a pope is dealing with priests who are disobeying a discipline (e.g. wearing clerical dress)or doctrine (say, denying the Real Presence) he has authority to speak on the issue and therefore, assuming he is not harming the Faith, i.e. preaching something contrary to Tradition or Scripture, then the culprits but repent and obey. We are not talking about the differences in degree of seriousness in the sphere of discipline/doctrine – the issue is THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY MODERN POPES RELATE TO THE CHURCH AS COMPARED TO THE RULING, AUTHORITATIVE METHODS OF PREVIOUS POPES.

    fOR, IT is a matter of indisputable doctrine, that the duty of a pope – EVERY POPE is to correct error. Pope Pius X did so – as is evident from Pascendi, the example given, and he commanded that his bishops report back to show that they had obeyed him.

    That’s different altogether from Pope John Paul II who only ever excommunicated one bishop – Archbishop Lefebvre. Not any of the multitude of modernist dissenters, not even bishops who publicly supported (and participated in) the gay movement. Go figure, as the Yanks say.

  • RJ

    DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY MODERN POPES RELATE TO THE CHURCH AS COMPARED TO THE RULING, AUTHORITATIVE METHODS OF PREVIOUS POPES.

    As I see it, this means that you prefer the way in which Pope Pius X, say, dealt with doctrinal problems to the way in which Pope John Paul dealt with them. Ok, fine. That’s your preference. One can discuss whether or not this is the most effective method. The method of Pope Pius X also had its limitations because there is no perfect way of dealing with dissenters: it’s a perennial problem within the Church and has been since earliest times. I have much sympathy for sticking the boot into liberals but a purely disciplinary approach (e.g. imposing an oath of fidelity and booting out in short order those who transgress) can’t be the only response. There has to be more positive effort on the part of faithful theologians working in the background to address issues – they don’t attract headlines of course. I would point out that the pre-Vatican II popes did not succeed in entirely suppressing modernism. There were problems in the fifties, were there not. I have read – and find it plausible – that modernism was driven underground, but not eliminated.

    On a final point, I would say that you have become rather shrill. Truth is good. But truth has to be combined with charity. Indeed, I don’t think we can fully appreciate the truth without charity. Where I have failed, and I have at times, I apologise. Must we not try to find the germ of truth in those with whom we disagree?

  • Anonymous

    RJ,

    Pope John Paul II didn’t deal with dissenters AT ALL! That’s the difference! He issued polite “instructions” but never enforced them. That’s why we have lay people playing at being priests in the sanctuary.

    If you find my posts “shrill” don’t read them. I think it is always a mistake to make personal remarks. If your argument is strong, you don’t need to do that. More often than not, such personal remarks indicate some confusion of mind between “charity” and “niceness.” You may not think I’m nice, but if I’m uncharitable, then its matter for Confession and I’ll confess it in the Sacrament of Penance. You needn’t worry yourself, therefore, on that score.

    Finally, I’m too busy to go searching for “germs of truth” in other people’s answers. I’m still reeling from the shock th at the majority of Catholics these days, certainly in the UK, are ignorant of the most basic tenets of the Faith and through blogging, I take the opportunity to correct their errors. I don’t like it in discussion when people “humour” me with their psychological patter, leading up to the point they are keen to make. Make the point. I’m a big girl, as anyone in my Scottish Slimmers class will tell you. I tend to attribute the same majority of mind to my fellow debaters. Apologies if I got it wrong this time

    God bless.

  • RJ

    You haven’t addressed my points in the first paragraph. Perhaps they are not worth addressing.

    I do think the way in which we discuss matters is important. One hopes for courtesy in a Catholic combox.

  • Anonymous

    I have addressed the points in your first paragraph – I agree that Modernism was not entirely eliminated, but that wasn’t because the Pope failed in his duty. He did his duty and the Modernists defied him. That’s different from the situation now where the Pope is not acting against dissenters. The modern popes act against traditional Catholics, not heretics. That’s a fact.

    Mysteriously, you speak of theologians acting in the background to address the issues, but theologians are not invested with papal authority. Only popes can rebuke and remove dissenters.

    Look, you appear to imply that I lack courtesy in my comments, which is never my intention. If you would like to cite some examples, however, I will concede the argument. Just don’t confuse straight talking or humour for lack of courtesy. Better to stick to the arguments, RJ – believe me, if I focused on the rudeness in the comments directed at me, I would not have the time to address the issues. Our Lady gave us a little prayer of reparation to offer when we have such small sufferings: “O my Jesus, it is for the love of Thee and the salvation of souls…(that I offer this penance). You’ll find it’s better for your spiritual and mental health than getting annoyed at nuisances like me!

  • RJ

    Point taken on penance and taking account of the other points. Over and out – you can get on with your life now! :)

  • Anonymous

    RJ,

    I usually take great care not to give “spiritual” advice to anyone so I don’t know what came over me there and I thank you for your humble response.

    I need to apply my own advice to myself, be assured!

    God bless.

  • Pdudek

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    “He liked Tuesdays best. The story of everyday life of John Paul II”
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    http://jp2books.com