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Assisi alone is reason enough to beatify John Paul II

The Devil’s Advocate has a necessary task but the late Pope’s virtues outweigh his faults and errors of judgement

By on Thursday, 14 April 2011

Pope John Paul II attends an interreligious encounter in Assisi, Italy, in 1986

Pope John Paul II attends an interreligious encounter in Assisi, Italy, in 1986

The late John Paul II is soon to be beatified. With this in mind, a friend has kindly pointed out to me an article in The Remnant online for March 21 which challenges the whole basis for the beatification. Reading it I see that the traditional and necessary office of the Devil’s Advocate has been doing its work. The article does not deny the late Pope’s personal holiness, but raises a number of points which will all be familiar to readers of “Christian Order” over here (and I note that Rod Pead, the Editor of CO, has added his signature to the list of those opposing the beatification, at the bottom of the Remnant article.)

The indictment against John Paul II states that “in the exercise of his exalted office as Pope” he did nothing to stop the abuses of the liturgy; he did not take the proper steps to investigate the sexual scandals of the priesthood – in particular those connected with the disgraced founder of the Legionaries of Christ; he caused confusion by his “numerous theologically dubious apologies for the presumed sins of Catholics in prior epochs of Church history”; and he caused scandal by the gatherings at Assisi in 1986 and 2002, in which he prayed with animists and other pagans. The article even throws doubt on the miracle that was needed for the process of beatification to go forward.

The charges are grave and, as I said above, the task of the Devil’s Advocate is a necessary one. However, once everything has been weighed up, both in favour of John Paul’s pontificate and against it, and Rome has made its decision, is it not a little churlish at this late stage of the process to try to put a spanner in the works? Beatification does not assume impeccability; it investigates and assesses the heroic virtue of the candidate. In this case the late Pope’s virtues vastly outweigh, to my mind, his faults and errors of judgment.

What springs to mind when I think of the late Holy Father? He was a magnificent defender of the sacredness of human life, marriage and family, and the dignity of women, in a host of inspiring encyclicals and other writings: Familiaris Consortio, Mulieris Dignitatem, Evangelium Vitae come to mind, but there are many others. Indeed, he was a great teaching Pope. He was hugely instrumental, along with President Ronald Reagan, in bringing about the fall of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. He was a wonderful communicator of the Faith to young people at the World Youth Days he instituted. How many young men and women have decided to dedicate themselves to the priesthood and religious life as a result of attending one of these occasions?

There is much more than could be cited in the Pope’s favour, but I will simply mention the Assisi gatherings.

I accept I might be biased here, as Francis of Assisi is my patron saint – but what is wrong with a Catholic leader praying alongside those of other faiths? I do not say you that pray ‘in unity’ with them as this is not possible; but to ask the Holy Spirit to come down and do His mysterious, grace-filled work at such a gathering: surely that is an act of charity towards those who, through no fault of their own, lack the fullness of truth?

This morning a Muslim lady taxi driver came to my house to take my daughter to her day centre. She happened to notice the tile stuck on the brickwork by the front door with the words (in Portuguese) “Our Lady of Fatima, bless this house”. “What does this mean?” she asked, pointing at the word ‘Fatima’. I explained that Our Lady had appeared at Fatima, adding I had once read that she had chosen to appear at this particular spot because the name ‘Fatima’ is very important to Muslims as the name of Muhammad’s daughter, and so that Catholics who reverence the shrine might pray especially for the followers of Islam. She was very pleased at this idea.

I then explained briefly (I was in my dressing –gown) about the Blessed Trinity, the role of Mary and the work of the Holy Spirit and we parted with much good will. I would gladly have prayed for her and alongside her if our dialogue had fallen out that way.

  • Weary Convert

    What nonsense from Cardinal Mercier. Millions of perfectly ordinary and innocent people died in that wretched war and yet you seem to agree with Mercier that it was a punishment from God. I thought Mercier was a fairly reasonable chap but if that was the case, his sort of God would most certainly be on a par with the nastiest features of the human sacrifice religion of the Aztecs. As for the rest of the posting, I suppose these fantasies will always attract some people but please do not expect it to attract other than the naturally superstitious today.

  • Professor Brian McCall

    First, I will disclose that I am a columnist for The Remnant, a sigantory to the statement of objection and a law professor who practiced law for ten years. I think this article misses the very important point that is at the heart of the statement of objection. The process for making these very important decisions is broken. As a lawyer I know tha the results of trials directly depend upon the integrity of the judicial process. A process which unjustifiably excludes relevant evidence or denies interested parites a right to address the court or to be represnted by counsel will produce doubtful results. Mr. Phillips rightly refers to the traditional and necessary office of the Devil’s Advocate. Since a determination to beatify or canonize is more than a mere determination of the holiness of the candidate but invovles a decision to publicly elevate the candidate as a model of heroic virtue, the long standing procedure of having an appointed party with the purpose of challenging and questioning the reasonablenss of the evidence and the decision of the court has long been recognized. Yet, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have dispensed with this office. This is akin to a trial with a defendant but no prosecutor. Mr. Phillips states: “However, once everything has been weighed up, both in favour of John Paul’s pontificate and against it, and Rome has made its decision, is it not a little churlish at this late stage of the process to try to put a spanner in the works?” Yet, everything has not been weighed up” before Rome “made its decision.” The process dispensed with the traditional weighing up by dispensing with the presentation of the negative case. I agree with Mr. Phillips that idealy The Remnant would not have needed to publish the statement and related articles but the necessity is a result of a process that has lost its integrity. There was no Devil’s Advocate in the determination of this or any other case since its abolition. Beyond this procedural flaw, the standard of required evidence has been lowered from two irrefutable miracles to only one controversial and inconclusive claim disputed by the medical community.

    As to Mr. Phillips second point, the inter-religious meeting at Assisi is the strongest objectioni to the heroic virtue of John Paul II’s beatification. I will forgoe a detailed support of htis claim. Those interested may read the related articles in The Remnant. All I will say in this forum is that having had the honour ot live for seven years in the great land of Mary’s Dowry, I have acquired a great respect for the truly heroic virtue of the English martyrs who were willing to sacrifice their homes, their property and their very lives rather than to pray with adherents of a false religion. Are not these events a slap in the face to these great martyrs (Edmund Campion, Margaret Clitherow, Robert Southwell, etc.) many of whom were offered amnesty if they would attend one Protetant prayer service or even say one Our Father together with heretical ministers? Do not these events scold these martyrs of heroic virtue for having died in vain?
    Brian M. McCall
    Associate Professor of Law

  • DBMcGinnity

    No, you are not a bad person at all, but your sarcasm is not very endearing. From your writing, I deduce that you are a very mixed-up and frustrated person and your anger is very difficult to disguise. Your careless and uncharitable use of objectionable and obnoxious terminology does not endear you to potential Catholics. You clearly are not an advocate for the propagation of the faith insofar that you frighten prospective Catholics away with your self righteousness, self aggrandisement and very faulty doctrinal knowledge to a dangerous degree, but not to high degree. I have learned to espouse all religions and pagans, sects and cults, as Jesus would have done, and I can find goodness and God in all of them, and in everyone, in everything and everywhere. God does not shut anyone out. Jesus did not shut anyone out.
    So what gives you the right to pass judgement on the integrity of Children of God, as you are recklessly doing

  • H MacCamley

    This article cannot really be serious. Assisi has relativised the universal view of faith. Furthermore, this event contained some absolutely disgraceful pagan norms. Such events are un-Catholic at least and anti-Catholic at worst. This is part & parcel of the compromises condemned by Our Blessed Lady at Akita. St Maximilien Kolbe stated that ecumenism is the enemy of the Immaculata while Pope St Pius X condemns in advance such modernist behaviours in “Pascendi” and “Lamentabile Sane”. Moreover, Mgr Luigi Villa who was commissioned by Padre Pio to investigate the action of freemasonry in the church and who has survived numerous attempts on his life totally opposes this beatification. Considering JP II (RIP) gutted the sanctification process removing 24 regulations insuring it as a valid process, including the Devil’s Advocate, then we can only conclude that the process is no longer very sure. The entire procedure is flawed and must be leaking like a colander. With over 3,000 saints and blesseds created by the last two popes this has reduced it to risibility. In the context of a papacy that witnessed the devastation of the Roman Catholic Church as its chief indicators evaporated exponentially especially in Europe, North America and Latin America, it is yet another demonstration of the systemic rot afflicting the ever-weakening state of the postmodern new catholic church.

  • DBMcGinnity

    What a coherent, erudite and scholarly piece of writing, clearly from one who is used to advocacy and jurisprudence. All the points are so clearly set out and are so true. This is indeed a welcome change.

    I do not know the reason for the haste in the beatification of John Paul II, but I think it may be to get it done during the reign of Benedict XVI, who is looking increasingly frail. Furthermore, I suspect that the Vatican is no longer in charge of what happens there. I am not the only person who thinks that this is a possibility.

    An most eminent elderly Catholic scholar, remarked to me during The funeral of John Paul II “When you see the President of the United States on his knees in St Peter’s Square, together with past Presidents Carter, Bush sr, Clinton, also on their knees, then you can be reasonably sure that “The White House” runs the Vatican. It was just his opinion, but I believe he may have known something very significant.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. Check out the Medjugorje article recently posted by Francis Phillips:- . Jackie Parkes stated the following about Medjugorje:- “I will be obedient to the commissions findings..but of course Medjugorje will always be a good place of prayer & penance”. So even if the Rome commission finds against it, Jackie states it will ALWAYS be a place of prayer and penance. Selective obedience.

  • Anonymous

    In order that I may respond, meaningfully, to your comment, please support your pejorative judgments about me by supplying examples of :-

    my anger

    my frustration

    my careless and uncharitable use of objectionable and obnoxious terminology

    proof that I am not an advocate for the propagation of the faith

    proof that I frighten prospective Catholics away (the name of at least one real person is required here)

    my self-righteousness

    my self-aggrandizement

    my very faulty doctrinal knowledge to a dangerous degree (I do have a Masters in Theology so t his is a professional slur, actionable, I should think)

    Evidence that Jesus would have embraced all religions, pagans, sects and cults

    Evidence that I have passed judgment on the integrity of any Child of God

    I’m waiting. Thank you.

  • Jim

    Really, someone blogging for a ‘Catholic’ newspaper should know that the office of ‘Devil’s Advocate’ in causes for beatification and canonisation was abolished – by John Paul II!
    For a masterly analysis of the very reasonable doubts many Catholics have regarding this hasty beatification, see Christian Order’s March editorial:
    This should be read in conjunction with Christian Order’s feature article soon after the venerable John Paul’s death in 2005, ‘John Paul the Great – or Great Disappointment?’

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this, pat21 – I’ve noticed this pattern of “selective obedience” among modern Catholics.

    But, pat21, it’s not a case of “if” the Rome commission finds against it, but “when.”

    Having said that, look what happened to the birth control commission of Pope Paul VI. It’s important to remember that these Commissions have no authority and can be over-ridden by the Pope. So, what I really should say is that it is not a case of “if” ROME will eventually find against this hoax, but “when.”

    However, as you intimate, the fanatics will continue to be devoted to Medjugorje, no matter if Our Lady appeared in Glasgow (to me, of course) and personally pronounced it a hoax. Sad but true.

  • DBMcGinnity

    You having a Masters Degree in Theology compounds matters because you refer to Protestants in a very derogatory fashion and this denotes intolerance for the dignity of other human beings who are made in the image of God. Your rethorical officious and legalistic response to my message denotes indignation and anger. Having a Masters Degree suggests academic discipline, personal tolerance, emotional restraint and spiritual reflection. I do not boast of any academic attainment, but if required to do so as you threaten legal action, then I would use the resources at my disposal.

    I will not give you point for point explanations for anything, and you must take whatever action you think necessary. If you do as you threaten, then everything you have ever written will be called into scrutiny, and the case would take years to conclude and cost you tens of thousands of pounds. I am in the very fortunate position that I do not own anything, not even the clothes I am wearing, so draw your own conclusion. I have no objection whatsoever to spending the rest of my life in jail.

  • Anonymous

    Well said – except you forgot to mention our one and only Scots martyr (so far!) St John Ogilvie!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely spot on. Well said!

  • Anonymous


    I’ve tried very hard to be patient with you, to show some good humour, have a bit of a laugh, but nothing works. You twist and distort my words and resort to personal insults.

    Having academic degrees of any kind is not important. I mentioned one of my degrees, theology, merely to confront you with the nonsense of your position, throwing out wild accusations about my doctrinal ignorance, that could not be sustained anywhere, not on this blog (as you have demonstrated by failing to provide evidence) and certainly not in any court of law – worry not, I’ve no intention of taking legal action. Life’s too short.

    And for the same reason, my friend, I’m not going to respond to any more of your posts.

    God bless you.

  • AJ

    Who said the Church only existed only after Vatican II? No one and therefore your conclusion is flawed, in fact very flawed. The Church started at the Pentacost when the Holy Spirit descended to the apostles maybe 33 a.d.

    Who said Vatican II is all and end all? Again, NO one! Vatican II was just the number 21 Council …probably there are many more to come depends entirely upon the Holy Spirit.

    If Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, then WHO STARTED THE Vatican II? The Anglicans? Mormons?Or a few thousand Arcbishops of the world and 4 Popes of the Church that don’t know what the heck they are dong?

  • AJ

    Who said papal authority has no boundaries? NO ONE! Sorry mate you keep barking on the tree. There is a big difference when one is obstinately blabbering about the validity of the Teachings of Vatican II AFTER IT was ratified with FULL AUTHORITY of the Church.

    You don’t get it still, don’t you…….the criticism, discussion and disagreement IS OVER! Rome has spoken, the case of Vatican II is closed. Get a grip!

  • Helen Westover

    So when are you going to read Mortalium Animos?

  • Anonymous

    You are completely wrong about the status of Vatican II – read the article on the following link and note the quotation from Cardinal Siri at the top.

  • DBMcGinnity

    If someone referred to me as I have referred to you, instead of being rhetorical and indignant, demanding proof, I would feel inclined to be reflective and meditative on the possibility that it could be true. Did Jesus throw his weight about or threaten legal action when he stood accused.? But you deciding who God accepts and who God rejects is tantamount to human self appointed, self declared earthly omnipotence.

    I mix and socialise with Protestants of all sorts, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostalists, Mormons, Also with Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus. I also mix with freemasons (many of whom are very senior catholic clerics). All of these people are entitled to the equal love of God. It is not for you to decree who God loves. How did you achieve a Masters Degree in Theology without mixing with,and debating with, and examining the principles of all other religions, cults and sects?

  • DBMcGinnity

    Alice Thomas Ellis purported that the price we pay for our humanity is imperfection. She knew this very well because she was imperfect. She was human and humane and appreciated that people need love most when they least deserve to be loved. Her last book “God has not Changed” I keep by my bedside along with “The Imitation of Christ: that verifies that God has not Changed. I also listen to the traditional fifteen mystery rosary in Latin with Pope John Paul II on a CD. His is the last voice I hear before going to sleep, and again first thing in the morning. I cannot comprehend that God would select just one group of people (Roman Catholics) for his favour. God, in my view is too objective and too kind to do a narrow minded cruel thing like rejecting people.

    Even though my experience with the cruelty and arrogance Catholic Church in the 1950’s were painful and sorrowful there the Bishop decreed it to be a mortal sin to play association football, rugby or cricket, because it would mean close contact with Protestants. That was in 1954. Within ten years what he said was “old hat”.

    “Byzantine Dogmatists”
    The Bishop decreed that listening to Radio Luxemburg or, listening to pop music, or attending rock and roll hops, or attending dances after 10 pm to be a mortal sin. He proclaimed that it was a mortal sin for families to bring commercial vehicles such as a vans or lorry’s into the cathedral car park, and he insisted that it was deeply offensive to God if families did not wash their saloon cars before bringing them into the church car park to attend mass. At the 1962 Vatican II Council in Rome, allegedly, an intemperate Italian Monsignor struck him on his nose and he had to return home speedily. Those were very dark days.of Catholic religious bigotry.

    “A Neon they Made’”
    Conversely, it is very sad that some people believe that Roman Catholicism began in 1962 and sex began one year later in 1963, prior to then there was neither. Thanks to Vatican II, The Contraceptive Pill, The Beatles, and a variety of mind bending drugs, a ‘New God’ was born.

    Catholicism had become happy and everyone was expected to “have a nice day” (even a mother who’s child was dying from leukaemia). Out went the boring black clerical dress code of priests and in came the pink clerical shirt and a lime green sports-coat from a Burtons and the sweet smell of “Brut” aftershave. Why should God not have a bit of top fashion? ‘Father John’ now became ‘Father Jack’ or just plain “Jackie Boy” who wears a shell suit when he goes to the bowling alley with the gang.

    Professional women learned to spit in public and the new inhibition allowed them equal vulgarity and use of foul, coarse language and sometimes casually pass wind in public places. People had found the ‘New God’ (‘A Neon they Made’ from ‘The Sound Of Silence’ by P. Simon, 1964) of immediate gratification. Beautiful Ancient and Gothic churches were ruined and corrupted insofar that the altar rails were torn out and the church was turned into a place of entertainment, something like a film set for a Roman Emperor Big Spectacle Film, like ‘Ben Hur’

    I continue to read Alice Thomas Ellis every night. There are ninety short stories that are deeply philosophical and very relevant to today’s Catholics.

    GOD HAS NOT CHANGED by Alice Thomas Ellis: Continuum Books, London SE17NX (2004) ISBN 0-86012-359-6

  • Anonymous

    I said I was not going to respond to any more of your posts and I am not going to do so after this exception because you must not be permitted to get away with lying. I did not threaten legal action against you at all. I said that what you said was a professional slur and “actionable I should think.” So don’t lie.

    Your posts are ridiculous, DBMcGinnity. I’ve tried hard not to say that, but to conclude my conversation with you I have to tell you, in all charity, that you are very confused about the nature and purpose of the Catholic Church. If you think senior clerics may legitimately be Freemasons, which is the implication of your approving reference to them, when the Church forbids membership of Freemasonry. The nonsense about other false religions, I’m going to ignore except to say that since I’ve spent many years teaching about world religions, I’ve got a reasonable grasp on “the priciples of all other religions, cults and sects.”

    I’ve already taken th is step of refusing to answer posts from an other blogger and when the Disquis alerts pour in with his comments in response to my posts – always he is confused, nonsensical and sometimes downright heretical – I breathe a sigh of relief that I don’t need to waste my time answering him any more.

    Ditto yourself good self, DBMcGinnity. I’m afraid the only people with whom you may comfortably converse are other mixed-up Catholics and professed “liberals”

    God bless – and goodbye. I most certainly will not be responding to you again.

  • DBMcGinnity

    I am not a sceptic, nor am I cynical about religious matters, in fact the opposite is the case. I would be willing to study and learn from anyone who has credible supporting evidence that there is life after death. There is no credible evidence that Jesus ever existed, never mind his birth, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. Inspirational and dogmatic pronouncements made by old men living in the age of demonology and superstition, and actions of fearful piety and religious zeal do not count as evidence, and biblical quotations or reference to Byzantine and mediaeval church philosophers are not valid. I accept that all things are possible, but sadly, there is no believable data to support life everlasting.

    To date, there is not one iota of credible evidence anywhere in the world that there is life after death, and all the assertions, affirmations and declarations that have been promulgated about perceiving apparitions, spirits, ghosts, poltergeists, angels and saints, Such phenomena be explained in the science of suggestion and perception and the effects of neurochemistry, particularly: enkephalins, These concepts are supported in studies of neurophysiology and psychodynamic theory such as neurotransmission, and psychopathology.

    I genuinely want to believe and accept Catholic teaching, (but which catholics)? Over the centuries there has been so much subterfuge and trickery, lies and deception, with false healing and pseudo-miracles, it is no longer credible to accept anything the church teaches. Just examine for a moment some the contradictory and acrimonious attitudes expressed in The Catholic Herald you will see exactly what I mean.

    Anyhow, if there is no afterlife, then heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo do not exist, so why expend energy with concerns for the next world, when that energy could be used to alleviate suffering in this world?

  • AJ

    EditorCT, if you re-read my post I said, pro-choice politicians has NOT BEEN formally declared a heretic…I didn’t say ex-communicated like your father Bp Lefebvre. SSPX still disobeyes the Church like pro-choice politicians.

  • JVG

    Really, someone blogging for a ‘Catholic’ newspaper should know that the office of ‘Devil’s Advocate’ in causes for beatification and canonisation was abolished – by John Paul II!
    For a masterly analysis of the very reasonable doubts many Catholics have regarding this hasty beatification, see Christian Order’s March editorial:
    This should be read in conjunction with Christian Order’s feature article soon after the venerable John Paul’s death in 2005, ‘John Paul the Great – or Great Disappointment?

  • DBMcGinnity

    In 1854 Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. His dogma was very mysteriously confirmed in 1858, with Apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes. When the people resisted the dogma of the Apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes as illogical and fraudulent. Pope Pius IX issued a Papal Bull (“Ineffabilis Deus) in 1870 which means (I speak for God). The Apparition Lourdes became an Article of Faith. The doctrine was defined as ‘ex cathedra’ meaning: “When the Pope speaks in His office when sitting on His papal throne, He cannot be wrong”.

    This proclamation did enormous damage to the Roman Catholic Church worldwide because it alienated Catholics in many walks of life, because political and business people thought that Catholics had to be obedient to the Pope above everything else, including obeying the law. This caused them to be deemed untrustworthy, and unreliable. Sadly this suspicious attitude still lingers today in the minds of many politicians and employers.

    “Ineffabilis Deus stated:
    “We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema” (banished, exiled excommunicated).

    Papal infallibility, Ineffabilis Deus has only be pronounced twice since it’s inception:
    Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX 1854, defining the Immaculate Conception and Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII in, 1950, defining the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven.
    This action of Papal Infallibility was take both times, because no intelligent, sane or logical person could be voluntarily expected to accept the illogicality of either precept. Very few people today accept either.

    Papal Infallibility has been around for only 140 years. No Papal Dogma was never really taken seriously by intelligent people and even now few Catholics take much notice of what the Pope says about anything because there is nothing to fear any more. I cannot imagine any intelligent person being too worried about fear of damnation or “Excommunication” or going to hell and because they do not accept incomprehensible and inconceivable prognostications from the Pope. Those days are gone forever, and will never come back.

  • Helen Westover


  • Torkay

    I didn’t think such an achievement was possible, but this article is even more ludicrous and outrageous than Dr. Moynihan’s recent “Inside the Vatican” newsletter attempting to rationalize and justify the Koran-kissing. Some lowlights:

    “…is it not a little churlish at this late stage of the process to try to put a spanner in the works?”

    Not if that spanner carries the ring of truth, and the “process” has been so thoroughly compromised as to become meaningless. Are you suggesting that popularity outweighs the truth? What un-Catholic rubbish.

    “He was a magnificent defender of the sacredness of human life, marriage and family, and the dignity of women…”

    How about the sacredness of the lives wrecked by the founder of the Legionaries of Christ? How about the sacredness of the lives destroyed by all the minor-molesting homosexual priests who have infested the Church? How about defending Islam – does Islam uphold the dignity of women? Does Islam defend the sacredness of human life? And how does allowing girls to be altar girls promote the dignity of women?

    “..hugely instrumental in bringing about the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe.”

    You apparently have not read The Perestroika Deception. There has been no fall of communism – in fact, it has been extended to all of Europe through the EU!

    “…the World Youth Days he instituted.”

    You mean those pagan abominations that trampled on every liturgical norm and tradition? What an achievement!

    And your rationalization of Assisi, I repeat, is even more appalling than Dr. Moynihan’s. Is this “can’t we all just get along” tripe really what the Catholic Church has been reduced to? Why do such third-rate lies and cheap sentimentalism hold such prominent sway in the modern Church, and commandeer such privileged column space? Well here’s a thought: for this degradation we can thank none other than the modernist JPII himself, one of the two worst popes, in my opinion, in the entire history of the Church.

  • AJ

    Really, that’s ACCORDING to your interpretation of the message. Can you please cite the exact verse WHERE EXPLICITLY say that Vatican II destroyed the Church?

  • AMG

    Spot on.

    I’ve noticed this guy Petrus in action before; I had the odd trawl
    through CT blog when it was live and basically he’s just
    a ‘cut and paste’ merchant. He latches on to the gospel according to the
    editor of CT (who is highly knowledgable about Church history, but misguided
    in many ways in my opinion) and regurgitates stuff he is hearing for the first time,
    having put his own scatty twist on it to make it look original. Had he been a Wild West
    pioneer, he would have sold snake oil from the back of a covered wagon.

    An egotistical nutter and a pest, completely lacking in Catholicism and compassion.

  • Ralph

    >> Indeed, Sacred Scripture forbids the followers of the true religion from interaction with heretics<<

    Would that include interacting in this forum? :/

  • Anonymous

    A reply to Weary Convert
    Weary Convert due to time constraints, my apologies for delay in responding to your reply to my posting, you sound truly weary.
    Let us first look at your derision of the statement of Cardinal Mercier, I will try in the short time I have, to answer your condemnation. I am afraid by your utterances you show a lack of understanding of the Social Kingship of Christ. To set the tone I will first put forward Psalm 72:27: For behold they that go far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that are disloyal to thee.
    Our Lord’s Mystical Body, the Catholic Church, Supernatural and Supranational, which all states and nations are called upon to acknowledge, has been established by God as the One Way for the ordered return of human beings to Him. Into it all men of all nations are called to enter as His members.
    In contrast, the devil wants the state to put all religions on the same level. This is the first step toward inducing the secular government to persecute the Catholic Church, which, by divine ordinance, can never compromise her singular authority. Providing equal rights to truth and error spreads disorder. As a result, truth becomes confused with error. Satan uses every means and whatever vehicle he can to promote the principles of the French Revolution — “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”
    This completely attacks God’s order in the world:
     God
     Church
     State
     People
    What happens to God’s order in the world as a result of this so called enlightenment?
    The Church is removed from this ascending order, with the Church no longer necessary the State has supremacy. With the Church no longer necessary it falls to each man to ascend to God on his own, his own feelings, his own thoughts, in short his own personal subjective view of himself and the world around him.
    But more than that! In the political realm a whole new dynamic begins to appear: A new world view, A New World Order.
    In short the fruit of this so called enlightenment is that God is replaced by man. This understanding that man is supreme has led to moral chaos, two World Wars, nearly 100 million murdered in those wars, hundreds of millions more being enslaved by totalitarian Dictators, not to mention the unmerciful slaughter of 120 thousand innocent babies in the womb daily!
    When Pope John Paul 11 went to Auschwitz he knelt and prayed. When he arose he said of Auschwitz “This is what happens when the world forgets God”
    The Kingship of Christ is absolutely necessary for earthly happiness as well as the salvation of every human being. The Reign of Christ the King is the only source of hope for the world, both materially and spiritually. It is the only means for building and preserving a peaceful civilization.
    Failure to obey God’s will especially by states/countries, in the end has to result in national even international disasters. These disasters are brought about by turning away from God.
    Your caricature of Our lady’s Apparitions at Fatima as being fantasies for the belief of the superstitious deserves a separate answer. I will reply in the coming days.
    Pray the Rosary!

  • thomas

    Dear Lord thank you for enlightening and steering me away from the Vad.II mess…..these people and not informed about there religion …….just like the jews before Christ…

  • Par31

    In reading “Assisi alone is reason enough to beatify John Paul II” by Francis Phillips (14th April) I can only assume he is a post Vatican II Catholic. I have a conscious memory of the Catholic Church in Australia for over 70 years. My recollections I am sure, would be similar to any octogenarian in the UK. If a Catholic from my childhood were to return now he would not recognise the Catholic Faith as it is now generally practiced.

    For example no pope, bishop or priest would publicly or privately pray with schismatics or animists. To do so is to recognise their false religions and that is a gravely uncharitable act. They are outside the “One True Church”. Christ ordered his disciples and those who followed them, to preach and convert; not dialogue. With Pentecost approaching it is worth reflecting on the first act of our first Pope – St. Peter rushed onto the balcony and told the assembled Jews what they had done and proclaimed Jesus Christ. I’m sure he would not have minced his words! He and the other apostles converted some 3000 Jews that day – they didn’t dialogue. To compound this erroneous prayer gathering at Assisi, the Buddhists were allowed to put a statue of Budda on the Altar. To me that is a violation of the First Commandment.

    Pope John Paul II’s kissed the Koran and prayed to St. John the Baptist to “protect” Islam, whereas he should be beseeching the Saints for the conversion of Islam to the Catholic Faith.

    To claim we are “churlish” to intervene at this late stage is to ignore our Catholic obligation to speak out at any time against any perceived error. To do otherwise is to confirm the error.

    Actions speak louder than words! It is not for me to make any judgement on anyone’s personal holiness. In my opinion, and it is obviously in accord with many other Catholics world wide, Pope John Paul II should not be beatified.

    Philip Robinson

  • Helen Westover

    I posted the Index of Leading Catholic Indicators, Petrus. I wonder if the novusordites ever read it?

  • Helen Westover

    Here here, Philip.

  • nick

    There is nothing wrong to pray with people to the One True God which is the MOST HOLY TRINITY but when one prays with people of different world religion and those people pray to their false gods that is very scandalous to the True Faith “The Holy Catholic Apostolic Church” which God established here on Earth. The only message which would come out of this situation is that one religion is just as good as another. That message would be totally opposite of what Our Lord wanted that is to believe in him and be united with him in his Church and be saved at the end this earthly life.

  • DBMcGinnity

    The answer is so simple, because. Jesus and Our Lady ascended into heaven, body and soul, so they are not dead. Both are still around and can come and go as they please. It is possible that Jesus and Mary may reside inside the Vatican, and The Blessed John Paul II may have been guided by both of them in an emeritus capacity. It could be true!

    It is very likely that The Blessed John Paul II was guided directly by Jesus to abolish The Devils Advocate, because in the old days it took many years and many people to gather and process information, whereas today with information technology all The Devils Advocate information can came by e-mails and twitter and processed in a matter of hours. I am convinced that Jesus and Mary live in the Vatican. Where else on earth could they go to?

  • Anonymous

    Reply to Weary Convert (Part 11)
    As to your caricature of Our lady’s Apparitions at Fatima as being fantasies for the belief of the superstitious; my only problem is trying to keep my reply as short and as concise as possible due to the enormous proofs against your obvious lack of knowledge regarding Our Lady of Fatima.
    At Fatima Portugal on the 13th of October 1917, Our Lady worked for us one of the most astonishing miracles of all time. This miracle was predicted by Our Lady three months in advance. Consequently the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by in excess of 70,000 people at the Cova da Iria and some 30,000 people in surrounding districts. This was the sixth and final Apparition to the children, throughout which Our Most Holy Mother delivered a message from God to all of mankind and made binding requests of Her Churchmen. This message was of such magnitude Our Lady sealed it with a miracle so that all might believe.
    The Bishop of Leira at that time wrote in his Pastoral Letter that those who witnessed the events of this great day were fortunate indeed. He said, “The children long before; set the day and hour at which it was to take place. The news spread quickly over the whole of Portugal and although the day was chilly and pouring rain, many thousands of people gathered…. They saw the different manifestations of the sun paying homage to the Queen of Heaven and Earth, who is more radiant than the sun in all its splendor. It was seen by people of all classes, members of the Church and non-Catholics. It was seen by reporters of the principal newspapers and by people many miles away.”
    Even those that were there to pour scorn and worse on the children when the predicted miracle ‘did not take place’ were called to be witnesses for Our Lady!
    “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, pale with fright, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside of all cosmic laws- the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people. This is an extract of a very extensive report by the very anti-clerical paper O Seculo Lisbon, who could not deny The Miracle of the Sun!
    The Roman Catholic Church has widely approved and promoted the Fatima Apparitions as worthy of belief. Seven successive Popes have endorsed the Fatima Apparitions and Message. Several Popes went there on pilgrimage.
    Pope John Paul 11 stated to millions of souls that the message of Fatima imposes an obligation on the Church. Pope John Paul 11 officially instituted May 13th as the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
    Jacinta Marto and her brother Francisco Marto were beatified before a million pilgrims at Fatima by Pope John Paul 11 on May 13th, 2000. Thus the Church has recognized the heroic sanctity of these two shepherd children who saw Our Lady of Fatima!
    Pope Benedict XV1 has stated that the Message of Fatima is the most prophetic message of the Twentieth Century. In May of 2010 The Pope stated that
    “Whoever thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is over: is DECEIVED.”
    And went on to say
    “May these 7 years that divide us from the centennial of the apparitions bring forth soon the FORESEEN TRIUMPH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY.”
    I should stop here because I think that should be sufficient enough to encourage you to want to research the True Story of Fatima, a message truly for our times! Please enlighten yourself, who knows it might be your salvation.
    Please promote the Message of Our Lady of Fatima with Catholic fervour.
    Make Reparation for the Blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
    Do Penance.
    Pray the Rosary!
    “The Holy Father,” “Pray ,pray a great deal, for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it will be late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to Her.” Our Lord to St. Lucia.
    ” In the end My Immaculate Heart wil Triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be given to the world.” Our Lady says only She can bring peace to the world!

  • DBMcGinnity

    I genuinely admire your faith and I accept that millions of other people believe in the Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, and I have not wish to be discourteous or disrespectful to their belief. However the apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima have been and clinically replicated, and there is irrefutable evidence of this that can be objectively validated. That is why Bernadette of Lourdes and Lucia of Fatima where incarcerated in convents, just in case the effect of their post hypnotic suggestion became conscious or some clinical hypnotherapist requested to interview the subjects and examine the data objectively.

    The Miracle of the Sun was an illusion and a scientific impossibility. People in other parts of the world, even close at hand did not notice any change in the sun. No change was reported by astronomers. Does the Miracle of the Sun mean; the sun stood still or the earth stood still? People looked up at the sun and it altered their visual perception. This was a very dangerous thing for Our Lady to instruct the people to do.

    As the Apparition was concomitant with the Russian Revolution. Our Lady could just as easily appeared to the Russian people who are most familiar with the Virgin Mary. Our lady is deeply venerated by The Orthodox Church. Why did she choose the Western Roman Catholic Church? Was it not a great insult to The Orthodox Church that Our Lady appeared in Fatima and instructed the Roman Catholic Church to convert Russia. She could have appeared to Lenin in person and asked him not to proceed with bloodshed of the Russian Revolution. The two happenings are clearly connected, but not in heaven but on earth.

    The idea of Lourdes and Fatima was a smart idea before the generalised understanding of Hypnosis, deep trance subjects and post-hypnotic suggestion phenomena . All visions, apparitions, and miracles can be explained in terms of psychodynamics and neurochemistry. All paranormal, supernatural, mystical, mysterious and miraculous experiences can be explained in terms of clinical hysteria, fakery, deception and fraud, trickery, charlatans and confidence tricksters.

    The present problem the Roman Catholic Church has is what they call “modernism or secularism”, whereas most other people refer to these concepts as rationality where logic and reason are applied to the unexplained. In modern parlance: “The dots do not join up”. and many people find all religion to be archaic.

  • Ptripode

    Our Lady appeared at the town of Fatima ( which means “PEACE”) to give to the world a peace plan from heaven for the world before it destroys itself. She came to three beautiful Catholic children.
    This peace plan has not been done as she requested….. Pray the Holy Rosary that our Pope in union with all the BIshops of the world will finnally do what she requested. When the Moslems captured this country Catholics suffered greatly for their Faith.

    In 1917 World War I was raging and Our Lady was sent by her Son Jesus to show the world the way….
    She spoke “My Son has been greatly offended. If mankind does not return to His Church ( Catholic) and His Sacraments and do not stop sinning….Nations will be annihilated.” Has the world listened?

    Islam preaches that The Holy Trinity is dog dung…… and convert or die by the sword.. This is not a religion of peace. The person Fatima did convert to Catholicism after her father died. She had to flee for her life because of this. Know History!

  • Timothy

    Do you really believe John Paul II is right now in heaven along with a fleet of Catholic Martyrs who were butchered and tortured to death by the pagan Roman Emperors for refusing to burn even one single grain of incense in honour of idols ?
    Something tells me Assisi, for them, was a mockery of the Truth they died for, and those protesting here on earth are quite likely being moved to by the truly faithful in heaven, who died refusing to deny “one iota” of their Faith.

  • DBMcGinnity

    According to prose and syntax, pat21 and Editor CT seem to be the same person, Well done!! I suppose this can be called ‘psychological dissociation’ whereby you communicate with yourself and then you can never be wrong about anything, in fact it makes you infallible. Very Catholic indeed.

  • Sheldon

    I do not see anything wrong in the Pope kissing the Koran… I guess you know the Islam, what Osama or other such hardliners teach. Pope John Paul II in kissing the Koran has done what St. Peter did in the house of Cornelius. He is fulfilling the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael and their descendents. He was in his capacity as Vicar of Christ attempting to fulfill the prayer of our Lord on the night before he suffered; “Let they be one, just as I and You are one.” Do not forget, Israel and Arabs are descendents of Abraham by blood just as we Christians are descendents of Abraham by faith. “Love one another as I have loved you, so that by your loving, the world may know that you are my disciples.” The Pope in attending such gatherings by this act was proclaiming Christ.

  • Sheldon_126

    I read quite a few comments and arguments… There are people out here who still want to hold on to some our old traditions relating to the Ecumenical Councils… y not hold on to the tradition of when an entire assembly proclaimed a holy man a saint on the merits of his good works and exemplary life? On April 02, 2005, the entire assembly outside St. Peter’s Basilica were chanting out phrases calling him a saint. Yet all the cardinals thought it fit to wait. They may have not waited for 5 years… but the criteria of the fast track was still on the basis of a proven miracle. If there is a doubt casted on this miracle.. then all the Saints from Peter till the last 5 are all false saints.

  • KME

    Dear AJ,

    If I might be permitted to summarize your key point, I believe you are expressing indignation at an attitude of those who call themselves ‘traditional’ Catholics who do not believe in following the teachings of Vatican II. In this group, you lump the SSPX and Archbp Lefebvre, and your key reason for being indignant is that Vatican 2 is an ecumenical council.

    Allow me to respond to these understandable concerns.

    An ecumenical council is an exercise of the Church’s extraordinary magisterium. And in so far as that exercise defines dogma or makes dogmatic statements it bears the mark of infallibility. Having said, that the Vatican 2 teachings were preceded, at the behest of Pope Paul VI himself, with a ‘Nota Praevia’ which stated that Vatican 2 was primarily a pastoral council whose authority was prudential. As Vatican I taught, and as a number of the leading Catholic doctors throughout history (especially St Robert Bellarmine) have taught, the infallibility of the extraordinary magisterium extends only to dogma and not to prudential matters.

    This means that while for example a Pope is infallible when teaching ex cathedra on a matter of faith and morals, he is fallible if in the same breath he provides an opinion on the colour of pyjamas that the faithful ought to wear. Likewise, even a council that is ecumenical, which Vatican 2 certainly was, and in being so had the charism of being able to teach dogma infallibly, in fact, according to the ‘Nota Praevia’ did not primarily intend to teach or define dogma but rather intended to provide pastoral guidance for the Church in the modern (i.e. 1960s) time.

    The correct attitude of faithful and obedient Catholics to the non-infallible, i.e. fallible, prudential judgments of the extraordinary magisterium is to give a certain assent in faith. However, if circumstances demonstrate and make clear that those prudential judgments were erroneous, a respectful personal decision to refrain from following that advice is very reasonable. Imagine for example if the Pope advised a priest to stop doing his holy work among some people because it the long term it make the evangelization of those peoples even harder.

    The priest gives assent of faith to this opinion of the Pope and obeys for a time – however, after some time, sees that evangelization of those peoples has remained just as hard and may even be getting harder without the type of work he was doing when the Pope gave him the advice. He explains to the Pope his objective advice as to why he believes that advice is not wise and explains to the Pope that he senses a real need to continue his evangelization. This would be an example of dutifully questioning a superior’s advice, which as a prudential judgement, is not infallible.

    There is a real example of this in history in the case of Pope John XXII (the twenty-second) who was a theologian and would preach from the pulpit that the souls of the just would not see the beatific vision until the final judgment. Many of the theologians of the Church of his day saw that this papal teaching was erroneous and heretical. It took 3 years for them to convince the Pope of his errors. The Pope finally recanted his heretical view, accepting the Catholic teaching – and the very next day passed away. This clearly demonstrates that the Pope in not infallible when not teaching ex cathedra, and it would be most un-Catholic of his subjects if they had not corrected him. And by the way, as decent as Pope John XXII was, no one dared to beatify him because of this theological error he espoused for some time. My point being, there is nothing wrong in respectfully stating that a Pope has erred.

    Now – and I must let you know that I am NOT a member of the SSPX, nor ever have been – my reading of the history of Archbp Lefebvre and the SSPX is that Archbp Lefebvre, as a signatory and peritus to Vatican 2, gave his assent in faith to Vatican 2. Vatican 2 itself, while containing the documents on liturgical reforms, did not explicitly call for the abrogation of the EF Mass (as Pope BXVI has recently confirmed in Summorum Pontificum). Archbp Lefebvre, indeed as many Cardinals had around the end of Vatican 2 expressed a real apprehension at the guidance contained in Vatican 2’s *prudential* (and therefore non-infallible) pronouncements with regards to ecumenism, liturgical experimentation and other things.

    This is not at all equivalent to what heretics do when they nail a 95 bullet thesis to the door of the Church denying Church dogma. Nor is it identical to schism when, perceiving a state of emergency (for example that no new priests are being trained in the ancient Mass, which Vatican 2 never abrogated according to Pope Benedict XVI), one disobeys.

    For one can see in Bp Fellay and Archbp Lefebvre a strong desire to honour the successor of Peter but only to discuss the prudential judgments of a Council that empirical data may be showing us all were erroneous – for example, although Vatican 2 recommended a number of things, in considering the *fruits* of the council and seeing seminaries emptied, and almost the entire Catholic world apostasizing (viz the use of contraception, legalization of gay unions and abortion as some examples). And Pope Benedict XVI himself has stated that many liberals within the Church make the opposite error of presuming Vatican 2 to be a ‘super dogma’ that supercedes all previous Church teachings. So, I believe you have good reason to consider the SSPX more charitably than you have without compromising on your stated belief that Vatican 2 is an ecumenical council of the Church that by default is infallible on dogmatic issues – because where Vatican 2 re-iterated or defined dogma it was infallible, but where it was primarily prudential in its judgements it was not infallible, since the Lord does not guarantee that His Church will ALWAYS give sound advice on prudential matters. You may not agree with Archbp Lefebvre’s decision to outrightly disobey Pope John Paul II, but canon law itself finds forgiveable a disobedience that is based on a perceived state of emergency. Moreover, the Archbishop had a great love for the Church and for Catholic dogma and the Papacy, so there cannot be any question as to heresy, although, until Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications from the 4 bishops of the SSPX, and the Vatican clarified in the Hawaiian case that one can fulfill the Sunday obligation at an SSPX parish, some may have felt justified in seeing a question of schism. I think the rapprochment between the Holy Father and Bp Fellay however should now quell strong statements on that front as it is clear that both sides are approaching the discussions about Vatican 2 respectfully and with a Catholic mindset, as both are claiming (although neither side claims that there is a mutual agreement on the big picture yet).

    It is in this respect that many well-meaning and faithful Catholics, who did love Pope John Paul II, caution those who want to fast-track him to sainthood. Couple that with his track record on the clerical sex scandals, and World Youth Days where the sacred host was sacrileged over and over, and brethren can be forgiven for wondering if a saintlier Pope would have dealt more firmly with those issues. My personal view is that Pope John Paul II was not a model Pope, but I also firmly believe that his faith, which led him for example to wear Our Lady’s Brown Scapular to his last breath, very likely saved him.

    Finally to the person (not AJ of course) who blasphemed St Bellarmine as a 17th century philosopher who persecuted Galileo, your ignorance is astounding. Please do yourself a favor and read the facts. St Robert Bellarmine was the illumined theologian who cautioned the Inquisition on Galileo by stating that if it were proven that a fact *appeared* to contradict Sacred Scripture, this would indicate that our interpretation of Scripture were incorrect, rather than the heretical statement that Scripture itself was incorrect. Remember, 9 popes had approved of heliocentrism for 80 years prior to Galileo from the time of Copernicus, himself a well-respected scientest-prelate at Papal universities. The debate with Galileo was rather that Galileo insisted heliocentrism was a fact, and yet did not have clear proofs of it. St Robert, a scientist himself who was indeed a friend of Galileo’s, advised Galileo to be more cautious – that is, to call heliocentrism a ‘theory’ until proofs were provided. Galileo’s claimed that tides and the fact that Jupiter had moons were sufficient proofs of heliocentrism. In the end, St Robert and the Church were vindicated in that modern astronomy has proven that while the earth goes around the Sun, the whole universe does not.

    Sincerely, KME

  • Peter

    I can understand why Our Lady would wish to appear at a place named after Muhammad’s daughter, thereby encouraging Catholics to pray for Muslims. The Roman Catholic Church owes its global predominance to Islam. The Muslim invasions effectively neutralised all the other Christian centres which had competed with Rome for preeminence, leaving Rome alone to embark upon a global expansion of her faith.

  • Peter

    Paradoxically it was the Iberian peninsula which the Muslims had initially conquered and were eventually driven from after centuries of rule which played the biggest role, as Spain and Portugal, in the global expansion of Catholicism.

  • Seangough

    perfectly said

  • Tommy

    Doesn’t your head hurt from banging it against the wall? I feel for you, brother. These people are NEVER going to let up. Just like the protestants who are our “brothers”. You’re never going to be right as far as they’re concerned. I mean, the conversation started about JP2′s beatification/canonisation, right? A man who kissed a koran and placed a statue of buddah on top of the tabernacle? Wow. How far have we fallen?(From one conservative to another.)

  • Tommy

    Dear EditorCT,

    Some people have nooooooooo sense of humor. (Or refuse to keep a hefty supply of good bourbon! Yep, I’m an American.) Your sarcasm is greatly needed and appreciated. In MY country, we get to curse the president for screwing things up on a daily basis. On the other hand, we get to praise him when he pulls off a great victory like bringing osama bin laden to justice. WHOOPS! Sorry. I have no right to feel any anger over September 11th. And I have no right to judge osama bin laden. Sooooooooo. Who is going to judge me (besides God Himself?)? Just like I did, everyone else jumped off topic. And people are soooooooooo angry. Why? It takes a lot of energy to be angry and pig-headed on a 24 hour basis as some people on this site are. Have a drink. You’ll feel much better. (And the last time I checked, God didn’t mind us laughing and enjoying life. So, lighten up!)

  • Mario Chavez

    Intereligious prayer meetings (such as Assissi) have been specifically condemned by past popes including by Pope Pius XI in the encyclical “Mortalium Animos”. Learn more about the traditional Catholic faith and what really happened to the Catholic Church after Vatican II, by visiting: