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Pope declares Paul VI lived a life of heroic virtue

By on Thursday, 20 December 2012

Pope Paul VI (Photo: PA)

Pope Paul VI (Photo: PA)

Pope Benedict XVI has advanced the Cause of Pope Paul VI by recognising the Italian pope as having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

He also recognised a miracle attributed to the intercession of an Italian martyr who, with an estimated 800 other people, died at the hands of Ottoman invaders in the 15th century, and he recognised a miracle attributed to the first Blessed to be born, live and die in Colombia, Blessed Mother Laura Montoya. They can now be declared saints.

The Pope formally recognised the martyrdom of 33 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the Causes of 18 other men and women.

During a meeting today with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the Pope signed the decree approving the heroic virtues of Pope Paul VI, making him “Venerable”. Before Pope Paul can be beatified, the Vatican must recognise that a miracle has occurred through his intercession.

Born Giovanni Battista Montini 1897 in the northern Italian province of Brescia, Pope Paul VI is probably best remembered for seeing the Second Vatican Council through to its end and helping implement its far-reaching reforms.

He is also well remembered as the author of Humanae Vitae, his 1968 encyclical reaffirming Church teaching that artificial birth control is intrinsically wrong, which became a focus of controversy and dissent.

Amid the strains and pressures following Vatican II, he received the nickname the “Hamlet pope” for his reportedly anguished decision-making and his evident suffering over problems of the Church. However, he was also remembered as a strong leader who decisively guided the Church through a time of crisis.

Pope Paul was the first modern pontiff to start visiting local churches around the globe, making nine major trips abroad.

Prior to his election, he spent more than 30 years helping to run the Vatican’s diplomatic machinery at the Secretariat of State, but his diplomatic skills never overshadowed his priestly love of serving those in need.

He worked on behalf of prisoners and the politically persecuted during World War Two, pleaded for peace to world leaders, appealed for the lives of condemned terrorists and kidnapped politicians, and donated the papal tiara to raise money for the poor.

He was elected pope in 1963 and died at age 80 in 1978. The Rome diocese officially opened his Cause in 1993.

Pope Benedict recognised miracles attributed to the intercession of three people who, along with 800 companions, can now be declared saints. They are:

Blessed Antonio Primaldo and an estimated 800 other laymen killed by Ottoman soldiers in the southern Italian costal town of Oltranto in 1480.

Blessed Mother Laura Montoya, the first Blessed to be born, live and die in Colombia. Born in 1874, she founded the Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and of St Catherine of Siena, to work among the indigenous peoples of Colombia. She died in 1949 and was beatified in 2004.

Blessed Mother Lupita Garcia Zavala, also known as Mother Maria Guadalupe, the Mexican co-founder of the Congregation of the Servants of St Margaret Mary and the Poor. She lived from 1878 to 1963.

Pope Benedict also signed decrees that pave the way for numerous beatifications:

He recognised the martyrdom of 33 priests, religious and a monk killed between 1936 and 1938 during the Spanish Civil War.

He recognised the martyrdom of Fr Miroslav Bulesic, a Croatian priest killed by Italian partisans in 1947.

The Pope approved nine other decrees recognising men and women for having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way and declaring them “Venerable”. Recognition of a miracle attributed to each candidate’s intercession is needed for that person’s beatification.

  • 12Maria34

    I agree … my first EF mass was last July 2012 … it was very hard for me to understand … EF/TLM will be very hard for Asian and African countries … Outside of Peter is just plainly outside.

  • 12Maria34

    Happy to hear …

  • Ronk

    “victims of the Spanish Civil war” makes it sound as if they were taking sides in the war. These saints were totally non-violent, non-political, loving people who were killed out of hatred for the Catholic faith merely becasue they were known to be practising Catholics. 

  • Benedict Carter

    ” EF/TLM will be very hard for Asian and African countries ..”

    It wasn’t hard for them before. 

  • Alan

    Reading some of the comments posted about Paul VI, I am struck by the way that the most hostile attacks on Popes come from the self-styled traditionalists who love to bang on about Papal infallibility, authority, etc.  Contrast this to the way we “liberals” (as I have been called), while occasionally not seeing eye-to-eye with some Papal pronouncements, never (Hans Kung excepted) go in for the virulent comments of the “traditionalists”.

  • Nat_ons

    I suspect few take the time to perceive – let alone understand – the difference between a Traditionalist and a tradition-ist. Of course both can at times fall into the habits of Old Catholicism (cutting of the legitimacy of ‘tradition’ sic to suite their protest), yet anyone faithful to Sacred Tradition must adhere to communion with God’s beloved called to be saints at Rome (those who witness in saintly virtue and those who witness human failings). The tradition-ist then follows only his own idea of tradition for the sake of following that (idealised) tradition; not so the Traditionalist, who endeavours merely to witness Christ in his church catholic – being the same yesterday, today and for each tomorrow .. even through all the natural, spiritual and traditional changes that fleshly must face.

  • 12Maria34

    Why do you think the council fathers requested for vernacular if it was not hard for them?

  • awkwardcustomer

    To modernise the Mass and make the liturgy of the Church more in tune with the modern age.

    If the traditional Mass and liturgy was so ‘difficult’, why did Mass attendance begin to plummet when the reformed Mass and liturgy was introduced?

  • awkwardcustomer

    The liturgical ‘reforms’ of Vatican II were the subject of study and experimentation for decades before Vatican II.  Any history of the 20th century Liturgical Movement will demonstrate this. 

    Vatican II adopted the ideas of the Liturgical Movement and imposed them on the Church.  St John’s Abbey was actually one of the main centers and promoters of the Liturgical Movement.  The Fathers of Vatican II knew what they were getting when they promoted the new liturgy.

  • awkwardcustomer

    The liturgical ‘reforms’ of Vatican II were the subject of study and experimentation for decades before Vatican II. Any history of the 20th century Liturgical Movement will demonstrate this.
    Vatican II adopted the ideas of the Liturgical Movement and imposed them on the Church. St John’s Abbey was actually one of the main centers and promoters of the Liturgical Movement. The Fathers of Vatican II knew what they were getting when they promoted the new liturgy.

  • 12Maria34

    Wwstern countries maybe … but not where I was …

  • Benedict Carter

    This is the continued canonisation of Vatican II, not of this Pope who regretted the whole disaster before he died.

  • pat.phillips10

    Has anyone read this book on Paul VI ??

  • Rowan Carstairs

    This is simply a Stalinist rewriting of history. A dreadful Pope in nearly every way. Where to begin? His reign and personal life are catastrophically at odds with Catholic teaching. He may well be in heaven, who can judge, but he lived a life devoid of Catholicity. 
    Yet more proof that the old men will beatify anyone who can justify their destruction of The Church at VII and even after 50 years they cannot face the fact that they not only failed but have been the ruin of so many souls.    

  • Parasum

    Something to do with the attractiveness of the unfamiliar.  Religions that are around for centuries in a country eventually outstay their welcome; they alwauys go bad eventually. “The grass is always greener”, and all that.

    If Christianity went underground for a thousand years, it would be much sought after when it re-surfaced.

  • Gildaswiseman

    My thoughts exactly. Merry, Christmas

  • Gildaswiseman

    They did not request it.In fact they ordered the retention of it. 

  • Gildaswiseman

    There are enormous differences between the Catholic rites that have developed out of tradition over the milieu and a manufactured Mass contrived by an archbishop, who was a Freemason and an enemy of the Church and his protestant advisers Cardinal Bacci and Ottaviani wrote a critical study, along with 10 other high ranking prelates. I will paste a letter sent to Pope Paul VI 
     Of course you are right to say it is a valid Mass, howeverthe validity of the Pauline Mass is not in question. Its whether it is licit is the question. The indefectibility of the Church does not not a prevent a Pope authorising defective rites. It is his personal opinion.

    “Letter from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI 
    September 25th, 1969
    Most Holy Father, Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations: 1. The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery. 2. The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition, even if such reasons could be regarded as holding good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem to us sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place, if it subsists at all, could well turn into a certainty the suspicions already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people, can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound for ever. Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful who are already showing signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith. Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonising crisis of conscience of which innumerable instances come tour notice daily. 3. We are certain that these considerations, which can only reach Your Holiness by the living voice of both shepherds and flock, cannot but find an echo in Your paternal heart, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. It has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law. Therefore we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness, at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the church, lamented by You our common Father, not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.

  • Sweetjae

    “…..manufactured Mass”, sorry but that is your fallible human opinion, nothing more. The 5-Supreme Pontiffs never taught that nor the Magisterium nor the legit General Council of the Church. Do whatever you want to believe not me nor the true Catholics.

  • Sweetjae

    “plummet”….why do you guys keep blaming the 5-Pontiffs and a General Council of the Church? Did you read what the Archbishop said?

  • Sweetjae

    Many good came out from crisis including this one…..though still considered young, the order founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, under the watch of N.O.

  • savvy

    There are many other amazing communities, like the Sisters of Life, the monastic communities of Jerusalem and many others. The orthodox communities faithful to the church were founded after V2, the ones that have turned away were founded before such as the LCWR.

  • Sweetjae

    Nonsense. Pope Paul regretted the disaster brought by malicious and obstinate egotistical reaction of both the Left and Right extremes. He defended the Orthodoxy of the Council vigorously from the attacks within, so how in world could he regretted it?

  • Sweetjae

    How do you know? The very reason why the Catholic Church commissioned St. Jerome to translate the Bible from Greek into Latin in the 3th Century so that the local people who speak predominantly Latin language could understand more clearly the Gospel message. The same reason here and today.

    The logic to be consistent should also put the blame to Pope Damasus I and St. Jerome.

  • Sweetjae

    I agree.

  • Sweetjae

    He just happened to be in the middle of a Great and Final War being wage by evil forces of atheism and secularism against the Church. Blame them not the Pope….he was a towering Voice of God in tye modern world.

  • Sweetjae

    Why not blame Jesus for selecting Judas in the inner circle as well? Or by appointing him the treasurer? Or choosing Peter the traitor who denied Him thrice?

  • savvy

    I think it’s time to stop apologizing. When people call the church backward. Let them know that if the church is not counter-cultural, it’s doing something wrong.  As Chesterton said, “A dead thing can go with the flow, only a living thing can swim against it,”

    A lot of people turned their backs on Jesus, because they found his teachings too hard. The ones who endured won.

    We challenge conventional wisdom, they blindly follow the latest trends.

  • Gildaswiseman

    The 5-Supreme Pontiffs never taught that nor the Magisterium nor the legit General Council of the Church.Who are the 5-supreme pontiffs? Only three Popes endorsed the new rite, But this does not come under the authority of the Popes infalibility the magisterium, or the Council’s infalibility.
    So true Catholic means we are unable to critisise the Novas Ordo is it ? Well then I am in interesting company in my opinion. 
    Klause Gamber is one of the greatest liturgist that the Church has produced. His opinion is this
    “Liturgy and faith are interdependent. That is why a new rite was created, a rite that in many ways reflects the bias of the new (modernist) theology. The traditional liturgy simply could be allowed to exist in its established form because it was permeated with the truths of the traditional faith and the ancient forms of piety. For this reason alone, much was abolished and new rites, prayers and hymns were introduced.
    Please do not continue to disparage the faith of people who have  made a scholarly study of the new Mass and its history and do not agree with the changes.

  • teigitur

    You should try commenting on the “pray tell”! site with something even Orthodox and see how these lovely liberals react. Or the “Catholic” reporter for that matter.

  • Sweetjae

    I don’t care who is Klaus Gamber whose assertion that the Pauline Mass is a “bias reflection of new theology”, as YET again he is not the Pontiff, not the Magisterium , not the Council. Even St. thomas made some errors too and had been corrected by the Church. Believe whomever you want to believe but not me nor any true Traditionalist Catholics.

    The fact of the matter is, the Pauline Mass is more similar to the Early Apostolic Mass. Google it.

  • Sweetjae

    The point was, the 5- Supreme Pontiffs since Vatican 2 have endorsed the Pauline Mass as valid, legitimate and of equal value as any of the Catholic Rites but for you and people like you called it “new”, “inferior”, “illicit”, “novel” rite.

    To say the opposite is NOT from the Catholic Church and the SSPX is not the Catholic Church.

  • Gildaswiseman

    Pope Benedict wrote “The Spirit of the Liturgy. In it he criticised many aspects of the Novas Ordo. I suppose you would condemn him as being non- Catholic in his thinking  for his writing and criticism of the New Mass. 
    I will paste a some information for you to think over and I will not discuss this any more with you because you are clearly impoverished when it come to understanding the true nature of the faith, and the concept of true obedience as taught by eminent theologians over the centuries. It is also the duty of the faithful to criticise aspects that they believe with damage the faith, in case you did not realise.
    Please note this my insulting friend, I say no more than Klause Gamber did and the Pope praised him for his scholarly opinions. He did not accuse him of being an apostate or untrue to the faith. 
    It does appear that Pope Benedict cares for who he was.

    “Klaus Gamber (1919–1987) is a German Catholic liturgist. Author of Die Reform der römischen Liturgie, which was subsequently translated into English and published as The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background, he was one of the principal intellectual critics of the liturgical reforms brought under the papacy of Paul VI. His critical work was praised by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and he is credited for being one of the academic inspirations behind the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, allowing broader use of traditional liturgy.”

  • Sweetjae

    Are you even reading my post? I didn’t say Klaus Gamber was an apostate, I just said that whoever one said that is opposite to what the Pope, the Council and the Church said, catholics shouldn’t believe. That is the reason why we don’t believe even the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas when he was against the Doctrine of the Immavulate Conception. That is also the reason why we don’t believe what the SSPX is saying what Tradition truly says, do you understand the crux?

    Oh please spare me with this out-of the context and supposed criticism of Pope Benedict XVI about the Pauline Mass. Never did he criticize the Rite which he always practiced and celebrated, its contradictory, don’t you think?

    The Pope was referring to the EXPERIMENTATION AND ABUSES deliberately done to the Pauiline Rite by modernist clergy which he referred to as banal.

  • Sweetjae

    Read again my post, I didn’t criticze Klaus Gamber as apostate!!! Where do you get this idea??? Im talking about Catholics should only believe and assent to what the Catholic Church teach and endorse NOT from anybody, be they may from the Right (SSPX) or the Left (liberal), do you get the point?

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  • Gildaswiseman

    OK! First of all I did not say that that you accused Klaus Gamber of being an apostate. I simply pointed out to you that members of the Church who have studied and genuinely  believe that the new rite is lacking in substance compared to the Tridentine rite are not untrue to their faith. You are too quick to condemn people for their scholarly understandings, as being inferior Catholics. Also your accusation that St. Thomas was in denial of the Immaculate Conception is a gross misconception of the truth. I will paste you something to read about this.
    I would suggest you actually read the Spirit of the Liturgy before you again accuse me of quoting out of context.
    As for your understanding of Infallibility of the Pope, Council, and the Magisterium and what Catholics are allowed to agree with or not in order to be true to the faith I suggest you study the texts of Vatican Council I. No doubt by your logic you would of agreed with Pope Honorious and Pope John XXII.
    “Contrary to the claims of the Modernists, St Thomas is not held universally to have rejected the Immaculate Conception. In fact, the principles of St Thomas provided the basis for the definition of the dogma, when it finally came. It is indescribably frustrating when otherwise-pious Catholics point to St Thomas’s supposed error on this point as a way of reducing his credibility. No doubt they are unaware of his absolutely unique position as a theologian and Doctor of the Universal Church. No doubt they are unaware that Canon Law prescribes that all professors of theology are to hold and teach the “arguments, doctrine, and principles” of St. Thomas. Canon 1366, Section 2 : “The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold.” Canon 589 prescribes that religious are to do likewise. No other doctor holds this place in Catholic theology.”

  • Sweetjae

    First you haven’t put a defense of your position which are base solely on impression and of this or that guy said. If you want to believe them and not the 5 Pontiffs and Legitimate Council, so be it.

  • Gildaswiseman

    Read Lex Orandi Lex Credendi by John Wetherell, you then may begin to have a better understanding of the issues that many faithful Catholics are concerned about. These issues are not a contradiction of the Council or the Pope. But I doubt you will even begin to understand that fact

  • Sweetjae

    Rubbish, why don’t you elect yourself as pope then build your own church?

  • Steve Calovich

    If you want to know why the Church is in a decades long downward spiral, Google “Bernadino Nogara”.

  • djpala

    Pope Pius XII & Padre Pio both assigned Msgr. Luigi Villa to ‘dedicate his life to defend the Church of Christ from the work of freemasonry, especially ecclesiastical freemasonry’.   When John Paul II first advanced the beatification of Paul VI, Fr. Villa presented his evidence & findings to the curia & the beatification was abandoned.   Fr. Villa died on 18 Nov 2012.   Pope Benedict XVI simply approved the process presented by Cardinal Amato.   There is no need for urgency.   If the evidence ‘against’, presented by Fr. Villa & documented in three books, was valid the last time it should still be strong enough to do so again.   The ‘smoke of satan’ was & is Communism.   It has manifested itself under the guise of the homosexual-collective which will tear the Church asunder internally until that cancer is specifically addressed & totally removed.