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January 23, 2007

Comments

Joe

Do you think his kissing of the Koran or the pagan-fest of Assisi I & II will have any impact on his beatification?

Monica

I think the three miracles required are sufficient to wipe out any doubt that God consideres him a fine example of holiness for us to follow, and we can drop the koran episode. Chalk it up to 'mystery' if you will.

Jeb Protestant

Joe,

I doubt it. I think one can't help but notice that there started to develop early on a cult of personality surrounding JP II. I was in Rome during one of his interreligious love-fests and watched it on TV. It was clear that JP II was the star of the event. At the end he was driven away in a limo like Elvis.

Mary Kay

Ya mean John Paul has a personality cult just like Jimmy Akin, with the secret handshake and all?

On a more serious note, Jeb Protestant, I've never met anyone who treated John Paul II in the way you described. People were drawn to John Paul II for his powerful witness to Jesus Christ.

Matt Kennel

I'm sure that the Vatican will consider everything, both the good and the bad. But, certainly the good greatly outweighs the bad. JPII was a servant of God and a lover of God, and he surely is in the house of the Father. Yesterday, I heard on Catholic Answers live that there's already a book out about miracles that occurred by his prayers when he was alive! Much more now that he is with the Father!

May God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant that he be named among the saints and the doctors of the Church in the very near future!

Jonathan

Joe/Jeb,

Yes, lets forgo 99.9% of his faith, work, writing, and speeches and focus on the 0.1% we don't understand so that we can criticize and ridicule the man to further our own agenda. Nice. How very Christian of you...

Sean Gallagher

I'd be interested to see if the purported miracles that have been submitted will be investigated simultaneously.

If so, and if at least two of the purported miracles are judged to have no natural explanation, then could it be that beatification could be bypassed and the Church would proceed directly to canonization?

I believe that Pope Benedict has noted a willingness to re-examine the way in which men and women are added to the roll of the saints.

I wonder if bypassing beatification in some cases would be under consideration.

I would tend to think such a move in the Church's discipline would not necessarily contradict the Church's doctrinal teaching on the saints and so, therefore, could represent a possible change.

Brian John Schuettler

Canonization has nothing to do with a person being impeccable since no one is andr remember it is Karol Wotijla, the man, who is being scrutinized for sainthood, not just JP2, the pope. He did not choose to be idolized by so many people, it was their decision and he certainly never gave any evidence of promoting a personality cult. He always and everywhere talked about Jesus, always Jesus.

Tim J.

" It was clear that JP II was the star of the event. At the end he was driven away in a limo like Elvis."

How could a Pope show up at ANYTHING and not be the center of attention, willingly or un-?

And how did you expect him to come and go... in a pickup? On foot? By rickshaw? Now everyone who rides in a limo is "like Elvis?"

Your personal animosity to JPII is clealy affecting your judgement.

bill912

Any stick to bash the Church with is good enough for him, Tim.

Dr. Eric

I think it would be funny if the Pope was pulled in by a rickshaw!

Even funnier would be like that episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" where the dad was pulled in his car by all the body builders.

Yeah, the Pope being drawn in a Chariot being pulled by some strongman Cardinals!

Some people will try any trick they can to bash the Holy Father.

SDG

A true servant of Christ would not have left -- like ELVIS -- in a limo.

He should have found a donkey.

Jeannette

Jonathan,
I believe they are supposed to investigate that other .1%, too.
I agree that he led a holy life, but as the pope, he did fail in some of his duties. We are paying out the nose for his neglect of the abuse problems among the clergy. I suspect his affection for Fr Maciel will come back to haunt him (disclosure: I'm actively involved in ReGAIN, which assists those recovering from their involvement with the LC/RC, and I was abused by my childhood pastor, so I give greater weight to those two drawbacks, than most other people). He also appointed many of the "lavender mafia" bishops. I can accept that he thought the stories were to discredit those men, as had been done in Communist Poland, but we're still stuck with many of the bishops regardless.

David B.

Jeannette,

I'm very glad that, in spite of the scandal, you have remained faithful to Christ's Church. I can only hope to attain the same strength of faith. God bless You!!

Kris

Ever since I heard that JPII personally forgave the man who shot him, I've expected his name in the litany. That whole situation is just amazing to me--seeing the Holy Father sit down and chat with his would-be assassain, like they were having tea! Add to that his wall-like stance against the "progresives" on abortion, gay marriage, female priesthood ect...I just can't see how he didn't earn his white garment.

Esau

The Following is Dedicated to John (JtNova) & the HobbyHorses:


NBC News Appreciation
A towering figure in the history of the church and the world

Stephen Weeke is an NBC News correspondent based in Rome.

Rome Bureau Chief
NBC News
Updated: 2:26 p.m. PT April 2, 2005

VATICAN CITY - Those born in the last quarter of the 20th century might be forgiven for thinking that the papacy and Poland go hand in hand or that the pope has always been a man at home among common people and intent on spreading the Catholic word around the globe in person. Older people, however, know John Paul II was anything but typical. Even in his last years — shaking from Parkinson's disease and moving slowly through a millennial pilgrimage to the Holy Land — it was clear he was a pope like no other.

John Paul II lectured dictators and democrats with equal vigor, inspired millions to uphold human dignity and, in the eyes of many historians, helped bring about the collapse of communist rule in Europe.

His unique physical presence and charm were striking in his early days as pope. Gifted with a tremendous affinity for language and an engaging manner, this pope forever changed the image of what a pontiff should be and what the leader of the "Mother church" can accomplish, both spiritually and politically. To his last days, John Paul strove to reconcile the church with other faiths and to heal the centuries-old schism within Christianity itself by encouraging a strong ecumenical movement around the globe.

For more than two decades beginning in 1978, he reigned as the supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church, as its "pontiff," from the Latin word "pontifex" — "keeper of the bridge." Indeed, his papacy bridged a span of history that ran from the dark days of the Cold War to the collapse of Soviet-backed communism in 1989 and into the new "globalism" of the 21st century. Typically, John Paul II refused to be satisfied with his contribution to communism's demise. He turned his attention to a new challenge: the ever-widening gap between the developed and the underdeveloped worlds.

A Polish pontiff
Coming after 450 years of Italian popes, the election of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow on the evening of Oct. 16, 1978, broke tradition and stunned those who considered themselves experts on the Vatican. The public in St. Peter's Square that evening was so stunned by the announcement of this foreign name that it fell silent.

Still, when Karol Wojtyla stepped out onto the balcony in St. Peter's, his smile and the joy in his voice charmed both the Roman and the global television audiences. He made a joke about his accented Italian, and the world embraced him in an instant. He brought with him the excitement of an evolutionary change, and soon his Slavic features and his dramatic flair for the public stage seemed as papal as his vestments.

A life of struggle
The man who would be pope lived a childhood marked by the loss of his mother at the age of 8, a strict upbringing by a conservative, impoverished father and then the double traumas of Nazi occupation and the postwar communist takeover.

The young Karol Wojtyla became a devout, scholarly and determined young man. Studying in a secret seminary banned by the Nazis, he became a priest, surprising most of his school friends, who expected him to pursue a life in theater, something he showed a great affinity for as a young man.

His faith was a deeply intellectual one: He studied philosophy, and those who knew him as a young seminarian say he would have preferred to live a monastic life. But his superiors recognized in him an ability to touch people and attract them and pressed him into a life of religious outreach.

Karol Wojtyla's Poland was liberated by Stalin's armies, but the church found itself little better off under communism than it had been under the Third Reich. While the church was tolerated in postwar Poland to a much greater extent than in many other Soviet satellite states, being a member of the clergy automatically qualified one as a potential "counterrevolutionary."

As Karol Wojtyla rose through the ranks of the church, to bishop, then archbishop and cardinal, he struggled constantly with a repressive regime for more religious freedom, earning him a reputation as a thoughtful dissident who attracted intellectuals, writers, workers and others unhappy with the government.

Taking on the communists
The alliances he forged during his rise through the Polish church helped feed a small rebellion in a Gdansk shipyard in the 1970s that ultimately would prove the first ripple in the tidal wave that would sweep Soviet-inspired communism from Poland and then from all of Europe. Solidarity, the movement founded by the shipyard's workers, became a symbol of peaceful resistance behind the Iron Curtain.

The future pope — by now Cardinal Wojtyla — supported the movement from its inception. In 1978, at a time when Solidarity's struggles were getting more and more attention in the Western press, the election of a Polish pope sent political shock waves through the Kremlin and raised awareness in the White House that the Roman Catholic Church might be an ally in its own effort to roll back Soviet domination.

On the road
The new pope immediately set out to bring his word directly to the faithful, undertaking a politically sensitive trip to Mexico within months of his election. During that trip, a milestone in the relationship between the Church and a Mexican state that had been anti-clerical for decades, the world got its first glimpse of the missionary style John Paul II would adopt. He spoke about moral truth and economic justice, gave stirring speeches, spoke occasionally in Spanish and then, diving into a crowd to shake hands and hold babies, he emerged wearing a sombrero. All Mexico was enthralled.

Many see his first visit to his Polish homeland, in June 1979, as a significant moment in the collapse of communism. Despite government efforts to play down his visit by limiting crowds and broadcasts, John Paul managed to galvanize Poles with his carefully worded denunciations of the regime. Many who later played key roles in the overthrow of communism there said his words gave average Poles the strength to face down repression. In effect, he put the Vatican's stamp of approval on Solidarity.

The assassination attempt
Though never proven, it's been suggested by analysts that a subsequent attempt on John Paul's life was directly connected to the Soviet Union's fear of the pope. The assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square in May 1981 failed, but the right-wing Turkish gunman who shot the pontiff later suggested he had been paid to do it by the Bulgarian and Soviet secret services. At Mehmet Ali Agca's trial, however, involvement by East bloc intelligence agencies was never proven.

The pope survived the serious wound to his intestine and would later place the bullet that nearly killed him in the crown of the statue of the Virgin at Fatima in Portugal, saying he survived because the day he was shot was May 13, the anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. In 1986, in a private meeting in Agca's prison cell, John Paul forgave his assailant.

Dogged on doctrine
The pope continued his jet-age evangelism in far-flung corners of the world, carrying a message of social and economic change but religious conservatism. He stood resolutely against contraception, homosexuality, abortion and women in the priesthood. Despite hope in some liberal wings of the church, John Paul never relented on these basic precepts and, in fact, moved to further cement them as church doctrine.

This unique mix of progressive political views and doctrinaire faith sometimes created friction around the world. His fierce anti-communism, for instance, put him at odds with the church in Latin America, which was experiencing a rebirth in the 1980s through the popularity of a school of thought known as "liberation theology," which argued that the church should ally itself with the poor and aid the cause of ousting the oligarchs and landowning families who traditionally dominated the region. His strict adherence to traditional doctrine also caused problems in the United States and Western Europe, where a more liberal interpretation of Catholicism had taken hold. John Paul occasionally chided those who treated aspects of Catholicism as optional, though a full showdown with America's more liberal bishops never came.

‘The people’s pope’
None of these conflicts hampered John Paul's transformation into the first celebrity pope. The most photographed man of our time, John Paul appeared in Australia holding a koala bear, with painted tribal warriors in Papua New Guinea and even in a handmade white leather papal cassock with fringe in front of a Native American teepee in Canada.

In France, on one of his first trips, the local media came up with a phrase that summed up the paradox of his appeal: "The people love the singer, but they don't like the song."

From the Americas to Africa, crowds of millions attended large open-air masses to wave maniacally at the smiling pontiff in his popemobile while privately rejecting his message on sexual morality.

In his final years his strong will was put to the test by his own body. It betrayed him with the onset of Parkinson's disease — making his left hand tremble constantly and stiffening the facial muscles on his right side, giving him a stony, stern expression so removed from that of the jocular man he had been in his prime.

Still, he undertook difficult visits to Cuba and to the Holy Land and attempted several times without success to win approval for a visit to the ancient Iraqi city of Ur, the Biblical birthplace of the prophet Abraham.

His Cuban visit in 1998 helped persuade the island's communist leader, Fidel Castro, to allow more religious freedom. As he had in Poland, the pope spoke out against communism's repression of individual liberty. But Cuban society, unlike Poland, remained a web of state control despite the pope's efforts.

At the end of the century, John Paul fulfilled a lifelong dream by celebrating the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Christ — the Great Jubilee, in Vatican parlance — in Jerusalem.
The visit punctuated a long effort led by John Paul to repair relations not only with the many splintered sects of Christianity, but also with Judaism and Islam. Having broken a taboo in 1986 by making the first-ever visit by a pope to a synagogue — in this case, Rome's main synagogue — John Paul extended his ties to Judaism by meeting with the religion's top officials. He also conferred with Jerusalem's chief mufti, Islam's senior cleric in the city. And, as always, the pope waded into the political arena, prodding Palestinians and Israelis to make peace.

His death does not leave the world surprised, because it's been expected for a long time. But it does leave a moral void on the global stage that will take a strong man to fill. Because in this world, friends and foes agree, John Paul II was a superstar.

© 2007 MSNBC Interactive© 2007 MSNBC Interactive
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3276587/

John Paul II and Communism
A subtle push from Rome bears fruit in Gdansk
By Andrew Nagorski

Newsweek
Updated: 2:24 p.m. PT April 2, 2005
NEW YORK - In the early 1960s, Zenon Kliszko, the chief ideologist of the Polish Communist Party, vetoed seven candidates put forward by the Roman Catholic Church to be bishops. The party ideologist reasoned that Karol Wojtyla, who had expressed little interest in mundane politics, could be manipulated easily. This has to rank as one of the most monumental miscalculations of the 20th century.

It was still the dark days of the Cold War, and the Polish government had the power to block such appointments. Kliszko warned he would continue vetoing candidates until he got the name he wanted.

Wojtyla, who, with the Polish Communist Party's approval, was installed as archbishop of Krakow in 1964 and was elected pope 14 years later, helped unleash the forces that brought about the fall of communism. He never overtly espoused any particular political agenda, but he lived his life according to the famous saying of the 19th century Polish poet Cyprian Norwid: "A man is born on this planet to give testimony to truth." As a bishop and then as pope, Wojtyla kept urging his countrymen and everyone else to "live in truth." Nothing could be more subversive in a communist system based on lies. His credo proved to be a highly contagious idea picked up and expanded upon by dissidents like Adam Michnik in Poland and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia. The result was the flourishing of an alternative culture, including a vigorous underground press and eventually the birth of the free trade union movement Solidarity.

In his support of human rights, Wojtyla always assigned top priority to the struggle for religious freedom. He repeatedly sought to help the "silent churches," the persecuted in places like the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia and China. Sometimes, this meant bolstering underground churches, which secretly ordained priests; sometimes, it meant dispatching Polish priests, pretending to be ordinary travelers, to the Soviet Union, where they would celebrate masses in private houses. But most of the challenge was neither secretive nor conspiratorial. By talking about justice, morality and Europe's common "spiritual genealogy," Wojtyla undermined the communist system and the rationale for keeping the continent divided.

In 1979, when John Paul II was planning his first trip to his homeland after his election to the papacy, many communists had begun to realize how badly they had misread him. Soviet ruler Leonid Brezhnev warned the Polish leaders that he would "only cause trouble." A secret set of instructions sent out to teachers in Polish schools called the pope "our enemy." Later, when he barely survived the assassination attempt by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca, there were charges -- never proven -- that the Kremlin had ordered the hit. Poles saw Wojtyla's survival as a miracle. But the bigger miracle was yet to come when, inspired by his bold example, they reclaimed control of their country -- and triggered a peaceful revolution that transformed Europe and the world.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.Andrew Nagorski is a former Newsweek bureau chief in Warsaw, Poland.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3276657/


Taking shelter in Christ
Surviving Nazism and communism forged pope's resolve

By Matthew Bunson
Special to MSNBC.com
Updated: 2:24 p.m. PT April 2, 2005

Christ at the center of all things was a theme to which John Paul II returned until the very end of his life and which served as his unceasing prayer for the church and the world. On Oct. 22, 1978, only a few days after his election as pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II called upon the world: "Be not afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ. To his saving power upon the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid."

In his first major papal document, “Redemptor Hominis” ("The Savior of Man"), John Paul wrote, "Our spirit is set in one direction; the only direction for our intellect, will and heart is toward Christ our Redeemer."

This Christocentric theology had profound ramifications for the Catholic Church in the modern world as it presented humanity not in isolation from God but reaching its fullness through God's Son. By proclaiming that human dignity can be seen only in the light of Christ, John Paul II challenged modern thinking and oriented the church to defend the human person against the great threats posed to true freedom and dignity by the political and philosophical systems of the 20th century.

Karol Wojtyla had witnessed first-hand two of those dehumanizing movements, Nazism and communism. He emerged from those experiences refined and resolute that the church offered the only antidote to a spiritually arid age. John Paul saw the church not in a static defensive posture but in fidelity to the call of the Gospel to preach to all nations. As one of the most active members of the Second Vatican Council, the pope knew that the council had mandated a dialogue with the modern world. In the long conversation of his reign, he spoke for the church and apologized for the past errors of its members, pleaded for the reunion of the splintered Christian family.

He also called for unity in Christ for all, even if the world seemed unwilling or unprepared to listen. To the frustration of Western secular humanists, he rejected anew abortion, contraception and euthanasia. In the face of moral relativism, he confirmed church doctrine on both natural law and absolute moral norms as integral to the development of the authentic person. At the same time he confounded social conservatives by his opposition to the death penalty, and in his social teachings he brought the church squarely into the arena of economic development, social justice, the rights of workers, a "radical capitalistic ideology" and rampant consumerism. Beneath this oft-criticized stern and unyielding face of the pontiff's teachings, however, was a genuine optimism rooted in the Gospel.

In every instance of his teachings, he returned the church to Christ as the model for humanity, the restoration of the dignity intended by God, and the triumph over fear and sin. As he wrote in his book “Crossing the Threshold of Hope”: "The power of Christ's Cross and Resurrection is greater than any evil which man could or should fear." John Paul II preached freedom for the world — not the ephemeral freedom of material possessions and moral license of modern culture, but the liberating horizon of acknowledging the sovereignty of God. Of this liberation, the pope declared, "To accept the Gospel's demands means to affirm all of our humanity, to see it in the beauty desired by God, while at the same time recognizing, in light of the power of God Himself, our weaknesses: 'What is impossible for men is possible for God.' (Luke 18:27)."

© 2007 MSNBC InteractiveMatthew Bunson is editor of the Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3276684/


Book: John Paul Mulled Quitting Early
Pope’s ex-aide also writes of alleged Russia plot in assassination attempt

Reuters
Updated: 8:09 a.m. PT Jan 22, 2007
ROME - The late Pope John Paul II seriously considered resigning in 2000 because of his poor health and also mulled changing church law so that popes would bow out at age 80 instead of ruling for life, his ex-secretary says in a new book.

The disclosures were contained in memoirs by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the pope’s private secretary for nearly four decades.

In “A Life with Karol” to be released by Italy’s Rizzoli publishers on Wednesday, Dziwisz also writes he is convinced the Soviet Union was behind the 1981 assassination attempt on the Polish pope because he was a threat to its power.

Dziwisz recalled how Pope John Paul felt in the year 2000, when, with his health fading, he led the one billion-member Church into the new millennium.

‘He had to submit himself’
He says the pope called a meeting of his closest advisers, including then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

“He came to the conclusion that he had to submit himself to God’s will, that is, to remain (in office) as long as God wanted,” Dziwisz writes.

John Paul, the former Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, “asked himself ... if even the pope should resign from the post at age 80,” the same age at which cardinals are no longer allowed to enter a conclave to elect a new pontiff.

Dziwisz also disclosed that as his health declined, John Paul set up “a specific procedure to hand in his resignation in case he would not be able to carry out his ministry as pope to the end.”

The words by Dziwisz, who was like a son to the pope, were the clearest statement yet that John Paul had indeed considered resigning as Parkinson’s disease and other ailments took their toll, affecting his speech and ability to walk.

The last pope to resign willingly was Celestine V, who stepped down in 1294. Gregory XII reluctantly abdicated in 1415 when more than one pope was reigning at the same time.

‘Kremlin hated the pope’
In another part of the book Dziwisz recalls May 13, 1981, the day Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca shot the pope while his open jeep was being driven through St Peter’s Square at the start of a weekly general audience.

“Agca was a perfect killer,” writes Dziwisz, who was riding in the jeep with the pope at the time. “He was sent by those who thought the pope was dangerous, inconvenient, by those who feared him ...”

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the assassination attempt.

At the time of the shooting, events in the pope’s Polish homeland were starting a domino effect which was eventually to lead to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.

The pope was a staunch supporter of Poland’s Solidarity union and most historians agree he played a vital role in events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Allegations against the KGB
“How could one not have thought of the communist world (being behind the plot) ... you have to take into consideration all the elements of that scenario: the election of a pope hated by the Kremlin, his first trip back to his homeland (as pope in 1979), the explosion of the Solidarity union (in 1980).”

“Doesn’t everything lead in that direction? Don’t the paths, even if they are different, lead to the KGB?”

Last year, a report by an Italian parliamentary investigative commission said the leaders of the former Soviet Union were behind the plot and that Agca, a Turk now serving life in prison in his native country, did not act alone.

In a chapter called “The Last Hours,” Dziwisz recalls John Paul’s final moments of life on April 2, 2005, at the end of a 10-year battle with a host of ailments.

“It was 9:27 p.m. We noticed that the Holy Father stopped breathing ... some people stopped the hands of their watches at that hour.”

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12370494/


“I think we shall keep discovering how much the Holy Father worked for us and struggled for us. He spoke to us through his illness and through his suffering served to the very end ... (Without him) there would be no end of communism or at least much later and the end would have been bloody.”

— Former Polish President and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

“By combating the falsehoods of communism and proclaiming the true dignity of the individual, his was the moral force behind victory in the Cold War.”

— Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

'Scarborough Country' for April 4

SCARBOROUGH: All right, Chris Matthews, thanks so much for that report from Vatican City. We greatly appreciate it.

Now, with the passing of Pope John Paul II coming as it does, just nine months after former President Reagan, we are seeing the official end of the 21st century. That‘s what Paul Kengor, author of “God and Ronald Reagan,” writes in today‘s “National Review.” He‘s here with us now tonight live. Also with us is a presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.

Doris, let me begin with you.

You know, the pope helped to free an entire continent, helped to unify, by what he did in the early 1980s, helped to unify Germany in the late 1980s. And yet, as he dies, as we‘re celebrating his life tonight, the church that he presided over still very much divided. Is that a job that‘s too large for one man to do, to unify a billion Catholics worldwide?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I would say yes, an easy answer to that.

But I think, you know, we have to give him an extraordinary credit. When you think about the 20th century, which Paul has written about, there‘s two transforming events, World War II and then the Cold War. And the pope had a shaping event in both of those...

And then, obviously, the fact that the pope came on the scene at the same time as Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev. You know, the world is so lucky sometimes when people come together, like FDR and Churchill during World War II. And those three people at a time helped to bring about the fall of communism. So, I think Paul is right when he says there‘s this 20th century—these were the two transforming events. And this pope was central to both of them.

Dan Hunter

Pope John Paul II was the greatest Vicar of Christ of the twentieth century.
Viva Cristo Rey.

Jonathan

Jeannette,

I am truly sorry for the abuse you suffered - I'll add you to my prayers. I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea the amount of culpability that John Paul II bears for the scandal. I've heard arguments on both sides. But will credit be given to him, if we see a new dawn (renewal) among our priests? I'm already seeing some of the fruits of the "John Paul II generation" in the priesthood. I also feel that each man should be responsible for his own actions (not lumped together). I also think that the scandals here and abroad where only reflections of our own fractured society. My fear is that even after that 0.1% has been investigated the response from the two sides of the argument will be either:

a.) He's canonized: "Well, the same people that committed the scandals 'overlooked' the his role in the scandal."

- or -

b.) He's not canonized (unlikely): "Well, they gave into 'left-wing' propaganda."

I'm praying for:

c.) Canonized or not: "Guided by the Holy Spirit, they got it right. Praise God."

Esau

Joe,

I doubt it. I think one can't help but notice that there started to develop early on a cult of personality surrounding JP II. I was in Rome during one of his interreligious love-fests and watched it on TV. It was clear that JP II was the star of the event. At the end he was driven away in a limo like Elvis.


Jeb Protestant:
Now, be fair. It's funny that you should say that about JP II but fail to mention the same thing about such folks like Joel Olsteen and the like.

Jonathan

Esau makes a good point. It was only a few years ago when Rev. Billy Graham came to town. The Rolling Stones didn't garner nearly as much fanfare. And although, I disagree with some points of faith/theology with Rev. Graham, I still think he is a good man and does a great service to our Blessed Lord. He does good work and I would never begrudge him the mass appeal he receives - I only wish he'd convert to Catholicism and bring the masses with him.

Esau

Thanks Jonathan. =^)


Speaking of Billy:

“Pope John Paul II was unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years.”
— American Evangelist Billy Graham.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7369227/page/2/


Among the first to notice this new evangelical emphasis in papal preaching was another evangelist, Billy Graham, who called John Paul "the moral conscience of the West."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7370324/site/newsweek/page/3/


I guess Billy Graham was perhaps an honorary member of JP II's Personality Cult!

guess

David B.

To those who think hobby horses who don't think JP2 was holy:

If JP2 is infallibly canonized, will you:

1)Reject the canonization as invalid?

2)Leave the One, True Church?

If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, please give a conherent, logical argument (using 50 words or less) why you would believe or follow such a course of action.

Esau

To those who think hobby horses who don't think JP2 was holy:

David B.,
Uhhhh... just what are you trying to say here???
To those who think hobby horses who don't think JP2 was holy???

Jeb Protestant

I don't support the cult of personality around people like Osteen, but I don't see what this has to do with JPII.

Let's face it, if some bishop held the Assisi event, kissed the Koran, appointed liberals to high office, I doubt he would be praised, much less be canonized. But when he's the bishop of Rome, hey it's not such a big deal.

Esau

Let's face it, if some bishop held the Assisi event, kissed the Koran, appointed liberals to high office, I doubt he would be praised, much less be canonized. But when he's the bishop of Rome, hey it's not such a big deal.

Nice tactical move on your part, Jeb -- trying now to appeal to the Rad Trads.

Esau

I don't support the cult of personality around people like Osteen, but I don't see what this has to do with JPII.

Strange, I could've sworn you had said:

I think one can't help but notice that there started to develop early on a cult of personality surrounding JP II. I was in Rome during one of his interreligious love-fests and watched it on TV. It was clear that JP II was the star of the event. At the end he was driven away in a limo like Elvis.

Yet, it's so weird how you would purposefully overlook the cult of personality surrounding your fellow Protestants, such as Billy Graham.

BillyHW

John Paul II abandoned a great many of the sheep entrusted to him to the wolves. If not deliberately, then through negligence. This should be acknowledged in any honest discussion of the legacy of his papacy. The trouble is, there hasn't ever been such a discussion, and likely never will be now that all the rules have been bent to rush his canonization through.

That being said, it's probably not enough to justify preventing his canonization, since his manifest holiness and greatness in other areas of his life and pontificate present a clear case for eventual canonization.

But why the rush? It's clearly a case of cult of personality and hero worship and it isn't right.

Newman once wrote that it's not good for a pope to serve too long because exactly this kind of hero worship would develop. I hope his canonization will happen soon.

Let's face it, if some bishop held the Assisi event, kissed the Koran, appointed liberals to high office, I doubt he would be praised, much less be canonized. But when he's the bishop of Rome, hey it's not such a big deal.

American neo-Catholics (wow, that's the first time I've used that word) are utterly incapable of offering even the smallest criticism of our popes, as if it was against some canon law. I think it's because their bishops are so bad, the popes seem like angels by comparison. They also seem to want to force this attitude as a requirement on others and question the Catholicity of anyone who doesn't "think right" like they do. Most of the worst offenders are converts from evangelical protestantism. It's a childish and frankly obnoxious attitude. I hope they eventually outgrow it.

Esau

Okay, BillyHW.

You're absolutely right. You win.

We American Neo-Catholics are such a low breed of the most pitiable sort; nothing in comparison to the most noble and elite of our brethren elsewhere.

Yes, admittedly, Pope John Paul II was as hideously traitorous as Judas Isacriot himself.

JP II purposefully stationed pedophile priests in places and offices where they could have their way with their potential victims and, furthermore, even managed their escape by ensuring their relocation to other parts of the Church.

There could not have been anyone in the History of the Church so dispicable, wretched and execrable a human being as this Son of Satan himself!

BillyHW

Esau ... ?

Jeannette

"Because in this world, friends and foes agree, John Paul II was a superstar."

"None of these conflicts hampered John Paul's transformation into the first celebrity pope."
Both excerpts taken from the very lengthy MSNBC news stories above.

No one argued in this thread that John Paul the Popular wasn't a good man, on balance, but there are rather high standards for non-martyred declared saints. And even higher ones for the title "the Great". It's time for JP's groupies to recognize that, and of course, his flaws should be pointed out right now, while his cause is underway.

And I don't remember ever seeing Jeb approve of Joel Osteen's rock star treatment. Just reread how nasty the comments have gotten toward the others who disagree;

bill912

"John Paul the Popular". "JP's groupies". Yeah, comments have gotten a bit nasty. Or are these just snide and condescending?

Puzzled

Perhaps most notable was that to perhaps most American evangelicals, JPG was -the Pope-. Not merely of the Roman Catholics, but of the whole Church, as evangelicals see it. That is a remarkable thing. His holiness in the midst of his suffering has an impact that can scarce be measured.

David B.

Esau,

hehehe.... I meant to say: "to those hobby horses who don't think JP2 was holy."

Tim J.

"American neo-Catholics... are utterly incapable of offering even the smallest criticism of our popes, as if it was against some canon law... They also seem to want to force this attitude as a requirement on others and question the Catholicity of anyone who doesn't "think right" like they do."

Like who? I am one of these American Neo-Catholics (I suppose), and have disagreed with and been flummoxed by JPII on several topics, one of which - the Koran kiss - Jimmy posted about, calling it "a mistake".

That was really a bit much, Billy. Over the top.

I think it is evident JPII was a saint. I am not calling him The Great, yet, but he may earn that distinction with his Theology of the Body alone. That will only increase in importance, IMO.

Esau

Tim J.,

I am thankful once again for your voice of reason.

I, myself, have not agreed with all of the things JP II had done during the period of his papacy.

However, all in all, you cannot deny his holiness, in spite of all his human weaknesses and frailties.


As Scripture has it:

Mt 7:16 By their fruits you shall know them.


I've seen many lives from both Protestants and Catholics transformed by the goodness of this one man who, in spite of sickness, disease and even old age, he sought to do the Will of God, even unto the end of his days while here with us on earth.

Thanks Tim and others here who have paid homage to a man whose life of holiness continues to touch and transform the lives of Christians everywhere, be they Catholic or Protestant.

Even those who were non-Christian had been so touched in their lives by the very actions of this great man to the extent that they've converted to Christianity and lead a more God-fearing life.

To his detractors, I would ask that they take into consideration the entire life of JP II and not focus merely on those single instances which prove nothing more than his being all but human and not perfect.

If people can put on a pedestal such great historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, or even great saints like St. Terese, St. Augustine, St. Joan of Arc, St. Therese, and, not least, St. Peter, then we can certainly do so with John Paul II; after all, if you were to examine the lives of these others you would actually find many human failures on their part as well.

Jeb Protestant

I don't know any American evangelicals who considered JP the Naive their "pope." Most respected him for his stand on abortion and the like, but there was a great deal of criticism when he came out for evolution and put his imprimateur on higher criticism of the Bible. I have read many of his writings and found he consistently downplayed original sin. He also made von Balthasar a cardinal and appeared to accept his belief that universalism is a possibility.

I don't deny he did many good things.

Jonathan

Jeb - "JP the Naive"?

Again, how very Christian of you. If you truly have "read many of his writings", I find it hard that you would still presume him to be "naive". He may have been a great many things (perfect NOT being one of them), but he was not naive.

Putting the question of canonization aside, since you probably have issues with people being declared saints anyway, it isn't a question of him doing "many good things". It isn't a question of his level of "perfection". It is a question of whether he was truly a man of God. Most posters here know that Bl. Mother Teresa said that God doesn't ask us to be perfect, just faithful. I can't say for certain, but I *feel* in my heart that John Paul II was faithful - errors aside. I also believe that when you sum up the total of the man's works, he made a positive contribution to mankind in general, and Christianity in particular. I cannot see how anyone can reasonably deny that.

Because I consider myself of the "John Paul Generation" (is that the same as "American neo-Catholic"?), I can tell that he did play some part in my "re-version" to Catholicism. But it wasn't some misplaced "hero worship" as much as it was a profound respect for the man and his life, and an appreciation of his teachings.

There was an undefinable charisma to the man as well. I realize many of you are rolling your eyes right know, but I'm sorry it was there. Anyone who has seen the man steeped in contemplative prayer, embracing the least among us, or shaking his finger at a priest on a tarmac in South America, surely must know what I'm referring to. Even many of the "errors" leveled against him in this thread, amount to speculation on our part at best. If there exists *confirmed* miracles done in his name, then I would say one would be hard pressed to deny that he made it to heaven and isn't spending his eternity in prayer.

P.S. I wonder if von Balthasar's death 2 days before his ceremony was the Holy Spirit's way of saying "not so fast!"?

Dan Hunter

Let us recall that Our late Holy Father was put into the Chair of St. Peter by the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost is God,therefore,infallible.
Do not anger The Holy Ghost.

David B.

"there was a great deal of criticism when he came out for evolution and put his imprimateur on higher criticism of the Bible."

He didn't 'come out' for evolution. He merely said it that micro-evolution is undisputed, and that macro-evolution, while still not fully proven, can be believed by faithful Christians, provided they also believed that God created Adam and Eve as the first free-willed human beings.

bill912

Just another handy stick, David B.

Esau

I can tell that he did play some part in my "re-version" to Catholicism.

Hear, hear, Jonathan!

Though, I would ask that you refrain from the usage of the word "revert".

As a guest on the EWTN "Journey Home" program had once remarked when Marcus Grodi almost referred to him as that: "It sounds something awful! Like a horrible condition."

I don't know which word is worse: a revert or a pervert!

;^)

Christine

I look forward to 'Saint John Paul the Great'


Christine

TheWorld...IMHO

John

I think it took Pope St Pius X over 40 years to go through the entire process until he was made a saint by Pius X

I guess with the doing away of the devils advocate by JPII and his canonization of more saints in his 26 years than all Popes combined over 500 years, what is the difference

Besides, they might find he was involved in the Polish communish spy ring!

John

I of course meant Pius XII and the need to rush through this "Santo Subito" before they figure out he was a double agent like they have uncovered about John XXIII being a Mason in Turkey whom the Moslems in Turkey still adore (any conversions in Turkey yet?? Nope as the Christians are not allowed to hold office and are not even allowed to have a seminary in Turkey!)

Esau

Besides, they might find he was involved in the Polish communish spy ring!

And to think professional historians and modern scholars attribute the Fall of Communism due to efforts made by Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan.

Of course, JP II must have been working for the Communists, which might be the very reason why they wanted him assasinated in the first place!

any conversions in Turkey yet?? Nope as the Christians are not allowed to hold office and are not even allowed to have a seminary in Turkey!)

Uhh... gee... And I thought this was because it was a Muslim country and, therefore, the Christians there are oppressed by a country dominated by Muslim rule.

Esau

Wait a minute! Stop the presses!

Actually, isn't there a word to describe the status of Muslim non-believers such as Christians and Jews who are willing to live in Muslim society but must do so under a certain status that's called "Dhimmi".

Hmmmmm... let's see... I think Dhimmi are non-muslims who are typically Christians or Jews and a few others who are living in a Muslim society and are allowed to, at least, privately practice their own faith without being killed but they have to pay special taxes that Muslims don’t have to pay and they have to assume the status of 2nd Class citizens and also in the directive to subject non-believers to Muslim rule it includes an exhortation to make them feel thoroughly subdued and so they have to be in a rather abject condition.

Gee... I think if I read the above, I may have learned something today about Muslim Non-believers who live in a Muslim Society and perhaps the very reason why they are not allowed to hold office and so forth!

Esau

like they have uncovered about John XXIII being a Mason in Turkey

Oh, please!

John,

You're just as bad or, better yet, considering that you and your cohorts are actually Catholics (at least, by name), worse than all anti-Catholics out there.

Don't think I haven't run across your society's tracts on the current Catholic Church being merely a headquarters for masonry and that Vatican II was nothing more than a vehicle for such tyranny.

Your guys are the Rad Trad equivalent of Jack Chick!

John

Esau

I guess you missed the entire point as you usually do

If ecumania as promulgated by John XXIII and contiued to today was supposed to reach out by watering down the Catholic faith, now teaching that we should aspire to search for all truths in all faiths (even Scientologists to I guess, there is going to need to be a Vatican III!!) would have such a great influence on the world, John XXIII's stint in Turkey obviously proves that a man who served as Bishop there, has Masonic ties and fraternized with all of the Moslems could not even convert the country to Jesus

Monumental failure!

Esau

I guess you missed the entire point as you usually do

You must be looking in the mirror.

Monumental failure!

My words exactly! You truly are!

Esau

By the way, I did tell you that I used to attend Tridentine Rite masses in the past when it was offered, didn't I???

Why do you think I have access to certain circulars from your groups that happen to visit my doorsteps on a periodic basis (for some odd reason), which does nothing but attempt to promulgate all these masonic theories (i.e., excrements) about the current Catholic Church in almost the very same way you do here on this blog!

Esau

John XXIII's stint in Turkey obviously proves that a man who served as Bishop there...could not even convert the country to Jesus

Strange... I seem to remember that in the 13th century, St. Francis of Assisi ventured into Muslim territory to visit the caliph of Egypt and preach the Gospel and, yet, even he, one of the most holy of our Catholic Saints, could not even convert him and his country as well!

Esau

As usual, John (JtNOVA), you only pay attention to the filth you write but never to the details of those of your opponents and, thus, with all the information served to you from here and the past by even others who have attempted to dispel your ignorance and hate, you remain, as you are, a bitter wretch who seeks only to ruin holy folk by sheer calumny and the like!

John

Esau

You posted 4x in response to one of my posts

Calm down-we can discuss this with intellect and church teachings

What I have though on my side is 1962 years to fall back on-those like yourself think the church only started after Vatican II-which if you looked at it today you probably would think so as it does not uphold anything from the past anymore with new catechism, canon law, mass, customs, bible, even how they canonize saints as JPII watered that down as well

I do have heartache for what once was and will continue to try to restore all things back in Christ as we all should

Esau

...think the church only started after Vatican II

John:
Let me be honest here with you. I certainly do not very much like the current trends which we have come to witness today in several of our Catholic churches, which have been, as I've mentioned previously, brought about by rogue clergy and laity.

However, that does not give license to any so-called son (or daughter, for that matter) of the Church to start maligning the Church and spreading outrageous rumors and lies regarding it in order to advance their own agenda. What makes such a person better than the Anti-Catholic who does the same? The very fact that such a person claims to be Catholic would mean that s/he abides by the Truths of the Catholic Faith no matter the cross to bear.

Yet, you arrive here with your scurrilous accusations and flimsy assumptions which seeks to spread what can only be considered as utter falsehood just so that you can promote your own personal objectives over those of the Church's merely because the Church fails to fulfill your personal preference of what the Church should be. Yet, isn't this ever reminiscent of Martin Luther? And, in fact, it goes to explain the rationale of most of our seperated brethren who even today continue to break off from their main churches in order to found their own so that they can have one that's according to their personal preferences, until we arrive at the situation that is before us with the thousands of denominations (33,830 in a 2001 count) that we've come to today!

In our time together here on this blog, how many instances have we visited and re-visited articles of faith, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, various Church documents, etc. only to discover that in the end, you have not even read a word of these to your benefit but, rather, preferred to cling so obstinately to these lies that you've deceived yourself to be true. If you will not open your eyes to the Truth and accept the command of Christ concerning obedience to Him and His Church (Mt 18:17).

The blessed and noble Paul lays down a law for all in the name of Christ, who speaks through him. 'Be obedient to those who have the rule over you, and be subject to them' (Hebrews 13.7). For they care for you and will be held responsible for your souls. I, the least of men, yet have confidence that you will accept our requests as a divine word from God, not from men.

Jonathan

John,

So which "new" Catechism are you referring to: the Roman (1566: note that's over 1,500 years after the death of Christ), the Baltimore (1885), or the "newest" (1997)?

The mass? Can I assume your attending the traditional mass in Greek? Latin's a little too new for me, I'll need to give it more time.

The Bible? Again, can I assume that you are reading original sources in Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic?

So when/if Bl. Mother Theresa is canonized, she'll have been watered down?

Esau

... then you are no loyal son of the Church whatsoever.

Heb 13:17 Obey your prelates and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls: that they may do this with joy and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you. (Duoay Rheims)

David B.

John,

Isn't John XXIII a "blessed" now? doesn't that mean he ain't in hell? You seem to think he was evil, so will you reject his possible canonization?

John

Jonathan

There was no "official" catechism until 1885 with the Baltimore as the faithful officially abided by the teachings of the church which of course were not tainted by Modernim, Humanism and a Pope who many espouse to be his greatest achievement is his travel and an encyclical called "theology of the Body" whose content is based on humanistic teachings and is perverse in many ways as its content is full of the typical vague content that he and the V2 documents are known for


As far as Mother Teresa, she participated in Hindu ritual which is pagan as far as I can recall and for all the time she spent in India have any Hindus found Christ or was she abiding by her orders and finding what is good in all faiths and not try to convert these pagans? IF that deserves sainthood as compared to the many martyrs who died for the cause and name of Jesus Christ, his teachings uncompromised and unsoiled

Inocencio

John,

How many people have found Christ from you?

Please give us the number of people who have converted because of your example of humility, piety and charity which obviously you receive from attending the Tridentine Rite.

As for the Theology of the Body I challenge you to actually read it (not just about it on all the crazy websites you cut and paste from) and compare it to Dietrich von Hildebrand's Love, Marriage and the Cathoic Conscience. Both Pope JP II and Dietrich von Hildebrand have the same understanding of the Sacrament of Matrimony and spousal love. Or is Dietrich von Hildebrand also not worth of your charity and respect?

The third edition is out and the 128 page introduction alone is worth the price of the book. Read the book to see just how ignorant you are about JPII's teaching.

There was no "official" catechism until 1885

One last thought why do you assume you have the authority to declare and define what is offical?

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

...have any Hindus found Christ or was she abiding by her orders and finding what is good in all faiths and not try to convert these pagans?


John:

You have no conscience whatsoever.

You have gone to the extent of even maligning the character of an actual saint who had lived in our midst and had devoted her entire life to the poor and who personally suffered the horrible conditions of poverty in India all the while trying to help all those in need there!

Do you even know how many Hindus converted to Catholicism because of Mother Teresa???

You actually dare to spread utter lies about a genuine saint as Mother Teresa herself???

By your latest actions here, certainly, you are no Catholic and not even a Son of God; for only the devil can be so wicked and vicious enough to purposely attack a saint of God!

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.

Inocencio

John,

I would highly recommend you prayerfully read the thirteenth chapter of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Mary Kay

Esau, I've guessing that Jimmy allows John's rantings so that people can see for themselves what happens when someone thinks he's more Catholic than the Pope.

Esau

It seems John was right -- Mother Teresa was nothing but a pagan worshipper who promoted paganism over Christianity! No wonder her nuns are carrying out her legacy in the manner below!

India: Police Detain Mother Teresa Nuns On Charges Of Attempted Conversion

Reproduced with permission of United Catholic Asian News (UCAN)

HYDERABAD, India, June 28, 2006 (UCAN) -- Indian police detained four Missionaries of Charity (MC) nuns on charges of attempting to convert people when the nuns visited a government-run hospital in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The nuns were on a regular visit to Ruia hospital in Tirupati town, a popular Hindu pilgrimage center, 2,060 kilometers south of New Delhi.

Police detained the nuns in the hospital on the evening of June 25 and later took them to a police station, keeping them there until 10:30 p.m. Christian leaders say police acted at the request of a fanatic Hindu group.

Sister Rosaria, regional superior of the congregation, which Blessed Teresa of Kolkata founded, told UCA News the nuns have been visiting the hospital regularly for the past 20 years and provide medicine to poor patients who cannot afford it.

On June 25 , however, about 50 people, some with video cameras, approached the four nuns and accused them of trying to convert patients, Sister Rosaria said. The crowd swelled to about 300, and the nuns were kept in the hospital until around 8.30 p.m., after which they were taken to a police station.

Sister Maria, another local MC nun, said the Hindu activists probably "have not understood who we are and what we do."

Tirupati is in the territory of Cuddapah diocese, whose head, Bishop Doraboina Moses Prakasam, was away in Germany at the time of the incident. A diocesan source said Bishop Prakasam had contacted Archbishop Marampudi Joji of Hyderabad for help with the matter. Hyderabad, 600 kilometers north of Tirupati, is the state capital.

Archbishop Joji, who heads the Catholic Church in the state, termed the incident a "violation of human rights" and an "infringement on the nuns' religious freedom." At a press conference on June 26, the archbishop said the police had also flouted a Supreme Court directive that women should not be taken into custody between sunset and sunrise.

G. Alfred, executive secretary of Andhra Pradesh Christian Federation, told the press conference that the incident was part of increasing harassment of Christians by fanatic Hindu groups.

Alfred later told UCA News that activists of Hindu Dharma Parirakshana Samithi (forum for protecting the Hindu religion) engineered the crowd at the hospital. He said some of them verbally abused the nuns and even threatened to make the nuns wear saffron clothes like Hindu religious personnel do.

The Christian federation demanded that the government probe the incident and act against those who took the nuns to the police station. It also said Christian groups "cannot be mute spectators" to such abuses and threatened to launch a statewide stir if the government failed to act.

Father Antoniraj Thumma, another official of the federation, told UCA News a delegation of Christian leaders would soon meet Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to press for government action. The Catholic priest said the federation would also take up the matter with the federal Minorities Commission as well as with the federal Women's Commission.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Association of Hyderabad, which had a meeting June 26, expressed shock at the incident and demanded immediate action against the violators, its general secretary, James Sylvester, told UCA News.

See related lifesitenews.com coverage:

Cardinal Varkey Says "Forced Conversion" Laws Really About Stopping All Conversions
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jun/06062012.html

Indian Church Leaders Respond to Anti-Christian Violence and “Forced Conversion Laws”
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jun/06062011.html

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