The Canonisation of V II

Renaissance Prince Pope Pius XII, pray for us!

Together with the new Encyclical, the Holy Father today announced the canonisation of both John Paul II and John XXIII. In the case of the latter, the Pope waived the usual requirement for a second miracle.

My limited understanding of these things tells me that canonisations are a matter of infallibility; therefore, the day the Pope decides to canonise Annibale Bugnini, or Pope Leo X, I will shut up and believe they are both in Heaven. So much easier is to get accustomed to the idea of the two men slated for canonisation, whose personal piety and saintliness is not questioned. The matter of infallibility also has as corollary that the Holy Ghost will strike Pope Francis dead if John XXIII is not in heaven, which in my book is guarantee enough the Holy Father has read the file with a certain attention.

In fact, I consider such canonisations, in themselves, very encouraging for the likes of us, because whilst great Saints of the past come to us with an aura of granitic heroism, the limits of the earthly decisions and actions of the two new saints are very evident to everyone with some attitude to thinking, particularly concerning the Koran-kissing, Buddha-on-the-altar, Pray-with-infidels John Paul II. If, therefore, one can commit such impious acts and still manage – after suitable contrition, no doubt – to land straight to Heaven without a more or less painful and prolonged stop in Purgatory, there is some bigger hope for us not so pious, but less sacrilegious sinners to, at least, avoid hell.

What is not only bad, but of course very bad are two intended consequences of these canonisations.

1. The V II crowd will desperately try to smuggle personal saintliness for the canonisation of V II itself; which is bollocks, but just what the Argentinian doctor ordered. Can't wait for the beatification of all the VII heavyweights from Rahner to Meisner.

2. Pope Venerable Pius XII is still waiting – I mean, he is not waiting; but we are; though in a sense we aren't, either – for the beatification, for which leaked information published on this blog state the beatification mass prayer is ready, a clear sign the procedure has been concluded. It strikes one as odd – but again, also as normal – that the Pastor Angelicus is forgotten in this way. I suspect his old habit of praying (and counting! counting!! I kid you not!) rosaries sits badly with the current Pontiff; besides the fact that Pope Pius XII was, clearly, very much the “Renaissance Prince”…

What, therefore, these canonisations mean for the likes of us? They mean that we must, in our little circle of half-Catholics, agnostics and utter infidels, explain that not being canonised does not mean not to be in Heaven; that the soul in Heaven is past any care whether he is canonised or not, much less when; and that the decision to canonise a saint is also a political one (because a Pope can decide a certain canonisation is not opportune, for example, whilst another one is). From such decision we can see, for example, which direction a Pope wants to give to his reign, but not who was the saintlier man, much less the better Pope.

Let us rejoice, then, at the news of two very questionable Popes (I mean obviously: questionable qua Popes) in Heaven. I wish heaven to people I strongly dislike, I will have no difficulty whatever in exulting at he canonisation of two saintly men.

The obviously planned canonisation of Vatican II is, of course, a different matter altogether. Actually, the canonisations call for more frequent cannon work, as you can be sure the pansies will now stage a full scale program of celebration.

Thinking of which, yours truly is even tempted to think the decision to proceed to these new canonisations has been precipitated by the utter indifference with which the Catholic world has (not) greeted the anniversary of V II; an indifference calling for measures which, from a purely political point of view, reek of desperation. As if two, or twenty, canonisations could make right what is wrong.

Vatican II must die, and die will it one day.

In the meantime, let us rejoice. They made it straight, we can make it in instalments.



Posted on July 5, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. vermontcrank1

    Dear Mundabor. Most will prolly think yours is a courageous statement but I think you prolly think it is a statement necessary, just, and Catholic.

    Kudos. I am with you four square.

    • Thank you, Sir.

      Like you, I think it is the only attitude a Catholic can have, if he does not want to be just another sort of cafeteria Catholic.


  2. Mundabor,
    Given current trends in the Church, twenty years from now, we will have a complete list of every prominent supporter of Vatican II who made it the heaven… 😉

    I do hope that these two Popes did, in fact, attain salvation, and after they have been canonized, I will obviously believe it. Somehow, even if I do not understand it, God will have led them to heaven. But still, how can you be saved if you pray to demons (which is what the pagan false gods are, according to Scripture) or at least encouraged others to do so in a Catholic Church, did so in a very public way, and never repented of it? If you misled millions of people in your pastoral care into believing serious errors? Somehow, God must have done it, but it is obviously far above my pay grade to understand. (Unless he repented shortly before death, without having had the opportunity to renounce his actions in public.)

    After the canonizations are done, the only thing that will remain to be said about them is “Roma locuta, causa finita”.

    • Oh, I think it’s very simple: repentance, and sufficient indulgences. Actually, it’s the beauty of it. From the fact that it has happened one draws a consolation, rather than a doubt.

      Or you can see it in this way: once the doubt is not allowed anymore, the only possible explanation is the Catholic one.


      P.S. If the Pope dies before the appointed day, all this will have to be rewritten…

  3. I have always considered this mad rush to canonise the Vatican II Popes ill-advised. The indecent haste smacked more of a denial of the ensuing crisis and justification of the Council – ” a new springtime” and all that garbage. Its seems so self-serving and I think devalues the process of canonisation. There is wisdom in the rigours of the older process which served the Church well for centuries and the end product was solid and free from the taint of political correctness. The passage of an appropriate amount of time and the requirement of three (as far as I remember) approved major miracles builds a gravitas into the process which compels one to take it with the utmost seriousness. I don’t doubt that these Popes are in heaven (since the Church tells me they are and I pray that for all) but the process of canonisation must be seen to be utterly detached and objective for it serves a noble purpose – the radical and heroic imitation of Christ in the life of a soul, proposed as a model for others – and so it must be truly free from and seen to be from “manipulation” to justify failed strategies.

  4. awkwardcustomer

    “The matter of infallibility also has as corollary that the Holy Ghost will strike Pope Francis dead if John XXIII is not in heaven …”

    Could say a bit more about this, give some background to it? I have never heard this teaching before. If I am reading it correctly, this statement implies that a Pope who tries to canonise someone who is not in heaven will be struck down dead by the Holy Ghost.


    • I see it as a corollary of the infallibility of canonisations. The Holy Ghost will not allow anyone who is not in heaven to be canonised. Therefore, he will simply inspire the Pope not to canonise the person. But if the Pope partout insist in wanting to canonise him, then the Holy Ghost will have to stop him in a different way, in order for the promise of infallibility to hold true.

      It is the same as papal infallibility in matter of faith and doctrine. The Holy Ghost won’t allow it to happen, and if a Pope goes against the Holy Ghost then it still the Holy Ghost won’t allow it to happen. With this second hypothesis there is, though, the possibility of sedevacantism open, because we would be able to see whether the Pope is proclaiming an heretical “wannabe dogma”. With the canonisations there isn’t, so I can’t imagine any other way the Holy Ghost’s promise can hold true.


  5. Caro Mundabor,

    Vatican 2 is bad, and must die; Novus Ordo is good, but must also die. Right?

  6. awkwardcustomer

    Thanks for your reply. This discussion has helped sort a few things out in my mind. If canonizations are infallible, and if the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II go ahead, then we are obliged to accept that both are saints in heaven.

    If canonizations aren’t sacramental, is it correct to say that the authority to confer sainthood comes through papal infallibility. It doesn’t depend upon the process and rituals employed in declaring an individual to be a saint in heaven, which have changed over the centuries anyway. Some traditionalists draw attention to the lessening rigour of the process since Vatican II to question the infallibility of these canonizations, but how can this be a valid argument?

    Instead, we are obliged to believe that a canonised Saint is in heaven because the Holy Ghost will not allow a person not in heaven to be canonized. Is that the gist of the argument? If so, it seems pretty straightforward, now at least. Of course the Holy Ghost has a range of interventions at His disposal – paralysis, striking deaf and dumb, lightening strikes etc.

    • The lessening of the rigidity is valid only by half, in that it can certainly be said that the rigidity of the process makes it easier for the faithful to accept the infallibility of canonisations; but accept it they must, because infallible they are.

      If I think of the past, I seem to remember St. Francis was canonised just a couple of years after death, with nothing of the extremely expensive and complex procedures used today. In even earlier centuries, it must have gone in a similar way in many other cases.

      I do not see the problem by canonisations, that are infallible; but by beatifications, that aren’t. Beatifications truly runs the risk of becoming a joke, as the absence of the “devil’s advocate” and the absence of infallibility seriously undermine the credibility of the process. This is, by the way, an innovation of John Paul II, soon to be canonised.


  7. The whole rush to canonisation reminds me of the Empress Livia, in “I Claudius” as a “sad old lady who has done monstrous things, and is so afraid of Hades that she begs her grandson and great grandson to make her a goddess so she can escape her punishment.

    That said – the gates of the Underworld cannot hold out against the Church – and there have always been political saints, like Joan of Arc.

    • Englishmen don’t do much Jean of Arc, it seems… 😉 But yes, whilst it is clear all canonised saints are in heaven, there is a political background in the choice of one over another. If I were Pope, the beatification causes of the likes of Fulton Sheen and obviously Pope XII would go on full steam… 😉


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