Reverse Cafeteria Catholics

No, Sir. You can't have the infallibility of canonisations removed...

No, Sir. You can’t have the infallibility of canonisations removed…

One reads around (not on this blog, happily) the comments about the impending canonisations, and can’t avoid being shocked.

I am sure there are out there people who criticise the mad nuns for being against male priesthood, but think they have the right to question who is in heaven. 

Last time I looked, canonisation was a matter of infallibility. Besides being what the Church teaches, it makes sense. If the Church authorised us to think that a canonised saint is not in heaven, canonisations wouldn’t make any sense anymore. It stands to reason that if canonisations are to have the value the Church attaches to them (you may pray such and such for help, say, with the certainty he or she is in heaven), then they must be infallible. If they aren’t infallible, then they don’t make sense. But this is also, in the end, idle talk. Canonisations are infallible because the Church says they are.

I struggle, therefore, to understand those who keep mentioning the Koran kissed by the late Pope John Paul II, or the atrocious liturgical abuses, or the inaction in front of the priest scandals, or the selective blindness – in good faith, of course – towards people he trusted like Maciel, as if these were in any way evidence this canonisation is “wrong”. A Sedevacantist might think so and still call himself coherent, but everyone else cannot think so and not call himself a Sedevacantist.

Canonisations are infallible, as is the teaching about male priesthood. Those who think they know better in matters of canonisations (without clearly saying they believe the sea is vacant) aren’t more Catholic than the mad nuns who think they know better in the matter of male priesthood.

Therefore, the question is not that Pope JP II could not have gone to heaven after kissing the Koran, & Co., but that he most certainly managed to get to Heaven after doing it. Obviously, and if Catholicism is to have sense at all, he will have repented. But to rebel to infallible teaching just because we don’t like the consequences is just what a mad nun would do.

We know JP II did manage to get to heaven, because the Church says so.

That’s it.

It doesn’t make sense to harp with the “ifs” and the “buts”. It doesn’t make sense to say that if one doesn’t “understand”, then it might not be so. Every “if” and every “but” simply dies in front of the infallibility of canonisations. 

What we say we are, we must also be. We say we are Catholics. This means we believe everything that the Church believes, and profess everything that the Church professes. The infallibility of canonisations is not an innovation of V II that some evil prelate suddenly wants to smuggle as infallible doctrine. on the contrary, it is part and parcel of the way the Church understands Herself.  

Don’t be a reverse cafeteria Catholic.


Posted on July 6, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I suppose:

    ‘Canonise in haste, repent at leisure,

    Can not apply?

    • 😉

      yes in a sense it can, I’d say…

      We can’t question the truthfulness of the canonisation, but we can certainly question its opportunity at this moment, and the message it gives.

      One can, though, have some hopes that future generations will see JP II mainly as a staunch defender of the unborn life, and John XXIII as a Pope who died thinking he had done something smart, but clearly hadn’t…


  2. I’m pretty sure if papa Roncalli saw what hat happened after the coucil, and saw what what was done to the mass, he would probably drop dead on the spot.

  3. I have heard mention of these canonizations pushing some to sedevacantism, but I’ve yet to see someone take that plunge myself. I pray that the heavenly intercession of these new saints reunites Catholics.

    • Well at least it would be a halfway coherent position. It’s the idea that there is a Pope and the Holy Ghost allows him to get it wrong that is astonishing.


  4. vermontcrank1

    As it is the case that because it is so big that it can be ignored, a much neglected fact of modernity is that the information we have about others (albeit superficial and lacking any context) is much greater than the information we had about others in the past;

    And as it is the case that the Just man sins seven times daily;

    Therefore, shut the hell-up and act like a Catholic.

  5. As I recall, Saint Peter had serious human flaws. At one point, if memory serves, Christ went so far as to call him “Satan”. What matters is the state of one’s soul at death.

  6. I’ll admit to be troubled by these canonizations, in the sense that I believe rather strongly they are being made at this time, and together, in an attempt to “canonize” the Council. There is little surprise to me that these canonizations are announced within a year or so of the doctrinal talks between the Vatican and SSPX coming to an end.

    It’s also amazing how all the leaks stopped as soon as Papa Benedict announced his resignation.

    But I am with you, Mundabor, when Holy Mother Church says so and so is a Saint, then I believe it. Otherwise, I would no longer be Catholic. Who am I to know better? And even if Blessed Pope John Paul II made the process of canonization much different (less stringent?) by eliminating the devil’s advocate role, that doesn’t make the canonizations any less valid, for that role has not always existed in the history of the Church.

    I thank you for your very reasonable comments on this matter.

    • It can also be that Pope Jorge is smarter in the choice of his collaborators, and more feared.

      Pope Benedict wasn’t feared by his own butler. Not a good recipe to avoid leaks.

      I have a hunch in private Pope Francis is one not to be messed about.

      Pope Benedict was, basically, a professor asked to be Pope, so in many things that have to do with “leading”, with “being the boss”, he was a fish out of the water. The leaks were the most dramatic evidence of that.

      As to the canonisations, it’s not that people stopped going to heaven because of V II (thankfully), so I personally will rejoice for the two new saints, and refuse to give any endorsement to V II for that.


%d bloggers like this: