Saints Pope John XXIII and John Paul II: pray that we may be given far better Popes than you both were.
Thanks to the stupidity of our not-so-beloved V II clergy, Catholics the world over are going to be put to a hard test in four days' time.
I have already written on the matter, and have since not found any evidence to the contrary that the infallibility of the canonisations concerns merely the fact that the canonised person is in Heaven. In other words, neither the heroic virtues nor being, say, a halfway acceptable Pope are infallible requirements for the purpose.
Which makes a lot of sense. If Joan of Arc is canonised, must the English become supporters of France? Does the canonisation make of Celestine V a good Pope? And where exactly would the heroic virtue to be seen in St. Dismas for pretty much the entire duration of his life, and his chosen, ahem, profession, bar those hours on the Golgotha? Did Christ ask him to pass a decade-long trial, and prove a life of heroic virtue? No, he made Dismas santo subito instead.
Or let us look at the other side and let us say canonisations are not, and have never been, infallible. What are they then: pious suggestions? Strong hints that someone might be in heaven? “Oh dear Padre Pio, unless the Pope was wrong, please intercede for me!” Hhmmm, doesn't sound like much to me…
“Oh, but you must pick one about whom you are persuaded! Then it will be all fine!” some of you might say. But come on, if it comes to that then it is our personal opinion that really counts, and the entire concept of canonisations crumbles. Say: I do not need any Pope to be practically persuaded that Pius XII is in heaven. Padre Pio had a mystical vision of him in heaven, and Padre Pio's conviction is good enough for me every day of the week. But there is no need for canonisation for that. Barring the obvious concept that in the end only God decides, people didn't need to wait for St Francis' canonisation in order to have an extremely strong degree of confidence that he was in heaven, either.
No. If you ask me, Canonisations can only reasonably mean, if we want to give them the sense most Catholics have always given to them, that in this matter God will not allow mistakes. Because if He did, then there would never be any additional security given by the canonisation, and we would all go back to the “servant of God” scenario: the dearly departed was a very saintly man because of abundant and widely proved examples, and it is therefore very probable that he is in heaven. Unless we are mistaken. Which we could be. Always. Even if he is canonised. Does this make sense? Is this reasonable? Are we of such little faith that we start to doubt God's work whenever things happen we do not like?
Or look at it from the other side: if JP II is not in heaven, why would God allow a canonisation that is, has always been and will always be considered by most Catholics a most solemn, infallible assurance of beatific vision, and company with God? Would God not protect this pious belief, or prevent it from taking such solid roots in the Christian thinking? How can it be that the belief in the infallibility of canonisation – though not, properly speaking, dogmatically declared – could spread in such a way and be so strong after 2000 years? Why would, for example, God have allowed that the canonisation be extended beyond, so to speak, historically safe, “certified” martyrs?
It does not make sense to me. It is like stating that God has allowed the Church to believe what is wrong for 2,000 years. At this point, everything that has not been dogmatically and infallibly declared could be questioned, too, because hey: if it's not officially infallible, then it's everyone's guess.
I rather think this: that if either John or John Paul are not in heaven, the Holy Ghost has inspired Francis not to proceed with the canonisations, but Francis has, with typical stubborn rebellion, decided it was all merely a chimaera of his fantasy, a bad mood of an impressionable old man. And then in the next very few days he will have to die, or will be put in the impossibility of proceeding to the canonisations; because God allows Francis to fool men; but He Himself, He will not be fooled.
Rejoice, therefore. If these disgraceful – because of the message they send, and the V II propaganda they are meant to encourage – canonisations are a lie, the lie will not come to pass, and we might get rid of a disastrous Pope to boot. If they come to pass, they aren't a lie, and we will do what we as Catholics do: believe, obey, and be glad for other people's blessings.
Which does not mean you have to approve this or that Pontificate.
No one ever asked you to approve of highway robbery because of St. Dismas, either.
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.
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.
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.
One of the many mistakes of modern thinking is the inability to assess goodness in its proper light. This in turn causes a tragic inability to understand who the really good people are.
It is traditional Christian teaching that God’s goodness is, so to speak, the sum total of both His Mercy and His Justice. On the human and practical level, this always implied the obvious concept that one can’t be good if he isn’t also able to enforce good behaviour, or to defend what is good with more than words. The idea that the Crusades be “not good” would have never entered the mind of people able to properly assess goodness.
Not so today. You will notice everywhere – and most tragically, in the thinking of many Catholics – that for very many “good” means “harmless”. If one is ready to punish, he can’t be really “good”. Goodness has become spineless thinking and behaviour, the non-violent, Gandhi-crap that has been polluting Western society for too long.
Popes are, unfortunately, a tragic example of this new thinking. Popes like Pius IX, Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII were good in that they were not only good men, but able enforcers. In contrast, the last Popes have all been bad enforcers, and their “goodness” has now become synonymous with the inability to act as a Pope should. Modern Popes are Gandhis in a white tunic: perfectly harmless, photogenic, and utterly innocuous for the Church hierarchy.
The first example of this was John XXIII, whose nickname il Papa buono (the good-hearted Pope) is due to his utter inability to do much else than being pious.
The Vatican Council he naively started was out of control only weeks into it, and there were no consequences. Theologians censured or silenced until a very few years before took over proceedings well before his death, and again there was no reaction. The very idea of the Council was thrown over board very rapidly, and one would almost think it I possible the Pope who called the Council is the one who presided over its highjacking.
How can such an irrelevance be good? It can only if one is drink with the kook-aid of the new times, of peace and dialogue as supreme values, with Gandhi instead of Christ as the guiding light.
Pope John XXIII certainly was a saintly man, with a very good heart. But he was the first of he ones to confuse “good” and “harmless”.
We pay the consequences still today.
Below, some chosen lines out of a Vatican document of the past (feel free to skip at will 😉 ):
The Church […] values especially the Greek and Latin languages in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold.
But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.
And since in God’s special Providence this language united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire — and that for so many centuries — it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See. Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity for the Christian peoples of Europe.
Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among Peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all.
Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin formal structure. Its “concise, varied and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity” makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.
For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority “as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws.”
She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are the better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate the more easily with Rome and with one another.
Thus the “knowledge and use of this language,” so intimately bound up with the Church’s life, “is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons”.
“For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time … of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.”
[..] Latin [..] is set and unchanging. It has long since ceased to be affected by those alterations in the meaning of words which are the normal result of daily, popular use. Certain Latin words, it is true, acquired new meanings as Christian teaching developed and needed to be explained and defended, but these new meanings have long since become accepted and firmly established.
[..] the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular.
In addition, the Latin language “can be called truly catholic.” It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed “a treasure … of incomparable worth”.
It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching. It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity.
I could go on, but I think that you get the gist: this is a passionate praise of the inestimable value of Latin and of its being the only possible preferred choice for the Universal Church.
Who is the author of this? The strong anti-modernist Crusader St. Pius X perhaps? The rigid Dobermann (said in a good sense) of Orthodoxy Pius XI? Or maybe the severe, solemn, saintly diplomatic Pius XII?
None of these, dear readers. This is all taken from Veterum Sapientia, the Apostolic Constitution “on the Promotion of the Study of Latin” authored by…. John XXIII and promulgated with great pomp just a few months before the beginning of the Second Vatican Catastrophe!
This Apostolic Constitution gives you all the scale of the subversion of traditional Catholic mentality (not talking of dogmas here, merely of the general outlook on life) perpetrated during and after Vatican II. The clear impression is that V II itself has been a subversion of the very traditional “Spirit of pre-V II” which had been the basis for the preparation of the very Council; and that after the conclusion of V II, a new wave of subversion started, with the forces of demolition now unleashed and determinedly bent on subverting V II itself.
Veterum Sapientia dates February 1962. Only five years later Vatican II itself was being happily demolished by the new orgy of renewal at all cost. The Aggiornamento was eating his own children.
In my eyes, this bears two lessons for us:
1) once you begin to play with ideas of Aggiornamento, you open a Pandora’s box of great devastating power.
2) If such a great amount of devastation could be executed in just a few years without leading to the disintegration of the Church, I can’t see why a comparable amount of restoration should not be possible within the same timeframe. The Church is not a fragile LibCon coalition government needing protection from every jolt. It is a rather stabile, rock-solid institution under the protection of the Holy Spirit.
The Church has survived a great amount of falsity and heretical infiltrations. There is no limit to the amount of Truth it can withstand.