The Church is suffering her worst crisis since the Protestant Reformation
“The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals.”
Joseph Ratzinger, Faith and the Future, 1969.
Pope Pius XII died in 1958. Below are statistics at his death.
The Church was thriving in faith and in numbers and there was no necessity for a council. The purpose of a council is to define doctrine, reaffirm truths of the Faith, and eradicate heresy.
What was needed was not a council, but a systematic study of the 20th Century’s astonishing advance in scientific knowledge and its connection to Divine Revelation. This knowledge was incomprehensible to all but the most learned scientific minds. The very nature of space, time and our material world had been shown to exist in states that defied past understandings. But, the Holy Office had banned the teachings of those priests who were at the forefront of this new understanding, as Henri de Lubac, Teilhard de Chardin, Yves Congar and Jean Danilou.
— my website on Teilhard de Chardin – https://tcreek1.jimdofree.com/
THE CRISIS WAS TRIGGERED BY THE COUNCIL AND THE THREE POPES WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS IMPLEMENTATION.
Pope John XXIII, 76, was an utterly unexpected choice but was elected pope on October 28, 1958. To the surprise and consternation of many, he called for an ecumenical council in January of 1959. He opened Vatican Council II in October of 1962. Pope John XXIII died on June 3, 1963.
Pope Paul VI was elected pope on June 21, 1963. He closed Vatican Council II in December of 1965.
Pope Paul died on August 6, 1978.
Pope John Paul I was elected pope in August, 1978 and died 1 month later.
Pope John Paul II was elected pope on October 16, 1978. He endorsed the teachings of the council. He died on April 2, 2005.
Estimates and polls indicate that 400 million Catholics left the Faith during the reign of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II. Of the 1 billion Catholic in the world, around 70% faithfully attended Mass each week before Vatican II. After Vatican II the attendance was around 30% depending on the country. Popes and bishops gave no effective response. It seemed that as long as their bureaucracies continued to function, that was the extent of their responsibilities. Vatican II was force-fed to the laity and now seems more absurd than ever.
To realize that Vatican II was a failure, all you need do is look at the devastation in the Church today. The One True Church established by Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls, has been turned into a social service organization. The Church of my youth, the Church of the ages, no longer exists in the form in which it was founded.
Until the 1960s the Catholic Church in Europe and the Americas was experiencing an almost unprecedented growth and expansion. Catholic seminaries were packed and new ones were being opened. Almost all regions of Europe and the Americas had high birth rates. Catholic birth rates were substantially higher than among Protestants.
The Catholic population explosion came to a rapid end in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The demographic collapse was accompanied by the wholesale abandonment of the faith by vast numbers of Catholics. The collapse in practice and birth rates caused by contraception began within five years of the Council’s close and the implementation of its reforms. Priests and religious by the thousands abandoned their vocations. The Catholic Church experienced a mass apostasy unprecedented in its history.
In 1970 a new edition of the Roman Missal was published replacing the 1962 Tridentine Missal. This drastic change was forced on the laity who neither desired nor understood the changes. Much of the content of the new missal can only be described as watered-down doctrine, music, and ceremony.
Almost overnight, the ordinary Catholic saw the sweeping away of traditions and practices that had endured for centuries. Latin, the language of church liturgy since the time of Constantine and earlier, was replaced by the vernacular. Gregorian chant and traditional church music was replaced by a variety of protestant and secular hymns. Singers and musicians abandoned the choir loft to give performances near the altar in competition with the Mass.
“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. ” Pope Benedict XVI (Spirit of the Liturgy page 198)
Reception under both species was permitted by bishops and used as an excuse for Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. The reception of the Blood of Christ had been reserved for ordained ministers for a thousand years. It had been a sacrilege in my youth for a layperson to touch the Host.
“If any one saith that the precept of God or by necessity of salvation all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist: let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent)
“The most Holy Eucharist is to be given only under the form of bread.” (1917 Code of Canon Law)
Division was created in the Church as teachings and worship differed among parishes, even in the same communities, and with the knowledge of the bishops. When priests violated liturgical norms, they were rarely rebuked.
Church buildings did not escape. Marble altars, statues, artwork, communion rails and confessionals were ripped out and tabernacles moved from a central location. Many churches removed kneelers. Thousands of Catholic parishes and schools closed.
Many seminaries closed or became havens for homosexual men and those with a crippled masculinity. A feminist mentality has greatly shaken the church and has malformed many clergy. Thousands of priests sexually abused many thousands of youths.
Catholic students who had been taught by consecrated religious were consigned to school systems whose teachers were not required to exhibit or teach a solid Catholic Faith. Statistics indicate that 80% of the students and their parents never, or hardly ever, attend Sunday Mass. Those students regularly received communion at school Mass. After twelve years of Catholic education a large majority of young Catholics no longer practice the faith.
Sacramental marriages are all but extinct in many parishes.
Two quotes come to my mind from Catholic friends. “My grandson received his First Communion last year and hasn’t been to Sunday Mass since.” “My 7th grader asks, ‘Why should I have to go to Mass, none of my classmates do.'” This is not uncommon and the bishops and pastors know it.
The content of Catholic teaching changed beyond recognition. Instead of personal responsibility and moral accountability, congregations were directed to put emphasis on social justice issues. The supernatural was downplayed. Hell, Satan and sexual morality were all but ignored. The Catholic Church looked and sounded like the dying liberal Protestant congregations.
Progressive leftists in the media, entertainment industry, and political world are controlling the culture. The Catholic bishops gave no effective response and many are part of the problem. Catholics have become more likely to support the homosexual and abortion-friendly politicians then the traditionally-minded.
It is remarkable that popes and bishops accept no responsibility for the devastation of the church under their watch and for the sinful clergy that had been ordained.
Church leaders contend that the catastrophic results were caused by factors that were not within their capacity to prevent. Bishops who dared raise a concern were cowed into silence and marginalized. Progressive bishops had gained control and neutered a coherent Catholic response as indicated by the futile leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the staff that they employ.
A crippled masculinity has deformed many bishops and priests and this feminist mentality has greatly harmed the church. As feminist nuns were shedding their habits and protesting that they were not allowed to be priests, feminized men flooded the priesthood. Feminized judgments are based on emotion and sentiment rather than on fidelity to truth and reason. It took manliness to build the Church and it will take manliness to sustain and defend it. Manliness is in short supply in today’s clergy.
A restored Church must arise from faithful laity.
Preaching about mortal sin and damnation was judged outdated after the Council and the “Church of Nice” was born.
Teaching the Catechism, the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church was ignored. Catholic teaching on temporal punishment was also ignored as many feminized bishops and priests infiltrated the Church. A new found teaching against capital punishment was created by unfaithful priests and bishops.
Because of flawed human nature due to sin, the Catholic Faith for 2,000 years had always supported civil laws and punishment for criminals, including capital punishment. The greatest evil of our time is the killing of the unborn growing in the mother’s womb. Abortion would be a capital offense in a Christian society and would thereby eliminate 100s of thousands of abortion a year. (and mortal sins). Faithful Catholics recognized that contraception was the precursor to abortion but bishops and priests all but ignored the grave sin of contraception.
What did the bishops do? Instead of contraception, they deemed that the death penalty was now immoral and coupled it to abortion as a protect life issue. They disregarded the 2,000 year history of saints, popes, biblical scholars, theologians and doctors and fathers of the church supporting the death penalty. When a pope, bishop or priest claims that capital punishment is morally evil and should be banned, then either scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and all previous popes were wrong— or the current pope, bishops and priests are. There is no third alternative. Truth had been replaced with emotion.
Many clergy who vocally opposed capital punishment had abused children or protected child abusers. The words of Jesus should apply to them. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI was elected pope on April 19, 2005. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he attempted to stem the tide of destruction during the papacy of John Paul II.
When elected pope he commented – “The wolves are at my door. Pray for me.” But inexplicably, Pope Benedict resigned the papacy on February 28, 2013. Something momentous must have driven Pope Benedict to resign.
His prophecy a few years after the council.
“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes … As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….”
“… And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals.” – Joseph Ratzinger, Faith and the Future, 1969.
“The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. . . . a banal product of the moment.”
(Joseph Ratzinger in Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104)
Pope Francis was elected pope on March 13, 2013.
The future looks bleak. Since the start of the pontificate of Pope Francis the Catholic Church has effectively joined the camp of the leftist social progressives. The alliance with the prevailing culture has accelerated its decline into irrelevance. The Europe that Vatican II helped to create is in its death-throes and all of Western Civilization is not far behind.
Pope Francis is attempting to undermine the traditional teachings of the Church on marriage and sexual morality. In several speeches he denounced Catholics who hold to the traditions of their faith as “rigid.” They used to be called “Holy”.
He went as far as changing the wording of the catechism to match his personal view on the death penalty. This view proposes that the Church had been teaching error and supporting an immoral practice for 2,000 years. Unfaithful priests and bishops are delighted to follow his lead. Either Scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and all previous popes were wrong or those current bishops and priests are. There is no third alternative.
A hyper-papalism is allowing Popes to be creators of tradition rather than the guardian of the tradition that was handed down. The fundamental error is pride – the conception that modern man is so different from man in other periods that he should not submit humbly to tradition.
“For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles.” – First Vatican Council
Results of Pew Research Latest Surveys of U. S. Catholics
69% said the consecrated bread and wine are only symbols.
Only 31% believe they become the body and blood of Jesus.
48% said abortion should be legal in all/most cases
89% said that contraception is morally acceptable or not a moral issue at all.
46% said marriage of gay and lesbians couples should be recognized
70% said homosexuality should be accepted
62% said priest should be allowed to marry
59% said women should be allowed to be priests
62% said divorced and remarried or those cohabiting should receive communion
40% said they are not close to their pastor, 53% are somewhat close, only 8% very close.
25 to 30 % of Protestants said they are very close to their minister.
BACK TO THE BIBLE?
– The Vatican II document Dei Verbum (Word of God) promoted the study of the bible by all the faithful.
– There were many widely scattered and disputed gospels about Jesus Christ. The early church fathers rejected most and choose four gospels. Christ never wrote anything or told the apostles to write anything.
– All major dogmas of the Church were defined before the New Testament was compiled in the 4th century.
– Most of the general public could not read until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.
– Martin Luther used the bible to initiate the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century.
– There now are many hundreds of Protestant denominations, all using the bible to advocate different beliefs.
– The Church in her wisdom had cautioned the faithful about reading the bible without support as many verses are conflicting and difficult to understand.
It was not until 367 AD that St. Athanasius first provided the complete listing of the books belonging to the Old and New Testament. He noted that those books were the ones, and the only ones, universally accepted.
Pope Damasus in the Council of Rome in 382, issued a biblical canon identical to the above and commissioned St. Jerome to produce the Latin Vulgate, c.383. Pope Damasus also issued a like canon at the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397, 419).
CONTRACEPTION, ABORTION AND THE DEATH PENALTY
1960 – The pill is approved for contraceptive use.
1965 – 6.5 million American women are on pill, making it the most popular form of birth control in the U.S. A large majority of Catholic couples use contraceptives. You hear next to nothing from bishops and pastors about this sinful behavior.
1973 – Abortion legalized. The clergy were mostly silent.
The “Consistent Ethic of Life” promoted by Catholic bishops has caused great harm in the struggle against abortion. Catholic are constantly exposed to the mantra, “All
innocent human life must be protected from the cradle to the grave.” This statement is intended to arouse emotion and close discussion but it has never been the teaching of the Catholic Church. It deceptively leaves out the one word that the Catholic Faith has always used in statements about the protection of life, “innocent”. Faithful Catholics recognized that contraception was the precursor to abortion but the bishops ignored that sin and falsely promoted the support of death penalty as sinful and tied it to abortion as a life issue.
Including capital punishment with the evils of abortion, and euthanasia has opened a loophole for duplicitous Catholics, especially politicians, allowing them to be inconsistent and unprincipled about valid pro-life issues. This leads many of the faithful to conclude that those issues also can be made situationally acceptable. Grave harm has always come to the Church when contemporary opinions displace traditional teaching.
– my website on Capital Punishment – https://tcreek.jimdofree.com/
A CALLOUS DECEPTION?
The papacy is a principle of unity in the Church. Popes are charged with handing down the Faith that had been entrusted to them. There had been only four popes canonized as saints in the last 1,000 years. Why were there such unusual and hasty canonizations of the three popes who called or implemented Vatican II? Was this not an attempt to canonize the council and to dupe Catholics into believing that the decrees of the Council were legitimate developments, notwithstanding the results? Saints are created to be emulated for their holiness by the Faithful. These canonizations had nothing to do with the virtues or holiness of the three popes. They were political statements. A much more appropriate canonization would be of Pope Pius XII whose papacy say a great increase in faith.
Pope John XXIII
Pope John was 76 and a totally unexpected choice but was elected pope on October 28, 1958. He was considered to be an interim pope but he discussed calling a council. He was warned that it would take 10 to 20 years to prepare but a “flash of heavenly light” caused him to call a council in his first year “to reanimate the faith of Christians and bring the Church up to date” even though the Church was thriving in faith and in numbers. Vatican Council I had been closed only 93 years.
Pope Paul VI
In July of 1968 Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae which reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s condemnation of artificial birth control. Thousands of Catholic clergy dissented from the encyclical by declaring that Catholics did not have to follow this traditional teaching. Pope Paul remained silent and did not condemn the views of the unfaithful priests and bishops. Fifty years later the teaching is still ignored by bishops and pastors and a large majority of Catholic couples use artificial contraceptives.
The name of Paul VI is forever associated with liturgical reform. Beginning in February 1964 under the direction of Annibale Bugnini, a committee undertook a reform of the Liturgy. Between 1965 and 1969, the Latin was replaced, the altars were turned around, concelebrations were introduced, three Eucharistic Canons were composed, the prayers at the foot of the altar, the Leonine prayers, the Offertory and the Last Gospel were eliminated. Communion in the hand spread. The Mass of Paul VI was a liturgy in a state of permanent reformation. On April 3, 1969 the Novus Ordo was born replacing the 400 year old (Traditional Latin Mass) Tridentine Rite.
The prophecy of Pope Pius XII was coming true – “The day the Church abandons her universal tongue is the day before she returns to the catacombs.”
I was born in 1935 and estimate that I had attended around 3,400 Tridentine masses by the time I was 35 in 1970. We attended every day in elementary school. We were proud to be a Catholic. No matter where you attended Mass, you were familiar with the prayers and actions. Now, depending on the whim of the bishop or pastor, you hardly know what to expect when you attend at a different parish.
Pope John Paul II
Stats show that the average time watching TV is 4 hours per day. This means that when a person reaches 80 years of age, they have spent 25% of their waking hours watching television, the most anti-Christian influence of the modern age. Whoever was seen was believed and idolized. The age of the celebrity pope had begun. Pope John Paul II was a consummate performer for TV such as making sure that he kissed the tarmac when he landed in a country. He followed the orthodox script when preaching but enforced nothing as the Faith was collapsing around him. John Paul used modern communications to enhance his popularity while millions were leaving the Church during his papacy. Christ was in eclipse.
Pope John Paul was one of the most traveled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries. He beatified 1,340 and canonized 483 people, more than the combined total of his predecessors during the preceding five centuries. His World Youth Days drew many thousands of the JP II Generation, a generation almost completely lost to the Faith, but it was a good show.
John Paul taught an “easy & nice” Catholicism as sexual norms were collapsing and marriages failing. Thousands of illicit annulments continued to be granted. “Easy & nice” Catholicism became popular as bishops, pastors and laity followed John Paul’s lead. They were led to believe that John Paul’s views were guided by the Spirit because of his popularity and the large crowds that he drew. Being a Faithful Catholic was no longer necessary to attain salvation because “Mercy” would save all.
The Scandal of Assisi. – The teaching of the Church for centuries condemned the active participation of Christians in the prayers of false religions. That did not stop John Paul from inviting 43 religious groups, some pagan, to pray with him for peace at Assisi in 1986. He turned the search for Christian unity into a general convergence of world religions. He gave ear to heretics, schismatic, apostates and pagans who had repudiated the teachings of Christ’s Church.
Pope John Paul stated in the preamble that the 1992 Catechism was “a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion”. He then initiated a 1997 revision of the Catechism on capital punishment by changing the wording of #2267, to now insinuate that traditional church teaching was immoral. He did something unprecedented by adding a prudential judgements to a catechetical text, discounting 2,000 years of Church teaching. This paved the way for unfaithful priests and bishops who opposed capital punishment to believe that they were following authentic church teaching.
The traditional teachings of the Catholic Church and Canon Law has never allowed females to serve at Mass. This was still in force after Vatican II. On March 15, 1994, Pope John Paul II “cut the legs out from under” the priests that were observing the norm by allowing females to serve Mass.
The 3 decade Rosary was a well-established and popular devotion for at least 600 years. Pope John Paul saw fit, in his wisdom, to add a 4th decade and then glowed in the acclaim that he received.
How can anyone believe that the huge crowds drawn by Pope John Paul were religious experiences inspired by the Spirit? The World Youth Day had all the characteristics of 1960’s rock concerts. John Paul reveled in the crowds. The 1995 World Youth Day in the Philippians was reported to have drawn up to 4 million people. Thousands fainted or were treated for dehydration. Crowd control and sanitation became impossible. Very few could even see the pope or the Mass. “This is an excess of success,” said the papal spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. The Pope, he said, was “delighted.” – N.Y. Times
Pope John Paul II and Fr. Marcel Maciel
Below are the 8 former seminarians who sent the Vatican sworn affidavits in 1998 alleging that Father Marcel Maciel had molested them. Several years earlier, 20 or so others claimed they were sexually abused by Maciel. All of this is easily verifiable. None of the accusers filed legal action or sought financial compensation from the Legionaries or the Catholic Church. Many of them remain loyal Catholics despite being slandered and harassed by supporters of Pope John Paul II.
- Rev. Felix Alarcon, of Venice, Fla., who opened the Legion’s first U.S. base in the Woodmont section of Milford, Conn., in 1965.
- Juan Vaca, former priest of Holbrook, N.Y., who was president of the Legionaries in the United States from 1971 to 1976.
- Fernando Perez Olvera, an engineer in Mexico
- Alejandro Espinosa Alcala, a Legion seminarian in the early 1950s who today is a rancher in rural Mexico.
- Jose Barba, a Harvard-educated literary scholar at one of Mexico’s leading universities, the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico.
- Saul Barrales Arellano, who has taught in Catholic schools in Mexico for many years since leaving the Legion.
- Juan Manuel Fernandez Amenabar, a Legion priest who in the early 1980s served as president of the Legionaries’ Northern Anahuac University in Mexico City.
- Jose Antonio Perez, a Mexico City lawyer
These 8 men came forward because Pope John Paul II did not respond to letters from two priests sent through church channels in 1978 and 1989 seeking an investigation. After John Paul praised Maciel in 1994 as an “efficacious guide to youth”, they decided to make their accusations public.
The Vatican and John Paul maintained silence on the issue. As head of a religious order with ministries in 20 countries, Maciel reports directly to the Holy See and only the Holy See can order an investigation into the allegations. Rev. Owen Kearns, spokesman for the Legionaries described Maciel as the target of a conspiracy by men with “personal vendettas against him” to “fabricate these devastating charges” and destroy his standing.
Maciel collaborated extensively with the Pope John Paul II. He accompany the Pope on his visits to Mexico in 1979, 1990, and 1993. Maciel was appointed by the Pope to the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Formation of Priests in Circumstances of the Present Day. He was a member of the Interdicasterial Commission for a Just Distribution of Clergy (1991), the IV General Conference of Latin American Bishops (CELAM) (1992), the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World (1994), the Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for America (1997) and (since 1994) as a permanent consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy.
2004 – Pope John Paul’s Address to Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2004 (Zenit.org)
Dear Brothers and Sisters
I am happy to meet with all of you, in the climate of joy and gratitude to the Lord for the 60th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and superior general of your young and meritorious religious family.
First of all, I express my affectionate greeting to dear Father Maciel, together with my most cordial wishes for a priestly ministry filled with gifts of the Holy Spirit. … The happy anniversary that gathers all of you around the founder, in addition to inviting you to recall the gifts that he has received from the Lord in these 60 years of priestly ministry …
With these sentiments and wishes, I impart from my heart to dear Father Maciel and to all of you here present a special apostolic blessing. …
There were many news reports on Maciel and his abusive lifestyle over the years but Pope John Paul refused to allow an investigation of the “saintly” Maciel. And then Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado was also the greatest fundraiser of the modern Catholic Church. These stories were “covered up” by the Vatican and the Catholic press. His protectors and accomplices in the Vatican claimed that John Paul was unaware of the charges and the “great and saintly” John Paul could not have been misled by a friend.
When Cardinal Ratzinger became pope in 2005, he initiated an investigation because of the volume of evidence. “A life out of moral bounds … a wasted, twisted life.” is how Pope Benedict described Maciel. Maciel was a criminal, a sociopath and a multi abuser of young men and teens including his own son. Maciel had also lived secret lives with two women and fathered three children.
There have been no reports of apologies to Maciel’s victims and for the slander they had to endure from Church sources for reporting the abuse. If John Paul had been a bishop and Maciel a priest in his diocese, would John Paul not have been charged with concealing the abuse? Many bishops and priests have gone to jail for much less.
Pope John Paul II and Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka (from the BBC)
Over 400 letters and photographs tell the story of Pope John Paul II’s close relationship with a married American woman that lasted more than 30 years.
The friendship began in 1973 when Ms Tymieniecka contacted Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, then Archbishop of Krakow, about a book on philosophy that he had written. The then 50-year-old travelled from the US to Poland to discuss the work. Shortly afterwards, the pair began to correspond. At first the cardinal’s letters were formal, but as their friendship grew, they become more intimate.
They met many times – sometimes with his secretary present, sometimes alone – and corresponded frequently. In 1974, he wrote that he was re-reading four of Ms Tymieniecka’s letters written in one month because they were “so meaningful and deeply personal”.
He invited Ms Tymieniecka to join him on country walks and skiing holidays – she even joined him on a group camping trip. In 1976, Cardinal Wojtyla attended a Catholic conference in the US. Ms Tymieniecka invited him to stay at their country home in New England. She appeared to have revealed intense feelings for him.
In one letter, dated September 1976, he writes: “My dear Teresa, I have received all three letters. You write about being torn apart, but I could find no answer to these words.” He describes her as a “gift from God”.
In a letter dated 10 September 1976 he wrote: “Already last year I was looking for an answer to these words, ‘I belong to you’, and finally, before leaving Poland, I found a way – a scapular.” He said it allowed him to “accept and feel you everywhere in all kinds of situations, whether you are close – or far away”.
After becoming Pope he wrote: “I am writing after the event, so that the correspondence between us should continue. I promise I will remember everything at this new stage of my journey.” But his letters to Ms Tymieniecka are at times more intensely emotional, sometimes wrestling with the meaning of their relationship. He said he did not want “the exchange of ideas, which I have always thought to be so creative and fruitful” to be interrupted.
She visited him often, and sent him pressed flowers and photographs from her home at Pomfret. In one letter he told her: “I am thinking about you, and in my thoughts I come to Pomfret every day.”
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka visited John Paul the day before he died in 2005. Nine years later, in 2014, he was declared a saint. — (A “saint” would have broken off this liaison many years ago)
Pope John Paul and the Vatican kept John Paul’s Parkinson’s disease a secret for 12 years.
This was revealed by his personal physician Dr. Renato Buzzonetti.
The first symptoms of the disease were diagnosed early in 1991 and in 1996 the Pope’s left hand was trembling constantly. The disease was only officially acknowledging in 2003. Despite difficulty speaking more than a few sentences at a time, trouble hearing and severe osteoarthrosis, he continued to tour the world to much acclaim. He rarely walked in public. At times, John Paul showed no recognition of people and events and an aide would whisper in his ear reminding him of the occasion. Pope John Paul died at 84 in 2005. He was the third-longest serving Pope in history. — (A saint would have resigned at least 5 years earlier for the good of the Church.)
One Can Only Wonder
One can only wonder how much healthier the Church would be if Cardinal Giuseppe Siri (1906-1989) had been elected Pope instead of Pope John XXIII in 1958 and Cardinal Giovanni Benelli (1921-1982) had been elected pope instead of Pope John Paul II 1978.
They were both highly qualified and the top choices going into the conclaves. We certainly would not now have a Pope Francis.
Neither Pope John or John Paul were papabile (considered qualified to be pope). When things turn bad, the churchmen of today will claim it is the will of the Spirit. The Spirit guided their election as much as the Spirit guided the election of John Paul I.
Whenever conflicts arise in the teaching of the Faith, they are always initiated by popes, bishops or priests who are not faithful to traditional Church teachings.
I was born in 1935 and raised in a strong Catholic family. My Faith was fixed by my parents and relatives, by my pastor, by Ursuline Sisters in elementary school and by Xaverian Brothers in high school. We were warned that trials would come to cause doubts about the Faith. That didn’t register because we believed that we could always depend on the faithful guidance of pastors, bishops and popes. I don’t doubt that the three sainted popes were taught the same by their parents. These parents would not now recognize the Liturgy, many Church buildings and many of the Church teachings after the reigns of their sons.
Who would not wish that Vatican II had not been called, Pope John XXIII?
I have read reports that he had regretted the call near the end of his life. His beloved Latin was to be banished from the Church.
Pope John published the Apostolic Constitution, Veterum Sapientia in February of 1962 a few months before the opening of Vatican Council II. An Apostolic Constitution is the highest level of decree issued by a Pope. (but no attentions was paid to this one)
Pope John XXIII
On the Promotion of the Study of Latin
excerpts & my emphasis:
“Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples.”
“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.”
“Furthermore, the Church’s language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority.” – (as the present day when the words of Pope Francis are given different meanings depending on the translation – Don)
“Finally, 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.”
“It will be quite clear from these considerations why the Roman Pontiffs have so often extolled the excellence and importance of Latin, and why they have prescribed its study and use by the secular and regular clergy, forecasting the dangers that would result from its neglect.”
With the foregoing considerations in mind, to which We have given careful thought, We now, in the full consciousness of Our Office and in virtue of Our authority, decree and command the following:
1. Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall take pains to ensure that in their seminaries and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apostolic See’s decision in this matter and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully.
2. In the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the Liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See’s will in this regard or interprets it falsely.
3. As is laid down in Canon Law (can. 1364) or commanded by Our Predecessors, before Church students begin their ecclesiastical studies proper they shall be given a sufficiently lengthy course of instruction in Latin by highly competent masters . . . No one is to be admitted to the study of philosophy or theology except he be thoroughly grounded in this language and capable of using it.
“. . . professors in universities or seminaries are required to speak Latin and to make use of textbooks written in Latin. If ignorance of Latin makes it difficult for some to obey these instructions, they shall gradually be replaced by professors who are suited to this task.”
“Finally, in virtue of Our apostolic authority, We will and command that all the decisions, decrees, proclamations and recommendations of this Our Constitution remain firmly established and ratified, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, however worthy of special note.”
Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the feast of Saint Peter’s Throne on the 22nd day of February in the year 1962, the fourth of Our pontificate.
Our Bureaucratic Faith
Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed by Tracey Roland.
The essential difference of Christian charity is therefore the personal spiritual dimension. It is a two-way participation in the love of the Holy Trinity. … Ratzinger has often commented that the Church should not seek to imitate the corporate world … Some of these comments include the following:
1. Saints, in fact reformed the Church in depth, not by working up plans for new structures, but by reforming themselves. What the Church needs in order to respond to the needs of man in every age is holiness, not management.51
2. The saints were people of imagination, not functionaries of apparatuses.52
3. I have said very often that I think we have too much bureaucracy. Therefore, it will be necessary in any case to simplify things. Everything should not take place by way of committees; there must also be the personal encounter.53
51 Joseph Ratzinger, The Ratzinger Report: An Interview with Vittorio Messori (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1985), p. 53.
52 Ibid. p. 67.
53 Joseph Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1996), p. 266.
The rise of Catholic Inc. – the model of the Church as a modern corporation – has in recent times fostered the ‘tragedy of a starved imagination’. The pneumatological dimension of the Church is constantly suppressed by people with narrow imaginations focused on figures, annual reports and mission statements. … Ratzinger’s use of the phrase ‘our bureaucratized faith’ and his many warnings against this tendency of the Church to ape the managerial processes of the corporate world represent an acute sociological observation about the source of pastoral problems in the contemporary Church.
In Light of the World, Pope Benedict XVI is speaking on the decline in Catholic observance and identity in Europe and the United States. … A revival of new Catholic initiatives will not be ordered by a structure or a bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is spent and tired. These initiatives come from within, from the joy of young people.”
Other bureaucratic gleanings from various sources:
- Any revival in these churches will require not the reform but the abandonment of the many layers of bureaucracy they have built up over the last few decades. Who remembers 99 percent of the vast numbers of reports issued by the churches’ many boards, commissions, committees, consultations, conventions, and councils?
- Bureaucracies are always are at risk of goal displacement. Procedures set up to achieve a goal tend to become goals in themselves – in other words habits become values. There is an irresistible temptation to place more importance on the process than on the real spiritual need at hand.
- As Bishop Fulton Sheen said, the renewal of the Church will be inspired by “creative minorities,” a few zealous souls who will follow the Spirit wherever it might lead; the same Holy Spirit whose comings and goings is sometimes mysterious and perplexing. Unfortunately, this will make any bureaucrat nervous.
- Bureaucracies rely on programs and procedures. They tend to be process-focused, not result-oriented. The truth that most often escapes bureaucrats is that the main source of creativity and progress comes from the individual mind and its response to everyday challenges. Indeed, true progress depends on the competence, on the holiness of individuals. The bureaucratic solution is to multiply new provisions and policies.
- The multiplicity of meetings, procedures and programs can create the illusion of progress when in fact little is being accomplished. A breathing human being is far superior to relying on pre-planned programs or strategies.
- If the bureaucracies only put out statements, no one would mind them much, other than lamenting the waste of paper. The problem is mainly what they do. Even at their best, they devour resources and energy that could be better put to better uses At their worst, they actively distort the churches’ witness and work by demanding too much of their resources.
- The bureaucracies’ decisions, even the least important, demand more time and energy than they are worth. To justify their existence, bureaucratic workers must keep producing reports, proposals, projects, resolutions.
- Bureaucracies tend, even in conservative dioceses and parishes, to encourage a reticence and even timidity in pressing doctrinal, moral, or liturgical claims too far or drawing out their harder and less popular implications.
- The centralized, impersonal, and bureaucratic structures of modern churches exist. The people in them want them to continue, and the people outside them do not know much about them or do not care. On the whole and over time, they deform and hinder Christian ministry.
- A pastor who functions as the CEO disengages himself from parishioners.
This bureaucracy is easily recognizable in the affairs of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and most of the dioceses and archdioceses.
Donald Wachtel – draft