Obviously we Christians we follow Christ. There can be no higher King. Yet sometimes our fragile humanity calls upon certain imaginary heroes to fulfill our idea of the good. Then again, we can also look up to sports stars. Chuck Norris, (the mythical one?) what about Segal, Van Damme or Bruce Willis? Still what about fictional superheroes, like Optimus Prime, Wolverine, Superman and the Hulk? We all look up to heroes, myself, the ones I mentioned, notwitstanding. I will also include Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Bas Rutten, and still others. One contemporary hero stands above the rest…He passed away in 2005,..Pope John Paul II, The Great. Why am I writing this post now? The answer is that way too many people considering themselves magistral authority seem ready to label him a modernist. Obviously this is due to his (seemingly) lackluster approach to the Liturgy. Well, perhaps now is the time for a much needed apologetic defense of the Pope who from a secular standpoint saved the Catholic Church from an internal dislocation. As Catholics, we know that it is the Holy Spirit who is ultimately in charge, yet if we come at it from a pure academic/historical perspective,.Holy Father John Paul II will go down as one of the champion defenders of the Faith, and together with Cardinal Ratzinger, a veritable legion of doom and terror of all things modernist. Credit and shout out to my brother seminarian Richard for an awesome discussion, as we both enjoy smacking both the lefty loonie toonies and the fringe crack pot extreme right(sedevacante) position.
Let’s set the stage for his ascendancy to the Papacy, the aftermath of Vatican II, and Pope Paul VI’s ‘Humanae Vitae.’ The sudden death of Pope John Paul I. The Church is in massive need for a clean up, the ‘batsignal’ is flashed to Poland…
1978; Inherits a Church reelings from the nutty ‘spirit’ of VII crowd, mass defections from the Priesthood, a chancery office full of heretics, the sexual revolution, feminism, and especially in the Quebec, the Quiet Revolution. While the Faithful remaining, are now in the full swing of the Charismatic renewal, not that that in itself is bad, however, some took it too far, and left the Faith not seeing the need for a ministerial Priesthood.
So what does he do? Creates World Youth Days! Takes Bishops, at that time nobody knew who they were and puts them on a stage, saying to the flock,.these are your Bishops! Now they become known and well, so do their,..ahemm, theological positions! The media now know who they are,.(cough, cough Bernadin,..couch..) Next, creates the Ecclesia Dei Commission establishing the FFSP, asking Bishops to be generous in allowing the use of the 1962 Rite of Mass, now known as Extraordinary Form. Done in response to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre backing out of a document he SIGNED! (Ego?)
Sends ‘Fr’ Hans Kung into theological limbo by removing his faculties as a Catholic theologian! Essentially saying, that’s right Hans,..you ain’t Catholic! Took a trip to latin America and reigned in the libertation theology movement which had become in some circles, a Christian marxism,..Infallibly declared that the Church has no authority to ordain women whatsoever, and sends feminists frothing at the mouth while lining up for rabies vaccinations. (Ordination Sacerdotalis 1994) Writes the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae as a response to the abortion crowd, Catholics and otherwise as well as reasserts through the Theology of the Body, traditional Catholic teaching on sexuality and republishes the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Finally publishes ‘Dominus Iesus’ (1999) as a response to goofball ecuMENTALists trying to undermine the Faith.
To conclude, we must contextualize John Paul II before we judge him. Sometimes all is not what we see, and that Pope Benedict inherited a much different Church that John Paul II. The heretics are dangerous, but getting older. The secular world however has completely altered. What we need now is another hero to rise up, not just publish words. To act! Remember John Paul II’s speech in Sicily? We need another courageous Bishop especially in the West! Right now we are in the midst of Liturgical Reform, and Benedict, continuing the work of John Paul II through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. ‘The Gates of hell will not prevail against her.’ (St Matthew’s Gospel, you know the verse!)
Our Lady of Fatima,………………….ora pro nobis!