Pope Benedict's announcement that he will beatify his predecessor at the beginning of May has set off a predictable flood of eulogic propaganda in the neo-conservative press.
The orchestrated exultation actually started in April 2005 when Charismatic groups conspired to reduce the Pope's requiem to a liturgical circus with their puerile and irreverent chants of "Great! Great! Great!", "John Paul II we love you!" and "Saint now!" The excessive response to news of the beatification is just the latest stage of this contrived process which will speed on to canonisation, by hook or by crook, in double quick time.
Papolators and Realists
By no means, however, does the propaganda represent the universal view of Catholics. Rather, it is aimed at the emoting majority: the neo-conservative herd who put their brains on hold long ago in order to cope with the brave new world of endless novelty, mixed-messages and chaos opened up by the Vatican Council. Their emotional response is understandable. False obedience and feel-good papolatry makes for an easier life than the sacrifices demanded by baptismal promises and serious reflection on Catholic Tradition.
For those who have managed to keep their heads these past forty years while the bulk of the hierarchy, clergy and faithful around them have so determinedly lost theirs, on the other hand, the announcement is just another post-conciliar red flag: a clarion call for more straight talk and ever blunter assessments.
Representing a vast, albeit ignored minority of the faithful, these (ever hopeful) realists are not prepared to suspend their critical faculties in this or any other matter. Nor will they discount their painful lived experience of the 1978-2005 papacy, which screams out against the latest attempt to bless the catastrophic Pastoral Experiment-known-as-Vatican II by formally raising its greatest champion to the altar of the Church just five years after his death.
Indeed, to their mind, the fast-track beatification of this particular pontiff and its delirious reception positively embodies the present delusional and dysfunctional state of local Churches everywhere. For the injustice, arrogance, blindness, cowardice and suicidal self-satisfaction that afflicts the post-conciliar Church is not only exemplified by the diabolically disoriented Modernist episcopates tyrannising the West. It is personified, too, by neo-conservatives who, to a greater or lesser extent, acquiesce in the destructive status quo promoted by a Pope they idolise.
Not so the discerning minority. These faithful understand John Paul II's popular appeal and most certainly regard him as the Pope of Life. Yet while truly grateful for his mighty contribution to that cause, they refuse to wish away the tragic fact that he was just as surely the Pope of unspeakable Negligence, Complicity, Scandal and Dissolution. [See "John Paul the Great? ... Or Great Disappointment?"], June/July 2005. Also, John Vennari's excellent summary, "The Secret of Pope John Paul II’s Success,"], 2005.
Beyond his legendary charisma and whatever his personal merits and achievements, they see a pontiff who abandoned Christ's flock to "total chaos" (as Fr Paul Marx described the state of the universal Church under John Paul II), refusing to exercise his supreme authority to change course and rescue innocent souls from the packs of ravening wolves prowling about the post-conciliar ruins. And so for them his pontificate was not a joy but a trial: a 26-year-long refusal to confront and rectify the devastating ramifications of the Ecumenical Council that had channelled his own suspect theology and philosophy into mainstream Catholic life.
Even those who maintain a certain affection for John Paul II despite all (the present writer included), query the bona fides of a Pope who repeatedly waved away desperate pleas for help from clergy and laity suffering at the unmerciful hands of the Liberal mob he appointed and protected. Nor can the romantic narrative of the Slavic Pope who overturned the Communist revolution and freed his compatriots from the chains of Marxist oppression erase the jarring juxtaposition of a pontiff who enforced the oppressive post-conciliar revolution and its "demolition of the bastions" of the Faith.
It was John Paul II's hero Hans Urs von Balthasar who advocated this "demolition" of Catholic Tradition, dogma and scholasticism in his Razing the Bastions . An ex-Jesuit whose private life as the spiritual director of a quasi-Calvinist false mystic was as controversial as his novel theology, von Balthasar stated in 1985 that the Second Vatican Council had “adopted” much of this revolutionary program and “deepened it and taught it.” [See "The Dubious Adrienne von Speyr," CO, June/July 2004, and "Broken Cisterns", March 2006.
This was no idle boast. Cardinal Ratzinger proudly referred to the Council as the Church's "1789" and freely opined that, "as Hans Urs von Balthasar pointed out as early as 1952, the ‘demolition of the bastions’ is a long-overdue task" [Principles of Catholic Theology, 1987].
For his part, the future John Paul II, a Balthasarian acolyte, had eagerly anticipated razing the liturgical bastion, telling Fr Malinksi in 1963: "Certainly, we will preserve the basic elements, the bread, the wine, but all else will be changed according to local traditions: words, gestures, colours, vestments, chants, architecture, decor. The problem of liturgical reform is immense" [Mon Ami: Karol Wojtyla, 1980]. (His notorious papal 'liturgies,' involving every kind of abuse, were just the sacrilegious fruit of this revolutionary mindset [cf. "Beatification Abomination at St. Peter's," Aug/Sept, 2004]).
Little wonder that he was quickly identified as a model Conciliar comrade and in 1967 made a cardinal by Paul VI, who appointed him to several curial bodies to help orchestrate the post-conciliar demolition of all that was familiar and cherished (not least through the elite permanent central committee of the World Episcopal Synod to which he was elected in 1971; a body which set the agenda for papal theological initiatives and developments through its control of episcopal conferences worldwide).
Thus, contrary to the legend of the fresh-faced outsider — "a man from a far country" — Cardinal Wojtyla was in fact a Vatican 'insider' for nearly a dozen years before his election as John Paul II. Even the brief Vatican resume released on election night 1978 was keen to emphasise his "decisive" contribution to Gaudium et Spes ["The Church in the Modern World"]; the Council document regarded by orthodox faithful of all stripes as one long dissertation on how to undermine tradition. In 1988, as if to bless the neo-Modernist lineage which gave rise to this document, his subsequent Assisi sell out and other corruptions, he offered the iconoclastic von Balthasar a red hat in appreciation.
In the end, the thinking minority ask themselves how personal merits, like a deep prayer life, can be so clinically separated from this ruinous radicalism? Yet over and above their queasiness at the promotion of this Pope's cause in the first place, they wonder why on earth it has been pursued with such sickening haste: before the dust even begins to settle on his controverted legacy? And how, they ponder, could the myriad objections to the beatification, whether of a personal or corporate nature, be so airily dismissed?
The short answer to the latter question is that Pope John Paul has posthumously benefited from his own reforms. In the process of revising the Code of Canon Law (1983), he removed the traditional Devil's Advocate (Promoter Fidei) who systematically challenged claims to holiness. Stripping the canonisation process to the bare bones, he created what some indignant senior Cardinals regarded as a "saint factory." Inevitably, the unedifying sight of venerables, blesseds and saints being churned out by the unprecedented score has undermined confidence in the canonisation process, eliciting a scepticism unknown under the former system which Catholics proudly considered the most thorough and rigorous scrutinisation on earth. Today, even the miracles come under scrutiny. (Cardinal Newman's beatification, for instance, raised eyebrows among those who, not unreasonably, viewed the proffered miracle as far from watertight but waved through to enable Benedict to raise him to the altar during his English visit.)
In any event, John Paul's laundry list of offensive and harmful views, decisions, actions and statements are easily swept aside by a process he himself enfeebled.
Different Strokes for Different Popes
As for the mad rush, it is of a piece with the rapid imposition of Blessed John XXIII and the earlier attempted beatification of Paul VI. In other words, it is all about the Council. Not content that it be perversely reaffirmed as a "gift" to the crumbling Church it spawned, Vatican II must be sanctified by honouring the deceased triumvirate who called and implemented it.
We need only compare the treatment of their predecessors: the endless chain-dragging in respect of Pius XII's cause (on the pathetic pretext of Jewish objections), and their spurning of
Apropos this neglect, it is not without significance that both these Popes considered yet ultimately rejected requests for a Second Vatican Council; one that would complete the work of Vatican I, forcibly interrupted by the invasion of Rome in September 1870.
A symposium on Vatican II held last December in Rome by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate referenced the work of historian Yves Chiron, who has documented how both pontiffs wished to avoid the dangers of division and "democratisation" among the assembled Fathers. Chiron also points out that the themes to be treated at a Pius XI-Pius XII Council were similar to those subsequently proposed by the Roman Curia under John XXIII, in the preparatory schemas, all of which (except that on the liturgy) were rejected in the course of preceding debates due to opposition from Liberal prelates and theologians.
How the heavenly wisdom of Pius XI and Pius XII contrasts with the cockiness of their successors! As the Propositor for Pius XII's beatification, Msgr Paul Molinari, S.J., told Vatican Radio: "For years His Holiness worked at preparatory studies for the Council. He only suspended work on them when he became convinced that Catholics did not have enough preparation to withstand the shock of a Council." Devoid of such prescience and prudence, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II threw caution to the wind, leaving us all to reap the post-conciliar whirlwind.
A Crisis of Authority
More than perverse, the relentless drive to put the Council beyond critical reach in this way is galling in the extreme, since the "progressive" hurricane it unleashed shows no sign of abating or being seriously tackled by the bastion-razing Benedict.
The Holy Father's belated public response to the Irish sexual abuse crisis last March is a perfect case in point. It highlights the blood-letting in local Churches which he, like his Conciliar predecessors, has done precious little to stem. His Letter to the Irish faithful merely admitted, post facto, the corrupt status quo endlessly documented in disregarded appeals for urgent papal intervention to halt Ireland's episcopally-led demise.
For decades, stout defenders of the Faith exposed the depth and breadth of dissent in the Irish Church. As early as October 1973, for instance, the late great Hamish Fraser gave over the entire edition of Approaches to "The Scandal of Maynooth: A dossier on Episcopal Policy in contemporary Ireland." He detailed therein the "error being quite openly taught in seminaries, published in Catholic journals and even preached from the pulpit." The dissidents and their complicit, lukewarm or ineffectual overlords were comprehensively exposed and debunked. He also produced even earlier statements of alarm, including that of a Dublin cleric who denounced the rebellious Maynooth professors in the Irish Times of 28 March 1969. "One fears for the Church in Ireland if this is the sort of theology and attitude they they are teaching their students," wrote the priest. "There is, however, a humorous irony in all this: the professors were installed in their chairs by episcopal appointment."
The spineless Vatican lamentations and hand-wringing recorded by Hamish also sound horribly familiar. In a 1972 letter to Fr. Mikulich, O.F.M., Cardinal Seper, Pope Benedict's immediate predecessor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, decried episcopal disobedience: "Bishops are often to blame because in this crisis they are not exercising their powers as they should and Rome is not well obeyed. If all the bishops would deal with these aberrations as they occur the situation would be different. It is very difficult for us in Rome if we get no cooperation from the bishops."
From the very beginning this Vatican posturing and buck-passing — the real 'spirit of Vatican II' — has bought the Church to its knees. If the Popes found the men they themselves continually appointed "very difficult" and uncooperative they need only have instituted a policy of systematic substitution: replacing the hirelings with virile men made of the right orthodox stuff, drilled in Canon Law, and up for a fight. Had they instituted such a policy in the 1970s in Ireland and elsewhere, how much damage and pain would have been averted.
It is not complicated. The Church could be cleansed quite quickly. Yet even now, a year after his much vaunted Irish Letter, nothing much has changed in the life of the ever more decrepit Irish Church. Bad bishops remain in situ. The Holy Father shows no appetite for following through on his own demands. Lip service remains the order of the day.
Ireland, of course, is merely representative of the episcopal travesties Pope John Paul cultivated. The insufferable creatures he gifted England and Wales now proclaim their loss of faith from the rooftops without the slightest fear of Vatican reaction. Worse, Rome now colludes in their public acceptance and promotion of the homosexual plague that John Paul refused to tackle.
In essence, "the Catholic crisis" is a paralysis of the papal will; a crisis of papal (not episcopal) authority, deeply rooted in Vatican II and personified by the uber-collegial John Paul II.
Against this dismal background, the response to Pope Benedict's 2005 call for a "hermeneutic of continuity" is now manifest in conferences such as that already cited, and books by theologians and historians like Msgr Brunero Gheradini and Professor Roberto de Mattei — all exploring how to square pristine Catholic tradition with the muddy circumlocution of many Council texts and their unholy consequences.
A renowned Thomist who is editor of Divinitas magazine, secretary for the Pontifical Academy of Theology, professor emeritus at the Pontifical Lateran University and a Canon of St. Peter’s Basilica, the 85-year-old Msgr. Gherardini seems to be "finishing his life with a flurry of books, as if he wishes to make statements now, before he passes away, about the religious and doctrinal controversies of our time," reports Inside the Vatican editor Robert Moynihan. Considered the last living theologian of the pre-Conciliar Roman school of clergy, "last year he published The Second Vatican Council: A Needed Discussion ('Il Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II: Un discorso da fare'), praised as one of the most important books of recent years attempting to study Vatican II in the light of Catholic tradition. He then published What Accord Between Christ and the Devil ('Quale accordo tra Cristo e Beliar?') on the 'problems, misunderstandings and compromises' in interreligious dialogue. Then, in September of 2009, he published Ecumene tradita, a critique of modern ecumenism’s 'misunderstandings and false steps'."
"Strangely," notes Moynihan, "relatively little has been written about Gherardini’s work in the English-speaking world." It would be far stranger, of course, if he were to be heralded abroad by the hegemonic neo-Modernist mafia and their media soulmates, who have everything to lose by Gherardini's balloon-bursting erudition. They need to keep him isolated on the margins of the Church whence he and his ilk were banished decades ago.
In an interview carried in the March 2010 edition of French magazine Aletheia, Msgr Gherardini explained this marginalisation of his "old school" (which once acted as a reservoir of experience and good judgement at the side of the Bishop of Rome):
In this regard, it must be re-emphasised that both Joseph Ratzinger and Karol Wojtyla were in the Balthasarian vanguard of the anti-Scholasticism which opposed the Roman school. As arch-papolator George Weigel wrote in his hagiographic biography of John Paul II: "Cardinal Ratzinger was the first man in his position in centuries who did not take Thomas Aquinas as his philosophical and theological master. [The Pope] broke precedent by appointing a non-Thomistic Prefect of CDF" [Witness to Hope, 1999]. Weigel claimed that John Paul "respected" Thomism and Thomists but the Ratzinger appointment said it all.
Gherardini exemplifies the strategic importance of this policy of Thomistic marginalisation. Not only do his scholarly book-length critiques of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue rock the pillars of the post-conciliar facade, in The Second Vatican Council: A Needed Discussion the distinguished Monsignor even dares not to presume that every single thing Vatican II proposed can be squared with Tradition. "In fact," writes Brian Mershon in the Remnant, "he concludes in the book that Dignitatis Humanae may indeed be difficult, if not impossible, to harmonize with the doctrine taught continuously and unambiguously by the Popes of the late 19th century up to Pope Pius XII including
His refreshing independence of mind was also revealed in the Alethia interview. Recalling John Paul II's reproach of the Society of St Pius X for having "an incomplete and contradictory view of the Tradition," Gherardini serenely reflected: "Personally, I am of a quite different view." He went on to underline that "Tradition is the only subject to be discussed in depth. If one would succeed in clarifying the concept of Tradition, without taking refuge in the subterfuge of the living Tradition, but also without closing one’s eyes to the internal movement of the apostolic-ecclesial tradition, the problem would cease to exist."
The clarity, simplicity and balance of this old school Thomist stands as a blessed affront to the fuzzy Conciliar verbiage that suffuses the Church today and holds it hostage to alien ideas and the smoky deceptions of the Devil.
Elsewhere, the esteemed historian Roberto de Mattei has pointed out in the Italian daily Libero that the very call for Vatican II to be interpreted in continuity with the Catholic magisterium "evidently presupposes the existence of doubtful or ambiguous passages in the Conciliar documents, having need of interpretation" [12 December 2010].
The author of The Second Vatican Council: A story never written ["Il Concilio Vaticano II. Una storia mai scritta," 2010], Professor de Mattei was responding to the public debate his work triggered between those in favour of his thesis and the tiny but influential "Bologna school" of neo-Modernist ideologues who wish to interpret Tradition in the light of Vatican II, instead of vice versa.
Partisans of the Bologna school are cranky because de Mattei — affirming the official declaration of the Council itself along with declarations by John XXIII, Paul VI and Cardinal Ratzinger — insists on the pastoral nature of Vatican II: "Only those who ignore theology could accord a degree of 'infallibility' to these teachings." Although a solemn meeting of bishops united with the Pope which proposed authentic teachings with full authority, he explains, their intended pastoral nature clearly does not require the same level of respect from the faithful as the teachings of a dogmatic Council. (Or as Msgr Gheradini put it during the aforementioned December 2010 Roman symposium, by reason of their pastoral nature, intrinsic novelty or contingent historical context, those aspects of Vatican II not dealing with doctrines of faith and morals already solemnly defined, do not possess in and of themselves a definitive or infallible character; they demand respect, but not "the obedience of faith.")
Yet de Mattei's book is not about determining a theological continuity between the Council texts and Tradition. It seeks to establish the discontinuity at the historical level. The new Conciliar language, for example: "A language made not only by declarations, but also in gestures, silences and omissions, which can reveal profound tendencies of an event even more than the contents of texts." Also, the Council's inexplicable silence on Communism ... cannot be ignored."
A new Syllabus?
Meantime, the Dublin Eucharistic Congress in 2012 is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. Not with a wake for geriatric comrades — to mourn the New Springtime that never was — but with yet another backslapping celebration of the greatest Catholic hatchet job in history. The joyful affirmations continue on even as the pews continue to empty, schools, parishes and entire dioceses shut down, and the faithful remnant endure the agony of death-by-a-thousand-cuts.
Presumably this ecclesiastically-engineered meltdown is what Cardinal Ratzinger envisioned when he cheerfully insisted that the Church "must relinquish many of the things that have hitherto spelled security for her and that she has taken for granted. She must demolish long-standing bastions and trust solely to the shield of faith." Having now seen his apocalyptic vision realised with barely a voice raised in anger, expect to see Pope Benedict at the forefront of the 2012 Dublin celebrations, safely shielded from the excoriating critiques of orthodox scholars and prelates struggling to rectify the Council's fatal deficiencies. Like Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan who recently proposed a new and long overdue Syllabus of Errors:
A courageous call from a fine prelate. But Bishop Schneider should brace himself for a pontifical rebuff. Cardinal Ratzinger categorically stated in his neo-Modernist Principles of Catholic Theology: "there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stagein the confrontation with liberalism and a newly conceived Marxism but cannot be the last stage."
Or as he put it as Pope on 22 December 2005, addressing the Curia on the 40th anniversary of Vatican II: "the Council had to find a new definition of the relationship between the Church and the modern age" generated by the Enlightenment principles of "the American Revolution" that had superseded the more "radical tendencies" of "the French Revolution." In other words, as flagged by L'Osservatore Romano's trumpeting of American political and popular culture ever since his election, and by his condom-touting Light of the World interview, Benedict has embraced America's post-Revolutionary "model of the modern state." Hence his simultaneous denunciation of Pius IX's Syllabus as a regrettably "harsh and radical condemnation of this spirit of the modern age."
This is the socio-political agenda underlying his mantra that "The task is not to suppress the Council, but to discover the real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of present experience." His predecessor parroted the same party line from day one. On 17 October 1978, smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney had barely dissipated before the newly-elected John Paul II rushed to proclaim:
Clearly, since the latest Conciliar "stage" of the neo-Modernist advance is one of rampant complicity, compromise and convergence with "modernity," an official list of Vatican II ambiguities and errors cannot be tolerated. It would only restore the demolished bastions of Tradition and derail the Revolution. A new Syllabus, therefore, is anathema. The corrupting Conciliar show must go on to its deathly denouement.
Furthermore, in addition to keeping the Revolution on the rails, all the Conciliar popes have a deep human interest in resisting calls for a Syllabus because it would show up their own personal theological and philosophical deviations from Catholic Tradition. While neo-cons resolutely shut their eyes and ears to this excruciating reality, the Liberals see and understand. The fierce irony of Pope John Paul II's double beatification in August 2000 of John XXIII and Pius IX, who drew up his Syllabus in 1864, was not lost on the arch-Liberal Commonweal magazine, for instance, which gloated at the time:
Precisely. And that is because "John Paul II boldly presided over the maturing of political and theological revolutions in Catholicism. ... he was a Pope of change, accomplishing radical shifts," as Time magazine noted with approval and admiration.
Paolo Sesto, Beato?
To preserve this carefully constructed status quo, therefore, no tainting of John Paul II and his tenure — the Golden Calf Papacy of the Golden Calf Council — will be countenanced. The undoing of Pope Paul VI's beatification by Father Luigi Villa's critical 1998 analysis Paolo Sesto, Beato? ["Paul VI, a Blessed?"] will not be repeated.
Fr Villa, a doctor of dogmatic theology and dedicated foe of ecclesiastical freemasonry, wrote his book in response to the Edict issued by Cardinal Ruini, Papal Vicar for the city of Rome, on 13 May 1992, in which he invited "every single faithful to communicate to us directly … any information which, in any way, may argue against the reputed sanctity of the said 'Servant of God' [Paul VI]."
However, it was only because Ruini bravely refused to collude in pushing through Pope Paul's cause regardless of objections that critics were afforded this opportunity — to protest that the
Effectively, Cardinal Ruini thwarted the sort of cover-up we are experiencing anew with John Paul II, who himself venerated Paul VI as a father figure and intended to beatify him post haste before Fr Villa's inconvenient truths stripped him bare; spelling out why Pope Paul cannot and must not be raised to the altar.
By studying thousands of pages of encyclicals, speeches, Conciliar documents, historical journals, commentaries and magazines, Fr Villa confirmed what he always knew about the New Church Paul VI had instituted. Under these chapter headings he detailed Pope Paul's: “New Religion”; “Opening to the World”; “Opening to Modernism”; “Opening to Freemasonry”; “Opening to Universal Democracy”; “Tolerance and Complicity”; “Opening to Communism”; and his “Ecumenical Mass.”
The Church never responded officially to his analysis but it created waves in Italy and Pope Paul's cause came to a screeching halt. Credible claims about his homosexuality and undoubted pro-Communist sympathies also played their part. But the unanswerable Villa critique was decisive. Recently translated into English, it is truly advertised as "The book that stopped the beatification process of Paul VI."
John Paul II, a Blessed?
Who could seriously doubt that a similar comprehensive case can be made against John Paul II under several similar chapter headings? Indeed it has already been made, many
One could start with Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi by Fr Johannes Doermann, tracing his heretical notion of Universal Salvation to its disastrous end.
The controversial but scholarly Abbé Georges de Nantes also wrote extensively against John Paul II (as he did against Paul VI). A continual thorn in the side of the Liberal hegemony in Rome, the Abbé's writings are said to have been examined by a committee set up by the Holy Office and pronounced free of error – "except on one very small point [he] had already corrected."
His closely argued case against John Paul II is set out in Liber Accusationis Secundus. Essentially, it accuses the Pope of promoting warmed over secular humanism with external Catholic trappings instead of the supernatural faith of the saints and martyrs: a "religion of man who makes himself God, and not the religion of God the Son, who became man for us." (The same accusation made against his mentor, Pope Paul VI, by Fr Villa.)
Among much else, de Nantes argues that the novel doctrine of "collegiality" so dear to John Paul II weakens the hierarchic structure of the Church. Also, that his doctrine of "the rights of man" conforms to the principles of 1789 and the doctrines of the French Revolution; ideas hitherto always reprobated and condemned by the Church.
And yet we return, as ever, to Vatican II. "It is in the decrees of the "néfaste concile" [ill-fated Council], as the Abbé calls it," writes one of his supporters, "that the root of the trouble lies. The possible shortcomings of the encyclicals and allocutions of one particular transient pontiff are of less significance." Unless, of course, they are blithely overlooked in order to "manifest the supernaturalness of Vatican II," as Fr Villa saw it.
The exhaustive, forensic investigation of the Council and the views and motivations of its proponents conducted by Atila Sink Guimaraes, set out in his volumes Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani?, is another devastating indictment of the whole sordid enterprise. "Book by book," a reviewer states, "this marvellous collection exposes the massive, murky mess that has been created as a result of the VaticanII agenda." One of these volumes alone — Vatican II, Homosexuality and Pedophilia — cries to Heaven for an abrupt repudiation of the Revolution and its twisting of the Faith and accommodation of sin. Yet still we see this neo-Modernism progressing hand-in-hand with our enemies in ever bolder relief, as a compromised Roman curia and "gay"-friendly prelates like Vincent Nichols and Bernard Longley conspire to accommodate active sodomites within a non-judgemental pan-sexual framework acceptable to the "modern state." John Paul II must take a large share of the blame for this outrage. In March 2004, while giving due credit to John Paul as a man, columnist Joseph Sobran reflected:
Nor does his studied refusal to act against the perverts evince an odour of sanctity; especially in light of the meticulous exposés delivered to him. Indeed, that an obscene figure like Marcial Maciel and the Legion of Christ scandal will forever hang like a devilish black cloud over his pontificate smacks of divine justice. Sadly, however, there was no canonical justice: no Devil's Advocate to call John Paul II to account for blithely ignoring anguished appeals from Maciel's victims; or to ascertain his awareness of Maciel's bagmen who bought him Roman influence and protection for years.
Being of one Conciliar mind, heart and soul with his predecessor, however, Pope Benedict has chosen to ignore all the excruciating facts in order to avert a replay of the Fr Villa debacle. And his emoting neo-conservative flock, soaked in sentimentalism and intellectually disengaged, is happy to look the other way with him. These robotic and fallible Catholics, as Professor John Rao recently noted in another context, "have been tempted either enthusiastically to accept fraudulent and manipulative changes as unquestionable goods or to deny the reality of the twists and turns of history, confuse the Tradition with merely familiar custom, and thereby hinder the advance of the Faith."
At the same time, as someone else observed, they are happy "to idolise these [papal] figures because they have thrown their lot in with the whole revolution, and tried to conserve it. So to be Traditional, to call into question actions of a pontiff, especially the ones who made the revolution which they defend, is to basically say 'you are wrong.' They don't terribly like that. No one likes to be told they are wrong, much less see the proof of it."
Most certainly, therefore, as the press has reported and will remind us repeatedly between now and May, the beatification will "draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Rome." Fittingly and per usual, the Neocatechumenal Way, whose 2005 "Saint Now!" mantra ignited the cause, will lead this homage to the man who formally approved their divisive Lutheran cult: arguably his most poisonous legacy of all, as the Japanese episcopal conference, which recently tried to suspend Neocat activities in Japan, has discovered [see "To Deceive the Elect," and "The Last Trojan Horse?" Oct.2002].
Behind the headlines, however, ignored and unreported, those refusing to go with the propagandistic flow will continue to voice their righteous indignation. "Beautifying and 'Beatifying' the Revolution — or its Ecumenism-Syncretism — is not a pretty thing. Nor faithful to the Lord, as I see it," opined a CO correspondent, expressing a mood captured by John Vennari in his immediate response to his Catholic Family News readership:
In his December 2010 Libero article, Prof. de Mattei explains that: "[the historian] cannot isolate the texts of the Second Vatican Council from the historical context which produced them.... Just as Vatican II cannot be presented as an event which only concerns three years of Church history, without considering the deep roots and also the profound consequences it had in the Church and society. The pretentious separation of the Council from the post-Council is as untenable as separating the Conciliar texts from the pastoral context in which they were written. No serious historian or person of good sense could accept this artificial separation born of pure bias and not of a serene and objective evaluation of facts. Still today, we are living the consequences of the 'Conciliar Revolution' which anticipated and accompanied that of May 1968. Why hide it? The Church, as Leo XIII affirmed, opening the Vatican Secret Archives to researchers, 'must not fear the truth'."
Similarly, we should not fear the truth about John Paul II, one of the leading architects of that very Revolution, nor create an "artificial separation" between the pontificate and the person based on emotion rather than "serene and objective evaluation of the facts"; details pertaining to his suspect views and their relation to the scandal and chaos he oversaw and bequeathed.
Like his mentor Paul VI and his successor Benedict XVI, John Paul II and Vatican II are joined at the hip. If that fact alone was not enough to disqualify his cause, it should at least have put it on hold for a very lengthy period of time. And that holds true even if God used the Council as a winnowing fan to purify His Church [see "Vatican II and Divine Providence," Oct. 2003]. God's ways are certainly not ours. But He does not play His earthly Vicars like fatalistic marionettes. A pope is not given a free pass on the strict fulfilment of his duties. He is not exempted from the godly exercise of his intellect, free will and prudential judgement. He does not stand blameless before God and men while peddling or tolerating erroneous ideas and actions that imperil the very Barque of Peter he commands. He is God's helmsman, not His helpless puppet!
During a 5 February 2011 episcopal ordination of the secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Benedict said "We must be careful that the faith always expresses itself in love and in justice toward each other." Absolutely. But where is the love and justice in disregarding the feelings of millions of faithful Catholics who harbour such fearful reservations about John Paul II? Where is the prudence and propriety in accelerating his beatification to warp speed in these circumstances? Where is the charity in treating critics as if their myriad, irrefutable objections do not exist?
The injustice at play here mirrors the heinous maltreatment and disregard endured by defenders of Tradition for forty-five years. It is a sure recipe for still further division and discontent in a Church already balkanised from top to bottom. It sets orthodox Catholics one against the other. And all for what? To shore up a corrosive Council and save it from the ignominious dustbin of history marked "Failed," that it so richly deserves.
Make no mistake, if D-Day marks the day on which a major military campaign begins with a view to ultimate victory, then 1 May 2011 is surely B-Day: John Paul II's beatification marking the start of the push for his canonisation and the final crowning of the Balthasarian revolt he led like no other.
If achieved, this Conciliar Crown of Thorns will weigh upon the Mystical Body of Christ in perpetuity: a bitter memorial to a sainted pontiff who played to the crowd while Razing the Bastions; who fought for Life yet, paradoxically, sacrificed his flock on the altar of neo-Modernism.