Yesterday on the show we talked with Tony Melendez about his experiences with Pope John Paul II and shared how much of an impact he had on our lives, as well.
While I know some people may not feel as affectionately towards JP2 as we do, I’m still surprised whenever we encounter people who seem to have outright disdain for the man, like in this email from someone who listened to our discussion yesterday. My comments in red, but we’d be curious to read your take on this. Do you think this email has any valid points?
I periodically listen to your show. Recently, I heard a show in which you were fawning over JPII [Fawning implies that we were falling all over ourselves. I would say we were sharing our appreciation for a loved one, much like we would a grandparent]. While he was loved by the masses, so is Obama [Right off, he lost me at this point. He may as well have invoked Godwin’s law]. That should not be the sole qualifier for sainthood!
JPII was in charge of our Holy Church when it was scandalized by pedophiles [and he addressed this criminal issue and important changes have been made in the Church to prevent these offenses in the future]. JPII allowed the litany of liturgical abuses to continue under his leadership [I would argue that the blame for many of these abuses falls in the hands of certain bishops, who of course, were under the leadership of JP2]. JPII attempted to change the most holy rosary instead of merely making his mysteries a separate chaplet (like the chaplet of St Michael) [he didn’t “attempt to.” He did. And I welcome the change, personally.]. JPII presided over these awful prayer meetings at Assisi; we do not stand side by side with heretics [Is that what Jesus meant in John 17:21? I’d encourage you to read Ut Unum Sint for more on this]. JPII allowed these rock like concerts to occur under the title “world youth day” [you mean with its emphasis on Eucharistic Adoration and drawing the youth closer to Christ in the Eucharist?].
No doubt that JPII had some very endearing qualities. But proclaiming him a saint (blessed), especially after just a couple of years [it’s been six years now, not two] after his papacy, is possibly scandalous and certainly premature. It took holy mother church many many years to canonize Robert Bellarmine and there is no comparison to the work he performed to save us (Holy Church) from Protestantism [but because of our modern day society and technology, the work of John Paul II is much more documented and accessible than that of Robert Bellarmine, with whom many Catholics are entirely unfamiliar].
I realize that your wife is a convert and you are a cradle catholic and both post-VatII babies, but there are currently two western Masses (TLM and the Novus ordo). You should explore the difference before clinging so tightly to the new one [you assume we haven’t]. The FSSP has a beautiful Latin rite church in Atlanta [and we’ve been told multiple times by different families that with as loud as some of our kids are, we wouldn’t be overly welcome at such Masses in our area]. You both owe it to yourselves and your children to explore it [we would welcome the opportunity to celebrate in the Latin rite, but in this season of our life it is not possible].
I would be interested in hearing your comments and thanks for the pro life work you both do.
1962 was the year in which Pope John XXIII issued a solemn papal bull, Veterum Sapientia, which confirmed that, as it had been in the past; Latin, it must ever continue to be the language of the Mass and the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John XXIII specifically rejected the use of a vernacular language as unCatholic and confirmed Sacred Tradition and the dogmatic Council of Trent that anyone who called for the use of any other language in the Mass than the traditional Latin is condemned. [I’m not overly familiar with this last document, so perhaps someone else can chime in on this matter. UPDATE 3/8/11 – I reviewed this document and it does not include what the email claimed. See more details in the comments below.].
So what are your thoughts? I still believe John Paul II is entirely deserving of beatification. Did he make mistakes? Certainly. Could he have done better in some circumstances? Without a doubt. But the same could be said for every single saint we honor in the Church today.