Vatican sources say second miracle approved for John Paul II
In all of JPII's teachings is the notion of the gift. Christ is the gift. Grace is the gift. Christ offers the gift, and the gift is free. But a gift must be received. Notice in his teachings that nothing lacks on Christ's end. His action is complete and perfect in His incarnation, sufferings, death, and resurrection. From the perspective of Christ's actions, heaven and earth have been completely renewed and restored. This is where JPII's statements come from. In the fuller context of his teaching, he repeats over and over again that the gift must be received, and we ourselves need to give ourselves as gift in reciprocation. As St Paul said, "But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ overflow for the many. And the gift is not like the result of the one person’s sinning. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 5:15-21).

As for Assisi, we've spoken about this at length. One glaring thing that is new is the context. Never in the past was there the real possibility of annihilation of all men through nuclear war. With this context and possibility, and all the statements he made to clarify the participation, I see no sin nor scandal. The Church up to this point does not either. Whenever you wonder about the "abomination" of praying with unbelievers in the manner of Assisi, the Pope leading a general plea for peace from the Almighty, and setting the example of conflicting groups coming together, just think about these:

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So the new context is so unprecedented that the end justifies the means...

How far traditional Catholicism has come. With a philosophy like this, there will nothing left to stand on in the next 50 years.
I would like to offer my thoughts about this whole issue.

The death of John Paul II was, for me, the beginning of my immersion into the Catholic Faith. The amount of attention brought the image of St. Peter's Basilica into my eyes and it was then that I actually learned who and what a pope was.

When I entered high school, the memory of the deceased pontiff was still in the hearts of my teachers and those students who cared. Everywhere I went, there were In Memoriam pictures of him in hallways, classrooms, religious textbooks, and talks about his great life, etc. I accepted this firsthand, since there was lot of trust back then.

I first started to learn more about the Faith after high school and I started to look up sites such as Catholic answers (after a short hiatus), Wikipedia (not the most accurate and the source of many psychological/philosophical pains I have endured), and things called "blogs" and "YouTube links" about Catholicism. What started my critical view of JPII was when I found the blog titled "Athanasius Contra Mundum". I've read quite a lot from his blog, of which I kept his writings, and I was suddenly presented with a different picture of JPII.

Other Traditionalist sites such as this one have further corroborated the notion that I simply didn't get the entire person of JPII. There were many things about him that were omitted!

However, I have to say that, as an extremely logical person who is into the sciences, there could be some exaggerations into the mistakes JPII committed during his reign that I simply don't understand unless I examine it in context. Just because the criticism is from a Traditionalist and is negative, it doesn't mean that it is true all the time. It is imperative that there should be definitive PROOF without any agenda behind it to convince both Catholic and non-Catholic that either he was a good man who made many mistakes that brought about confusion/scandal or he was what Traditionalists want him to be: a heretic.

Years have followed since my apparent disillusionment with the notion of placing absolute trust in the Faith that I was taught to love and protect, I remain convinced that there are still unanswered questions about the man, his actions, and his image. For the sake of objective honesty, any evidence against his canonization must be brought to light. But I know that the officials in Rome will never do that. EVER. Apparently, it is more important to try to have good PR with the world than with the Truths of the Faith. At least, that seems to be what it looks like from the outside world.

How do I cope with this apparent cognitive dissonance that I feel about this whole issue? I simply don't. I act as if it means nothing to me. If he is canonized, then let the chips land where they fall. We'll see what is next to occur. I look forward to it. Where will you be if/when it happens? Are you ready for the consequences? For me, as of now... not really. :|
(06-28-2013, 10:21 AM)Scriptorium Wrote: This is where JPII's statements come from. In the fuller context of his teaching, he repeats over and over again that the gift must be received, and we ourselves need to give ourselves as gift in reciprocation.

But this is precisely the problem since Pope John Paul II made statements that either explicitly or implicitly indicated that men are in a state of sanctifying grace through their very conception:
Quote:“The Church proclaims to men their immense dignity, knowing already that she can point to its perfect realization, by a gift of infinite grace, in the Mother of God: to the man who is tormented and defeated, whose rights are violated and whose liberties are scoffed at, the Church announces today, like the Angel to Mary, that he is the icon of the living God, the temple of the Holy Spirit.”
John Paul II, Homily at Morning Prayer, March 25, 1988

These general statements that would suggest that men do not need to convert to the Catholic faith in order to be saved (since they are already "reconciled to God in their inmost being") are confirmed by particular statements regarding other religions:
Quote:Your Colloquium can help to avoid the misunderstanding of syncretism, the confusion of one another’s identities as believers, the shadow and suspicion of proselytism. You are effectively carrying out the insights of the Second Vatican Council.”
Address to the Second International Catholic-Jewish Theological Colloquium, November 6, 1986.

(06-28-2013, 10:21 AM)Scriptorium Wrote: As for Assisi, we've spoken about this at length. One glaring thing that is new is the context. Never in the past was there the real possibility of annihilation of all men through nuclear war. With this context and possibility, and all the statements he made to clarify the participation, I see no sin nor scandal. The Church up to this point does not either. Whenever you wonder about the "abomination" of praying with unbelievers in the manner of Assisi, the Pope leading a general plea for peace from the Almighty, and setting the example of conflicting groups coming together...


Can you not see that this is Modernism? No context can change what is intrinsically immoral to something good. You say that the Church sees "no sin or scandal" in what happened in Assisi. But She has - repeatedly. Just because the teaching authority has been silent on this subject over the last 50 years does not mean that Her previous prohibitions against such participation were in error.
1) I do not see Assisi or similar meetings as intrinsically evil. Even though there was prayer, communicatio in sacris refers to public worship rites, and ultimately to communion (or whatever is the central "sacrament" of a given religion). Shared vespers is closer to this than Assisi. And with all the safeguards given by JPII there, it is really not warranted to draw an interpretation in contradiction to the clearly stated one.

2) Thus this is not ends justifying the means, but realizing in conditions unprecedented an event that is unprecedented. Assisi is new. It is not covered by previous teachings, because it nothing like it has taken place. People were given wide berth to have political and religious divisions -- lobbing bombs and anathemas. Not so now. So the means and the ends are admirable in themselves -- beseeching the Almighty for peace. Just because some people in the group perhaps held conceptions of God that are wanting, does not detract from the good of what they did, which was answer the Pope's call, and display a message to the world that even though we do not see eye to eye, we can still agree to conduct our dialog and work out our differences in a peaceful atmosphere. No one said that differences no longer existed, but that they should be worked out in dialog and peace.

As for the other topics, let this suffice, from Crossing the Threshold of Hope (sorry for formatting):

In your question you speak of "an honest, upright life even without the Gospel." I would respond
that if a life is truly upright it is because the Gospel, not known and therefore not rejected on a
conscious level, is in reality already at work in the depths of the person who searches for the truth
with honest effort and who willingly accepts it as soon as it becomes known to him. Such
willingness is, in fact, a manifestation of grace at work in the soul. The Spirit blows where He wills
and as He wills (cf. Jn 3:8).
The freedom of the Spirit meets the freedom of man and fully confirms
This clarification was necessary in order to avoid any danger of a
Pelagian interpretation.
danger already existed in the time of Saint Augustine, and seems to be surfacing again in our time.
Pelagius asserted that even without divine grace, man could lead a good and happy life. Divine
grace, therefore, was not necessary for him. But the truth is that man is actually called to salvation;
that a good life is the condition of salvation; and that salvation cannot be attained without the help
of grace.
Ultimately, only God can save man, but He expects man to cooperate.
The fact that man can
cooperate with God determines his authentic greatness. The truth according to which man is called
to cooperate with God in all things, with a view toward the ultimate purpose of his life-his salvation
and divinization-found expression in the Eastern tradition in the
doctrine of
With God, man "creates" the world;
with God, man "creates" his personal salvation. The divinization of man comes from God. But here, too, man must cooperate with God.

* * *

Recently in the Church, words have multiplied. It seems that in the last
twenty years more "documents" have been produced at every level of the
Church than in the entire preceding twenty centuries.
Yet to some it has seemed that this very loquacious Church is silent
about what is most essential: eternal life.
Your Holiness, do heaven, purgatory, and hell still exist? Why do many
Churchmen comment interminably upon topical issues, but hardly ever
speak to us about eternity, about that ultimate union with God that, as
faith teaches, remains man's vocation, man's destiny, and ultimate end?

Please open the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,
Lumen Gentium,
to chapter 7, which
discusses the eschatological character of the pilgrim Church on earth, as well as the union of the
earthly Church with the Church in heaven. Your question addresses not the unity of the pilgrim
Church and the heavenly Church, but the connection between eschatology and the Church on earth.
In this regard, you point out that in pastoral practice this perspective has in some ways been lost,
and I must acknowledge that there is some truth to this.
Let's remember that not so long ago, in sermons during retreats or missions, the
Last Things-
judgment, heaven, hell, and purgatory-were always a standard part of the program of meditation and
preachers knew how to speak of them in an effective and evocative way. How many people were
drawn to conversion and confession by these sermons and reflections on the Last Things!
Furthermore, we have to recognize that this pastoral style was
profoundly personal:
that at the end you will present yourself before God with your entire life. Before His judgment seat
you will be responsible for all of your actions, you will be judged not only on your actions and on
your words but also on your thoughts, even the most secret." It could be said that these sermons,
which correspond perfectly to the content of Revelation in the Old and New Testaments, went to the
very heart of man's inner world. They stirred his conscience, they threw him to his knees, they led
him to the screen of the confessional, they had a profound saving effect all their own.
Man is free and therefore
His is a personal and social responsibility, a responsibility
before God, a responsibility which is his greatness. I understand the fears of which you are
speaking: you are afraid that the fact that one no longer speaks of these things in evangelization, in
catechesis, and in homilies represents a
threat to this basic greatness of man.
Indeed, we could ask
ourselves if the Church would still be able to awaken heroism and produce saints without
proclaiming this message. And I am not speaking so much about the "great" saints, who are elevated
to the honor of the altars, but of the "everyday" saints, to use the term in the sense it has had from
early Christian literature.
Significantly, the Council also reminds us of the universal call to holiness in the Church. This
vocation is universal and concerns each of the baptized, every Christian. It is always very personal,
connected to work, to one's profession. It is an account rendered of the talents each person has
received-whether one has made good or bad use of them. We know that the words the Lord Jesus
spoke about the man who had buried the talent were very harsh and threatening (cf. Mt 25:25-30).
It can be said that until recently the Church's catechesis and preaching centered upon an
one, for that matter, which is profoundly rooted in Divine Revelation. The vision
proposed by the Council, however, was that of an
eschatology of the Church and of the world.
The title of chapter 7 of
Lumen Gentium-
"The Eschatological Nature of the Pilgrim Church"
I suggested you reread, clearly reveals this intention. Here is the opening passage: "The Church, to
which we are all called in Jesus Christ and in which through God's grace we attain holiness, will
reach its fulfillment only in the glory of heaven, when the time comes for the renewal of all things
(cf. Acts 3:21), and when the human race together with the entire world, which is intimately
connected to man and through him arrives at its destiny, will be perfectly renewed in Christ. . . .
And indeed Christ, when He rose up from the earth, drew all to Himself (cf. Jn 12:32); rising from
the dead (cf. Rm 6:9) He instilled in the Apostles His animating Spirit, and through the Spirit built
His Body which is the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation; seated at the right hand of the
Father, He is continually at work in the world guiding men to the Church and through it uniting
them more closely with Himself, and nourishing them with His own Body and Blood He gives them
a share in His glorious life. Therefore, the promised renewal that we await is already begun in
Christ. It is carried forward by the Holy Spirit and through the Spirit it continues in the Church,
where the faith teaches us the meaning of our temporal life, while we finish, in the hope of future
good, the work given to us in the world by the Father, and thus give fulfillment to our salvation (cf.
Phil 2:12). The end of the age has already arrived (cf. 1 Cor 10:11) and the world's renewal is
irrevocably set-and in a certain real way it is even anticipated in this world. Already, on earth the
Church is adorned with true, even if imperfect, holiness. But until there are new heavens and a new
earth, in which justice resides (cf. 2 Pt 3:10-13), the pilgrim Church, with its sacraments and
institutions which belong to the present stage of history, carries the mark of this fleeting world, and
lives among creation, which still groans and struggles, yearning for the appearance of the children
of God (cf. Rm 8:19-22)" (
Lumen Gentium
It must be admitted that
this eschatological vision was only faintly present in traditional preaching.
And yet we are talking about an original, biblical vision. The entire passage I just quoted is actually
composed of passages cited from the Gospel, the letters of the Apostles, and the Acts of the
Apostles. The eschatological tradition, which centered upon the so-called
Last Things,
is placed by
the Council in this fundamental biblical vision. Eschatology, as I have already mentioned, is
profoundly anthropological,
but in light of the New Testament, it is above all centered on Christ and
the Holy Spirit, and it is also, in a certain sense,
We can ask ourselves if man, with his individual life, his responsibility, his destiny, with his
personal eschatological future, his heaven or hell or purgatory, does not end up getting lost in this
cosmic dimension. Recognizing the good reasons which led you to ask your question, it is necessary
to respond honestly by saying yes:
To a certain degree man does get lost;
so too do preachers,
catechists, teachers; and as a result, they no longer have the courage to preach the threat of hell. And
perhaps even those who listen to them have stopped being afraid of hell.
In fact,
people of our time have become insensitive to the Last Things.
On the one hand,
secularization and secularism
promote this insensitivity and lead to a consumer mentality oriented
toward the enjoyment of earthly goods. On the other hand, the
"hells on earth"
created in this
century which is now drawing to a close have also contributed to this insensitivity. After the
experience of concentration camps, gulags, bombings, not to mention natural catastrophes, can man
possibly expect anything worse from this world, an even greater amount of humiliation and
contempt? In a word, hell?
To a certain degree, eschatology has become irrelevant to contemporary man,
especially in our
civilization. Nonetheless,
faith in God, as Supreme Justice,
has not become irrelevant to man; the
expectation remains that there is Someone who, in the end, will be able to speak the truth about the
good and evil which man does, Someone able to reward the good and punish the bad. No one else
but He is capable of doing it. People continue to have this awareness, which has survived in spite of
the horrors of our century. "And so it is appointed that men die once, and then comes judgment" (cf.
Heb 9:27).
This awareness also represents, in a certain sense, a common denominator for all monotheistic
religions as well as for others. When the Council speaks of the eschatological character of the
pilgrim Church it does so on the basis of this awareness.
God, who is the just Judge,
the Judge who
rewards good and punishes evil, is none other than the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Moses, and
also of Christ, who is His Son. This God is,
above all, Love.
Not just Mercy, but Love. Not only the
Father of the prodigal son, but the Father who "gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in
him might not perish but might have eternal life" (cf. Jn 3:16).
This truth which the Gospel teaches about God requires a certain
change in focus with regard to
First of all, eschatology is not what will take place in the future, something happening
only after earthly life is finished.
Eschatology has already begun with the coming of Christ.
ultimate eschatological event was His redemptive Death and His Resurrection. This is the beginning
of "a new heaven and a new earth" (cf. Rev 21:1). For everyone, life beyond death is connected with
the affirmation: "I believe in the resurrection of the body," and then: "I believe in the forgiveness of
sins and in life everlasting." This is
Christocentric eschatology
In Christ, God revealed to the world that He desires "everyone to be saved and to come to
knowledge of the truth" (1 Tm 2:4). This phrase from the First Letter to Timothy is of fundamental
importance for understanding and preaching the Last Things. If God desires this-if, for this reason,
God has given His Son, who in turn is at work in the Church through the Holy Spirit-
can man be
can he be rejected by God?
The problem of hell has always disturbed great thinkers in the Church, beginning with Origen and
continuing in our time with Sergey Bulgakov and Hans Urs von Balthasar. In point of fact, the
ancient councils rejected the theory of the "
final apocatastasis,"
according to which the world
would be regenerated after destruction, and every creature would be saved; a theory which
indirectly abolished hell. But the problem remains. Can God, who has loved man so much, permit
the man who rejects Him to be condemned to eternal torment? And yet, the words of Christ are
unequivocal. In Matthew's Gospel He speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf.
Mt 25:46). Who will these be? The Church has never made any pronouncement in this regard. This
is a mystery, truly inscrutable, which embraces the holiness of God and the conscience of man. The
silence of the Church is, therefore, the only appropriate position for Christian faith. Even when
Jesus says of Judas, the traitor, "It would be better for that man if he had never been born" (Mt
26:24), His words do not allude for certain to eternal damnation.
At the same time, however, there is something in man's moral conscience itself that rebels against
any loss of this conviction: Is not God who is Love also ultimate Justice? Can He tolerate these
terrible crimes, can they go unpunished? Isn't final punishment in some way necessary in order to
reestablish moral equilibrium in the complex history of humanity? Is not hell in a certain sense the
ultimate safeguard of man's moral conscience?
The Holy Scriptures include the concept of the
purifying fire.
The Eastern Church adopted it
because it was biblical, while not receiving the Catholic doctrine on purgatory.
Besides the bull of Benedict XII from the fourteenth century, the
mystical works of Saint John of the
offered me a very strong argument for purgatory. The "living flame of love," of which Saint
John speaks, is above all a purifying fire. The mystical nights described by this great Doctor of the
Church on the basis of his own experience correspond, in a certain sense, to purgatory. God makes
man pass through such an interior purgatory of his sensual and spiritual nature in order to bring him
into union with Himself. Here we do not find ourselves before a mere tribunal. We present ourselves
before the power of Love itself.
Before all else, it is Love that judges.
God, who is Love, judges through love. It is Love that
demands purification, before man can be made ready for that union with God which is his ultimate
vocation and destiny.
Perhaps this is enough. Many theologians, in the East and the West, including contemporary
theologians, have devoted their studies to the Last Things. The Church still has its eschatological
awareness. It still leads man to eternal life. If the Church should cease to do so, it would cease being
faithful to its vocation, to the New Covenant, which God has made with it in Jesus Christ.

Like it or not JPII was a towering figure in the latter half if the 20th century. Whether he is a saint or not  is debatable but no one can deny that in a world that had gone mad with death camps, nuclear bombs, atheistic communism and secularist nihilism his presence on the world stage turned peoples hearts to God and eternity. His methods were unconventional and novel in many ways and he certainly said and did things that i personally would never say or do but in the end i think history will look kindly on him. Whether he should be a saint or not is debatable though...but no one can deny that he brought many to there Church.and that to this day he gives people a lot of hope. His style, his ecumenism, his sometimes bizarre and scandalous antics should be matters of reproach but who among us can say we are always shining examples of traditional catholicism in our own lives? i personally do not like many things about him but on the end whether he is calls a saint or not will not destroy my faith in Christ or the church.
There may have been active participation of Catholics in non-Catholic worship, but even if there weren't what happened at Assisi was still intrinsically evil since the rites of non-Catholics are per se pernicious:

St Thomas Aquinas in the secunda secundae discuss the question "whether there can be anything pernicious in the worship of the true God" (ST II-II Q. 93, a. 1). He answers:
The Angelic Doctor Wrote:As Augustine states (Cont. Mendac. xiv), "a most pernicious lie is that which is uttered in matters pertaining to Christian religion." Now it is a lie if one signify outwardly that which is contrary to the truth. But just as a thing is signified by word, so it is by deed: and it is in this signification by deed that the outward worship of religion consists, as shown above (Question 81, Article 07). Consequently, if anything false is signified by outward worship, this worship will be pernicious.

Now, although, we may rightly recognise that "many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of [the Church's] visible structure" (Lumen Gentium, VIII), we must also recognise that there is much that is unholy and false in these other religions, otherwise we would be confronted with a number of religions all entirely holy and true. Therefore, because the worship pertaining to non-Catholic religions expresses the faith of these religions, and since these religions contain (to varying degrees) falsehood, their outward worship must per se signify the falsehood that they contain. Which worship, as St Thomas explains, is pernicious and intrinsically so.

In the prima secundae St Thomas makes the following statement regarding the participation of Christians in the ceremonies of the Jewish religion (ST I-II q. 103, a. 4):
The Angelic Doctor Wrote:All ceremonies are professions of faith, in which the interior worship of God consists. Now man can make profession of his inward faith, by deeds as well as by words: and in either profession, if he make a false declaration, he sins mortally.

So, we can see that St Thomas Aquinas, following Christian tradition, observes that the rites of any religion other than that of the true faith are objectively immoral. So, for a Catholic - let alone the Roman Pontiff - to invite Animists etc to perform their rites in places consecrated to Catholic worship is to be complicit in their sin.

But, this is precisely the danger of the imminent canonisation of Pope John Paul II since, in order to reduce the cognitive dissonance provoked by the example of a much-loved Roman Pontiff who spoke and acted in a way contrary to Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium, as John Paul II did on a number of occasions, otherwise intelligent Catholics pervert the rule of faith by reinterpreting the deposit of faith to conform to words and actions that in any other age but our own would have been condemned.

I find it frightening that Catholics could even try to justify things for which, rather, reparation should be made to Almighty God. I suspect that such mental somersaults are a foreshadowing of and a preparation for the advent of Antichrist when many Catholics will also call what is "evil good and [what is] good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). 
Scriptorum, those things are all still happening...  how the heck do you reason that Assisi somehow prevents all that???

If anything it may bring on the Lord's wrath even moreso into INVITING those things... which may factor into WHY WE DO have them.
God has reserved to himself the right to end the world, he is not going to let mankind do it with nuclear weapons.  The fact that war comes directly from God is both in scripture and tradition and is even part of the message of Fatima. 
(07-01-2013, 08:50 AM)nmoerbeek Wrote: God has reserved to himself the right to end the world, he is not going to let mankind do it with nuclear weapons.

You don't know that.

(07-01-2013, 08:50 AM)nmoerbeek Wrote: The fact that war comes directly from God is both in scripture and tradition and is even part of the message of Fatima. 

So let's have war, and we'll do God's will! I admire your zeal, and your particular vocation as a knight, but you need to tone down your apology for all this. Unless we have a Moses or Joshua in our midst with a direct line to God, we don't know what God wills or does not will in human conflict. I adopt the line of the pacifict warrior, which is essentially the just-war doctrine. War and open violent conflict should be the absolute final (and sad) step to resolve a conflict that needs to be resolved. We should seek to flee from it as long as we can, and enter into it wishing to end it as soon as possible. The Church's movement to interact with other religions and denominations through person to person dialog is a great step. War is a punushment for sin. Whether God's permits it, or wills it, for a good is known to Him. But we can be clear that war is not a signal of God's favor, since there are always losers, but God wishes all men to be saved, and sorrows at the loss of souls. His perfect justice never conflicts with His nature as love. And we should also not accept that a mere agreement to not kill each other is a signal of great grace. But because the Church has taken in hand this worldwide movement to person to person dialog, I see that as a great grace and signal to use that means instead of violence. Or as Dorothy Day would say -- make the world safe for conflict. We can concflict without carpet-bombing towns of women and children.

(07-01-2013, 06:04 AM)Scotus Wrote: I suspect that such mental somersaults are a foreshadowing of and a preparation for the advent of Antichrist when many Catholics will also call what is "evil good and [what is] good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). 

Except that it comes from the Church. The Church is our sure guide, so we aren't led astray by her. Catholicism isn't Assisi. That was one event. But the general ecumenical trend is from the Church. She does not lead us astray, but is the built on solid ground. On a rock called Christ. I believe in that.

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