JP II and Ecumenism:
#1
An interesting article on the late pontiff which tries to reason out his rampant ecumenism.





A Reign of Conflict: The Ecumenical Papacy of John Paul II in Context
 
Link to this article by referencing this address:
http://www.lumengentleman.com/content.asp?id=87
Pictures of the corpse of John Paul II are all over the news at the moment, images that are profoundly disturbing (and surprisingly so, for many). His face is tightly drawn at the lips, and the expression is still very near to a grimace of pain. He passed away with great suffering, it is said - perhaps a suffering that was more internal and spiritual than physical (for reasons explained below).
But most of all, he looks tired, and there is a very good reason for this. His papacy was one of constant struggle, constant outpouring of energy, constant - and urgent - labor for results that never came to fruition. We are speaking, of course, of John Paul II and his constant work in the field of ecumenism and inter-religious efforts.
The question of the late pope's ecumenism is a difficult one. For many, it evokes strong feelings, feelings of dismay and even anger. The pope prayed with everyone under the sun: he worshiped with Anglicans and Lutherans; he prayed in synagogues and mosques; he embraced the Eastern Orthodox as the true "sister" Church, the other "lung" in the Body of Christ; he invited Hindus, Buddhists, and even Animists to share equal time, space, and prayer at St. Francis' basilica in Assisi, not just once, but twice.
These acts had been soundly condemned by previous popes - of that there is no question. Objectively speaking, the pontiff became guilty of what the catechisms of the Church (even the new CCC) call sin-by-association: becoming guilty of someone else's sin by sharing in that person's sin, which can be effected by counsel, command, provocation, and even failure to condemn.
But the issues are more complex than that. Subjectively speaking, why did the Holy Father do these things? Why was he so seemingly reckless, so apparently willing to sell the Church's dogmas for a bowl of ecumenical stew? What did he hope to gain, what prize did he feel was worth the exchange?
Our consideration must include the historical context of John Paul II's papacy - and more so, the spiritual-historical context, that is, the "decisive battle" of which Sr. Lucy spoke: "[The Blessed Virgin Mary] told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin."
The ecumenism of the pontiff must be considered in the context of this impending conflict: the holy father saw, with unusual spiritual clarity, that history was racing towards this war between Heaven and Hell - and he felt certain that it would take place shortly after the change of millennium. In his May 13, 2000 homily at the beatification of the two Fatima seers, Bl. Francisco and Bl. Jacinta, the pope warned that "the message of Fatima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the 'dragon' whose 'tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth'," adding that "the destiny of [the Blessed Virgin's] children is at stake."
It was not without reason that the Holy Father chose the year 2000 to beatify these two children. In his homily he referred to the current era as "these times of tribulation," noting that "Our Lady asked for prayer and penance to shorten them."
Already in his very first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis - though written in 1978, a full 22 years before 2000 - he spoke about the coming of the new millennium and how significant it would surely be:

Quote:To [Jesus Christ] go my thoughts and my heart in this solemn moment of the world that the Church and the whole family of present-day humanity are now living. In fact, this time, in which God in his hidden design has entrusted to me ... is already very close to the year 2000. At this moment it is difficult to say what mark that year will leave on the face of human history or what it will bring to each people, nation, country and continent, in spite of the efforts already being made to foresee some events. (Redemptor Hominis, 1) We feel not only the need but even a categorical imperative for great, intense and growing prayer by all the Church. Only prayer can prevent all these great succeeding tasks and difficulties from becoming a source of crisis ... in this stage of history approaching the end of the second millennium. (ibid., 22)
He was also confronted with a fixed reality: the Church left to him by Paul VI was a Church already largely sold to Satan. Some of his own highest-ranking cardinals had participated in a Satanic Black Mass in 1963, formally "enthroning" Satan as the prince of the Vatican:

Quote:Most frighteningly for John Paul, he had come up against the irremovable presence of a malign strength in his own Vatican and in certain bishops' chanceries ... Rumors, always difficult to verify, tied its installation to the beginning of Pope Paul VI's reign in 1963. Indeed Paul had alluded somberly to 'the smoke of Satan which has entered the Sanctuary' ... an oblique reference to an enthronement ceremony by Satanists in the Vatican. (Malachi Martin, The Keys of this Blood [Simon & Schuster, 1991], p. 632)
He was fully aware (long before the story broke in the media back in 2001) of the evil underbelly of homosexuality and pedophilia - a network so vast and powerful that even today we probably don't know the half of it. He knew that his cardinals were part of it (Chicago's Cardinal Bernardin, Boston's Cardinal Law, and others), and that they, along with some prominent bishops, had already orchestrated the murders of a few would-be whistle-blowers. Father Martin continues:

Quote:... the incidence of Satanic pedophilia - rites and practices - was already documented among certain bishops and priests as widely dispersed as Turin, in Italy, and South Carolina, in the United States. The cultic acts of Satanic pedophilia are considered by professionals to be the culmination of the Fallen Archangel’s rites. (Keys, p. 632)
Added to the Satanists and sexual deviants (one and the same thing, really) in the priesthood, on the one hand, he had the constant threat of the major, public schism of liberal dissidents on the other hand. The unceasing chorus of progressivist nuns, priests, laity, professors, theologians, etc. who insisted on a married clergy, women's ordinations, allowance of contraception, allowance of divorce and remarriage, the democratization of the papacy, and so on, rang constantly in the pope's ears.
Looking to the polar opposite, he had to confront the reality of an ever-growing Traditional movement that was also a little more than ruffled and discontent - but for exactly the opposite reasons of the liberals. Lefebvre and his group wanted to stop the already-out-of-control avalanche of conciliar changes, and they wanted it stopped dead in its tracks. No compromises, no fooling around. From 1978 to 1988 there was a threat of a very public rupture here as well - a threat which became reality in June of 1988.
On the international, geopolitical front, the pope was also well aware of some major and alarming trends - meetings being held by the world's power brokers to discuss the benefits of (and concrete plans for) a New World Order - a one-world government, and everything that goes along with that concept. Perhaps most disturbing was the fact that the pope's own high-ranking cardinals (Sodano among them, if Fr. Martin is to be believed) were being invited to these meetings, and were more than willing to sell out the traditional, monarchical, papal-run Roman Church in favor of a more democratic model that could be more easily absorbed into the one-world system.
This is what the pontiff faced for 26 years. Major changes on the global front (many dangerous changes, at that!); serious discontent (and even dissent) within the Church, both from liberals and traditionalists; Satanism fully enthroned at too many levels within the hierarchy; a powerful network of sexual deviants dressed in priestly collars, not at all afraid to kill those who got in the way.
On top of all of this, as mentioned, he saw the world racing towards the final conflict: the final Woman vs. Serpent confrontation.
He knew, and knew well, that his Church was in no way prepared for that battle, and the Church needed to be prepared for that battle if the world was going to have a chance at survival (as the Church goes, so goes the world).
The situation of JP2 can be likened to that of a seasoned chess-master, approaching a game that is already in progress. As he takes his seat at the table to do battle with a Grand Master, he realizes, to his horror, that he's joining the game with only a handful of pawns on his side, while his opponent has not lost a piece yet.
As he looked around him for support, he discovered that most of his princes were either already sold out to his enemy (and thus were against him), or were too preoccupied with other concerns (such as securing positions of power in the coming NWO government) to care about the spiritual conflict.
In many ways, JP2 was a prisoner in his own palace, surrounded by cold and conniving men who wanted him gone, and would gladly do what they had to in order to get him out.
This is the context in which we have to consider his ecumenism.
Seen from this view, the ecumenical (and inter-religious) efforts of JP2 were not so much a purposeful selling-out of Catholic non-negotiables for the sake of false unity - they were, rather, the desperate attempts of a man who knew he was fighting a losing battle to somehow unify the troops.
There would be no spiritual assistance from his own Church in the great coming conflict, so he turned to those who were at least united to the Mystical Body by common baptism, by common heritage, by common sacraments, and even to those non-Christian religions who at least possessed a shred of good-will or belief in God.
There is a spiritual analogy here with the natural/earthly situation during the time of the Protestant Revolt. With the impending and inevitable threat of a Muslim invasion, Martin Luther picked precisely the wrong moment of history to cause a rupture within the Church. What the Church needed was religious unity, because the enemy was certainly unified. Likewise, with the great battle of Heaven vs. Hell about to unfold, JP2 saw that this was precisely the wrong moment for the Church to suffer rupture and division.
He can be viewed, from this perspective, as a general whose own soldiers have largely defected or become apathetic to the war, a general who then had to run up and down the city streets looking for anyone who had even the most basic will to fight, the most rudimentary knowledge of warfare. Anyone willing to hold a gun would be of at least some use to this general.
So he reached out to them, emphasizing over and over the things shared in common with other denominations and religions. Protestants? At least we share a common baptism and a love for Scripture. Orthodox? Yes, we have a common apostolic succession and a common valid Mass. Jews? We are brothers, overlapping parts of a common history - Old and New Testaments incarnated. Muslims? We both worship a monotheistic God, have respect for the Blessed Virgin, find in Abraham a father figure. And on and on the pontiff went, willing to take even the slightest scrap of commonality in order to help others get their foot in the door, so to speak. Where other popes sat on the papal throne and chose to say, "We have the truth - you come to us if you want it," this pope realized that he had little-to-no time for that approach. Rather, he saw the impending battle, saw the Devil gearing up for a fight, and accordingly, he leaped off the papal throne and hastily began traveling the world to make his appeal.
Was this the right approach? That is certainly debatable. Perhaps, however, we can begin to at least understand why the pontiff did what he did, in the manner in which he did it. Certainly it wasn't out of any malicious intent to sell out the Church; on the contrary, he saw that the Church had already been sold out by his predecessor, who had left him a chessboard with only a few pawns to his name.
He saw the great challenge in front of him, and decided to tackle it, rather than run away from it. For more than a quarter of a century, he woke up every morning and renewed his choice to continue fighting, to keep trying, to work tirelessly (the pope got up at 5:00 every morning, and went to bed at 11:00 at night) at drawing up a reasonable battle plan.
Perhaps he even knew that he wouldn't live to see that actual conflict take place. Perhaps his intent was merely to prepare the way and attempt to give a future successor the necessary tools to complete the job.
Whatever the intentions, the vision of the Final Battle motivated him to relentlessly pursue religious unity - perhaps at too high a cost. It is undeniable that reunion with the Eastern Orthodox was of primary importance to JP2, and an achievement that he no doubt considered within the realm of real possibility. His greatest disappointment, according to those who were closest to him, was the failure to achieve that reunion.
His part in the war, from an earthly point of view, is over now; no doubt he continues to contribute, but from the spirit realm and not the worldly realm (this is not to in any way perform an "instant canonization" of the pope, but only to say that, as a member of the Mystical Body, he has not ceased to be a part of the war, regardless of whether he went through or is still going through Purgatory or not). It is the recognition of the enormity of the struggles and challenges he faced, with seemingly few successes, that leads to a grieving spirit now. It was a long and tiring reign, a reign that wore him to the bone. It would have been rewarding to have seen more victories.
In the final analysis, the pontiff chose the path of action that he thought would be most successful. He bent over backwards to prepare the Church (and the world) for the coming spiritual battle, which of necessity meant bending over backwards to unify the various religions and denominations, while simultaneously avoiding any further rupture within his own Church - which proved to be impossible, ultimately, in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre (on the traditionalist side), and in the case of men like Hans Kung (on the liberal side).
He both overestimated and underestimated when choosing and executing his tactical moves. He overestimated the amount of natural "good will" in Man, or Man's willingness to relinquish his false beliefs in exchange for Catholic Truth; he underestimated, perhaps, the ability of God to miraculously overcome even the most bleak odds - which is to say, he may have expended too much human energy searching for human solutions, instead of heeding Our Lady of Fatima's requests and leaving the natural fallout (schism, war, rebellion, etc.) in God's hands.
But it is easy to play the "Monday morning quarterback" - a lot harder, we must remember, to actually be the one calling the shots and facing the potential consequences. Perhaps if we duly consider the complex web of problems that this pontiff faced, we will be led to the more mercy-driven attitude of sympathy and prayer, rather than the more justice-driven attitude of criticism. It's not that criticism isn't justified here; but we must remember that Our Lord promised to judge us precisely by the standards (however strict or relaxed) to which we held others when judging them.
As a friend so rightly remarked recently, the real problem with John Paul II's ecumenism is that, in attempting to love all men with the love of Jesus, he loved men more than Jesus did - which is to say, he showed too much tolerance and long-suffering.
And so, as pictures of the pope's lifeless body are being displayed on news networks all over the world, one thought comes to mind: he looks tired. Very tired. He fought hard, and he fought long, and the immediate results of his labors do not appear to be good. The Church is still in decline; the final conflict with Satan is still on the horizon (and closer now than ever before); there is (humanly speaking) no religious unity left, not even in the Church (currently rent between "conservatives," liberals, traditionalists, and sedevacantists).
Thus it is that we, with great pity and special emphasis, look upon the tired face of the dead pope and pray: requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine ... please grant him a much-needed rest.
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#2
I for one have, in the past and even recently, been overly critical of our late Pope, John Paul II.

After reading this article, I felt a bit of a sting.  I am not saying in the least that I agree with his approaches, for I still believe that he should have defended Tradition much more than he did and that at any time he had it within his power to weed out the heterodox bishops - but I understand that the threat of schism to a pope is a serious matter, it is just in my opinion that one should never give in to error, no matter what.

I find myself at times feeling sorry for Pope John Paul II, seeing how he had enemies to the Faith all around him, constantly berating him to change time-honored traditions and even Dogmas of the Faith.  But with all of that being said, I still most definately cannot say I stand with his brand of ecumenism.  Its result was nothing less than a rupturing effect in the Church, alienating those few, the remnant who were still faithful to each and every doctrine of the Catholic Faith, even further away from standardized diocesan parishes and drove them to seek the true teachings of the Church outside of those perceived boundaries - even leading many to abandon their reason and declare "sedevacante," seeing no way possible that what was going on in the modern Church to be co-existent with the promises of Christ.  It seems to me, from my viewpoint, that John Paul II was more concerned with making the heretics, apostates and near liberal schismatics happy than those who were abiding the ancient religion. -- This is why I am so bothered by the pontificate of John Paul II and cannot see how the Lord would allow His Church to make him a saint.  This is just my opinion - perhaps there is more to what went on with our late pope than meets the eye, but what the average Traditional Catholic could see up front was a severe rupture with the teachings and actions of prior Popes and an apparent lack of courage.
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#3
Oh, I agree that this kind of ecuemism should not be tolerated. The author of the article thinks the same wayhe was just trying to understand JP II without going down "he was an evil satanic Judeo Masonic Protestant Modernist trying to destroy the Church" road.
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#4
Although this seems confusing, Our Lord gave us the way of discernment, " By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. "

JMJ     JPM
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#5
Of all his good points his biggest fault was the false ecumenism he practiced. He didn't "rally the troops" by kissing the Koran or asking St John to BLess islam. His troops, his real troops would have been the traditionalists which he mostly chose to ignore because they were critical of his masonic style Assisi meeting(each praying to God in their own way, doesn't get much more masonic than that) and other ecumanic tendancies. He wasn't a terrible Pope but of all the things he did wrong his ecumenism with anyone and anything that worships something was his worst.
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#6
didishroom Wrote:The Church is still in decline; the final conflict with Satan is still on the horizon (and closer now than ever before); there is (humanly speaking) no religious unity left, not even in the Church (currently rent between "conservatives," liberals, traditionalists, and sedevacantists).  
This isn't really JPII's fault as much as it is Vatican II's regardless of who the Pope would have been after that horrible council there would be these devisions. Sad.
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#7
didishroom Wrote:He knew, and knew well, that his Church was in no way prepared for that battle, and the Church needed to be prepared for that battle if the world was going to have a chance at survival (as the Church goes, so goes the world).


um..if he was that concerned with battle, why did he and Popes prior to and since, not consecrate Russia to Immaculate Heart?? pagans, Muslims, Jews have no help for that fight, only Heaven's Peace Plan....
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#8
Baskerville Wrote:Of all his good points his biggest fault was the false ecumenism he practiced. He didn't "rally the troops" by kissing the Koran or asking St John to BLess islam. His troops, his real troops would have been the traditionalists which he mostly chose to ignore because they were critical of his masonic style Assisi meeting(each praying to God in their own way, doesn't get much more masonic than that) and other ecumanic tendancies. He wasn't a terrible Pope but of all the things he did wrong his ecumenism with anyone and anything that worships something was his worst.


JPII's ecumenism wasn't all bad, and it was far from his worst flaw (though I say this believing he was a "good to great" pope, and recognizing that he was very holy and likely had graces that might put his actions beyond my understanding).  Far worse, in my opinion, at least with respect to the U.S., were (1) his failure to prevent the abominations in the Liturgy; (2) his failure to clean up the seminaries; and (3) his appointment and tolerance of lax and sometimes faithless bishops.  Again, I say this with great respect....   
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#9
Unfortunately, John Paul II's pontificate was a major factor in the delay of my conversion to the Roman Catholic Faith.  JPII was, in my own opinion, a good and holy man on a personal level but as Pontiff I believe he fell short of so much of what could have been done to bring the Faith and liturgy back to tradition. 

I had left the Episcopal Church three years before JPII's death and yet at that time couldn't bring myself to convert to the Catholic Church   The modernism, restrictions on the traditional liturgy, and the shenanigans in the Novus Ordo was just too much for me.  I was raised in the High Church tradition - with bells, smells, ad orientem altars, deacons & sub-deacons, and a conservative (although Anglican) Catholic upbringing.  Going from that to the Novus Ordo was just too much of a stumbling block for my faith. 

Benedict was the pope who brought me to the Catholic Faith.  I converted just under a year after Benedict's Summorum Pontificum and am so happy being a faithful Catholic!  God bless Pope Benedict XVI !
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#10
Quote:JPII's ecumenism wasn't all bad, and it was far from his worst flaw (though I say this believing he was a "good to great" pope, and recognizing that he was very holy and likely had graces that might put his actions beyond my understanding). 

Actually, the ecumenism which John Paul II was contrary to the Magisterium and thus also to the will of the Church. As well it was in defiance of his predecessors.  It was un-Catholic in nature and practice.  It was all bad, very bad.

It was perhaps good for the world's false religions but a disaster for Catholic souls who were in his charge.

JMJ

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