Criticizing John Paul II or any Pope. From John Salzas webpage.
#1

"8. No criticisms of Pope John Paul II?
Danny: John, I have spent a lot of time reading your apologetics in your books and on your websites. I must say, you are truly among the best Catholic apologists in the business.

It is obvious that you have a traditionalist “bent,” and so I wonder why you haven’t more written about all the problems in the Church. Many of your traditionalist brethren have called a spade a spade, criticizing the popes and the prelature when needed. Pope John Paul II is a great example. He has done many things that have been offensive to Catholic sensibilities, like kissing the Koran, saying the Old Covenant has never been revoked, praying with pagans, etc. How come you haven’t criticized John Paul II for these aberrations? I would love to see your mind dissect these matters for us.

J. Salza: Danny, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am a Traditional Catholic, and yes, some of the things that the late pope has done have not squared with the Church’s perennial tradition and praxis. All of the defenders of the papal office, including Jacobazzi, Cajetan, Cano, Suarez, and Bellarmine taught that a pope could indeed break with the Church’s tradition, while not binding the faithful to error. Nevertheless, we must be careful not to judge the pope, for he is the Vicar of Christ, and has no judge but God. Thus, we must let God be the judge. Yet, because God has given us an objectively knowable body of tradition, we can know whether the pope’s words and actions are consonant with this tradition, for the pope’s words and actions must be at its service. We must also keep in mind that the pope, the papa, is our spiritual father. If we wouldn’t post criticisms of our earthly fathers on internet websites, we better think hard about posting criticisms of the Holy Father on the web, particularly when they are invariably (and erroneously) interpreted as criticisms about the person of the pope.

The problem I see with many of the criticisms of Pope John Paul II is that they fail to make a distinction between the pope’s objective words and actions and his subjective intentions. The critics act like they know the mind of the pope. They often don’t make the proper distinctions. Objectively speaking, we can conclude that the Vicar of Christ should not venerate a book that denounces Christ (the Koran) or ask for God’s blessings upon the false religion of Islam. We may even say that such actions objectively cause grave scandal. But we do not know what the pope’s subjective intentions were when he did those things. Maybe it was John Paul II simply being the over-indulgent father who acted impetuously and wanted to express his love for Muslims but, presumably, not their religion. That is most likely the case. When Catholics, instead, immediately conclude that the pope has become an apostate or was really praising the false religion of Islam, they are judging his subjective intentions. They have no right to make such a judgment.

While we are not to judge the pope, we can resist him if he commands something that is contrary to the faith or would cause scandal. Scripture reveals how the pope can be lawfully resisted in such cases (Gal 2:11), and the same is affirmed by Augustine and Aquinas. The papacy is not an office of absolute and arbitrary authority. For example, if the pope commanded me to kiss the Koran, I would lawfully resist him. If the pope commanded me to pray with pagans, I would lawfully resist him. If the pope told me to invoke my patron Saint – John the Baptist – to bless Islam, I would resist. As Peter and the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). These, of course, are extreme examples, which means that resisting a pope must be a rare occurrence. Cardinal Newman says that we must be able to say, in the presence of Almighty God, that we cannot act upon a papal injunction; otherwise, we must.

I believe it is proper for Catholics to raise their concerns about the pope’s objective words and actions in a respectful way and according to their own abilities. In fact, John Paul II’s own canon law 212 provides for the same. But when it comes to the Vicar of Christ, this has to be done with the utmost respect and dignity. I am not sure that websites run by lay people are the best medium for this. Further, the pope must always get the benefit of the doubt. He must be given a chance to explain himself. At most, we may carefully question objective words and actions, and hope our inquiries bring about clarification. But we can never judge the pope’s subjective intentions. This can be gleaned from Pope Paul V’s Constitutio Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (1559) which says that, on the one hand, the pope can “be judged by no one in this world,” but on the other hand, also says that the pope “may be corrected if he is apprehended straying from the faith.”
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#2
This is a very fair, well-articulated statement.

The problem is that Pope John Paul II never explained himself or apologized.
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#3
He apologized for Pope Innocent III and others, though.
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#4
(04-25-2013, 09:21 AM)StCeciliasGirl Wrote: He apologized for Pope Innocent III and others, though.
Yes. and...?
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#5
This is a problem today. Many think they have a right to dis a Pope, Cardinal, or Bishop, if they see anything which is wrong. I don't see many couching it in appropriate  terms. There are many priests in tradom which lead the way, creating followers which think they have been given license to do the same.

Then I get in trouble for calling them "boy cardinals" or "self taught theologians" . It is more than amazing to me when a layman cuts and pastes some parts from Councils or other and stand behind their interpretation as if they have an advanced degree in the specific subject.

Lately with the election of Pope Francis they assail his "humility" and it seems to me it's because they have none, unless it's one of the priests which lead the way.


tim     

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#6
Very good OP.  Thanks for posting it.
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#7
This is pretty good.  Also, I think we all know that criticizing the pope on these boards is really nothing more than more than impatience, gossip, and not being long-suffering.

If the Pope came to this board monthly for, "What have I done wrong, so I can improve," it would be different.  But he doesn't.  The Curia doesn't.  So we're just backbiting when we complain and criticize.  Use that opportunity for prayer.
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#8
"The problem I see with many of the criticisms of Pope John Paul II is that they fail to make a distinction between the pope’s objective words and actions and his subjective intentions. The critics act like they know the mind of the pope. They often don’t make the proper distinctions. Objectively speaking, we can conclude that the Vicar of Christ should not venerate a book that denounces Christ (the Koran) or ask for God’s blessings upon the false religion of Islam. We may even say that such actions objectively cause grave scandal. But we do not know what the pope’s subjective intentions were when he did those things. Maybe it was John Paul II simply being the over-indulgent father who acted impetuously and wanted to express his love for Muslims but, presumably, not their religion. That is most likely the case. When Catholics, instead, immediately conclude that the pope has become an apostate or was really praising the false religion of Islam, they are judging his subjective intentions. They have no right to make such a judgment. "

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Let's see if I get this straight. We should not read any intentions into the Holy Father's actions, but this writer himself reads intentions into the act of kissing the Koran, when he makes up possible excuses like "over-indulgent father" or "impetuously ... express(ing) love for Muslims".

If one is to analyse this event objectively one can simply say it is an act of apostacy or an act contrary to the first commandment. This isn't subjective at all.
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#9
(04-25-2013, 10:02 AM)Tim Wrote: This is a problem today. Many think they have a right to dis a Pope, Cardinal, or Bishop, if they see anything which is wrong. I don't see many couching it in appropriate   terms. There are many priests in tradom which lead the way, creating followers which think they have been given license to do the same.

Then I get in trouble for calling them "boy cardinals" or "self taught theologians" . It is more than amazing to me when a layman cuts and pastes some parts from Councils or other and stand behind their interpretation as if they have an advanced degree in the specific subject.

Lately with the election of Pope Francis they assail his "humility" and it seems to me it's because they have none, unless it's one of the priests which lead the way.


tim     

Spot on!
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#10
(04-25-2013, 10:25 AM)winoblue1 Wrote: "The problem I see with many of the criticisms of Pope John Paul II is that they fail to make a distinction between the pope’s objective words and actions and his subjective intentions. The critics act like they know the mind of the pope. They often don’t make the proper distinctions. Objectively speaking, we can conclude that the Vicar of Christ should not venerate a book that denounces Christ (the Koran) or ask for God’s blessings upon the false religion of Islam. We may even say that such actions objectively cause grave scandal. But we do not know what the pope’s subjective intentions were when he did those things. Maybe it was John Paul II simply being the over-indulgent father who acted impetuously and wanted to express his love for Muslims but, presumably, not their religion. That is most likely the case. When Catholics, instead, immediately conclude that the pope has become an apostate or was really praising the false religion of Islam, they are judging his subjective intentions. They have no right to make such a judgment. "

__________________

Let's see if I get this straight. We should not read any intentions into the Holy Father's actions, but this writer himself reads intentions into the act of kissing the Koran, when he makes up possible excuses like "over-indulgent father" or "impetuously ... express(ing) love for Muslims".

If one is to analyse this event objectively one can simply say it is an act of apostacy or an act contrary to the first commandment. This isn't subjective at all.

And people seem to conveniently forget that these post-VII men - and all their enablers - are the very people Pope Pius IX and Pope St. Pius X warned us about. Calling a spade a spade is not uncharitable; making excuses for their scandalous behavior is, no matter what color cassock they wear.
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