Thursday, April 02, 2009

Today is the 4th Anniversary of the Death of Pope John Paull II

God, Who, in Your ineffable providence, willed that your servant John Paul should be numbered among the high priests, grant, we ask you, that he, who on earth held the place of Your only-begotten Son, may be joined forevermore to the fellowship of your holy pontiffs. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end. Amen.

5 comments:

Jane said...

I don't know whether to thank you or not Father. It will always chill the spine, not just the tolling bell but the silence of the crowd and so much inexpressibly else.

The box of kleenex is ready on the desk for the 5pm bst broadcast of the Mass from St. Pater's today. Scheduled to last 1hr 40 mins.

Jonathan said...

I still miss the presence of JPII here on earth he was a spritiual giant among men. His interests wider than any pope since St Greogry the Great. His impact on the church in a state of such post conciliar crisis was immense. He guided the bark of Peter safely and surely. Pope Benedict shortly after his election in an interview stated that his mission will be to implement what JPII had initiated. I believe Pope Benedict was the first person inside the Vatican to say that JPII was dying. In his book Memory and Identity JPII cites two truly great people in his life, Cardinal Sapieha (Krakow) and Cardinal Ratzinger. It was perhaps mystical insight that meant JPII kept Cardinal Ratzinger in the Vatican, for he was to follow. JPII pray for us!

georgem said...

It speaks volumes that Pope John Paul II kept Cardinal Ratzinger near him. He knew that the Cardinal’s loyalty was beyond reproach. I think that the two are closer in mind and heart than external appearances might lead us to believe. I am convinced that the Benedictine reforms are the true legacy of JPII and I can't help but believe it was his spirit which guided the Conclave to vote as it did. The humility and stillness of Pope Benedict at the tomb of his predecessor today were profoundly moving.

Ottaviani said...

That JP II had a massive effect on the church is undeniable. His papacy is probably the most reported with today's technology. His ability to reach out to crowds, his charismatic aura and his rapport with the youth are just a few things that come to mind.

However, I believe, those who say that JP II somehow initiated a "reform of the reform" are mistaken. After all the emotions and tears, an objective look at his papacy will show that not all was cookies and cream. The whole debacle with the Legion of Christ is just one case. Heretical theologians were not dealt harshly enough and some escaped with as much as a slapped wrist. JP II could have released the universal indult if he wanted to but didn't out of fear of the French-German episcopal conferences.

That Ratzinger stayed under JP II is probably more down to the grace of the Holy Spirit, than on any merit on the late pontiff's part. So many bishops were given the red hat, when they should not have been even considered in the first place.

One has to judge a papacy (not the pope himself) from the logical results that follow from it - not through emotionalism and sentimentalism that can cloud proper judgements. In this respect, JP II did some good things. But in some core areas, he failed massively - enough I believe to close the lid on any canonisation process.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

I think Ottaviani's being much too negative about the Wojtyla pontificate. I admit that there were some serious governance failures. But don't let's forget that the verdict of history will be that Pope John Paul was the single most important cause of the collapse of communism.

And if it wasn't for Pope John Paul practically ordering Joseph Ratzinger to move from being Cardinal Archbishop of Munich to become Prefect of the CDF in 1981, the latter would now be living a quiet retirement in a picture-postcard town in the Bavarian Alps.