The Corner

The SSPX’s Valentine to Pope John Paul II

The Society of St. Pius X, a Traditionalist Catholic organization skeptical of the Vatican II council and the reforms that ensued from it, has an article on its website today saying that Pope John Paul II should not be canonized (which is to say, formally recognized as a saint). The argument is that if John Paul II is a saint, Catholics will have to accept some unacceptable doctrines. To wit:

If John Paul II is truly a saint, the Catholic faithful must recognize that the Catholic Church and the Orthodox communities are sister churches, responsible together for safeguarding the one Church of God. . . . If John Paul II is truly a saint, the Catholic faithful must recognize the Anglicans as brothers and sisters in Christ and express this recognition by praying together. . . . If John Paul II is truly a saint, the Catholic faithful must hold that what divides Catholics and Protestants . . . is minimal in comparison to that which unites them. . . . The Catholic faithful must recognize the value of the religious witness of the Jewish people. . . . The Catholic faithful must recognize that after the final resurrection, God will be satisfied with the Moslems and they will be satisfied with Him. . . . Faithful Catholics must recognize that heads of state may not arrogate to themselves the right to prevent the public profession of a false religion.

The article’s footnotes cite chapter and verse of where Pope John Paul taught these supposedly unacceptable doctrines. I think the article (quite contrary to its intent) makes a pretty good case for why John Paul II should be canonized: In the West’s MSM narrative, he was a reactionary because he opposed abortion, contraception, and women’s ordination — but the SSPX offers us a helpful reminder of how deep his commitment was to the agenda of Vatican II, to opening the Catholic Church in outreach to other Christians and members of other religions.

He was not just a hugely positive historical figure in this regard; he was also by all accounts a very holy man and a man of deep prayer. Yes, he had faults (Maciel, etc.). But so did all saints. Canonizing him is the right thing to do.


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