Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
Caveat: The author makes no claim to being an exemplar of Catholicism or Monarchism (or blogging).
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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Friday, August 20, 2004

Speaking of HHJPII

I've finally got the whole thing figured out. I read somewhere that many well-intentioned people are canonizing Pope John Paul II premortem because, in our secular age, any pope is going to seem great. That's also why some of his wackier moves get downplayed. To this, may I add that he also seems to be something of a "rockstar" pope, one who has charm and novelty: the first non-Italian in centuries, an anti-Communist agent as a young man, a fan of skiing, the most traveled in history, one of the longest reigning. All of these things are great, but they don't make you a good pope (or a bad one).

His Holiness also writes A LOT. He is universally acclaimed for this, but, his excess verbiage and desire to write publicly on every topic imaginable obfuscate both the essential meaning of any given subject, and give weight to banal questions and theses that is more due to more important topics. When the pope, in the middle ages, wrote one encyclical sometimes in a whole papacy, and wrote it in maybe three pages, the dogmas and opinions within were given much more consideration. The Pontiff now writes eight paragraphs every time I crack my knuckles (which is a lot).

But let's bring it down to the nut. If we want to understand His Holiness' relative greatness, let us simply ask what he has done that any other pope wouldn't. Considering the positives, all of the things I can think of that he gets credit for, with the exception of his participation in the downfall of the Soviet Union, are things that every pope before him has done. This includes defending moral theology - every pope did that. Just ask yourself, Did the Pius' 9 through 12 or Leo do it? Yes? Than so what? I'm a life insurance salesman. Do I get an award for "being a great defender of life insurance?" No, it's part of the job description!

On the negative, he has done things no pope before him have ever done: kissing the Koran, accepting a forehead dot from a Hindu, and telling Catholics not to try to convert the Orthodox. Can you imagine a pope telling you not to try to convert someone? Yipes! I hope it works out well for all souls involved, especially the Orthodox ones that may have been converted.

So, let's pray for the health, happiness, and efficacy of the Holy Father, and the Universal Church.


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