But now the seemingly imminent canonization of Paul VI, following approval of two purported miracles which, based on the information published, seem decidedly less than miraculous (to be discussed in Part II of this series), has provoked widespread incredulity about the canonization process itself, going even beyond the skepticism that greeted the canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II. How could the very Pope who unleashed what he himself lamented—too little too late—as a “spirit of auto-demolition” in the Church, including a “liturgical reform” that led to what Cardinal Ratzinger called “the collapse of the liturgy,” the same Pope who wondered how “the smoke of Satan” had entered the Church during his tumultuous reign, be raised to the altars as a model of Catholic virtue for veneration and imitation by all the faithful?
Sam Sham • I do not accept the validity of any of Jorge Bergoglio’s “canonizations.” I would have a tough time accepting canonizations done by anyone since the silly relaxation in the process and elimination of the “devil’s advocate.” In the case of two popes and the inevitable designation of Paul VI, this can be seen as nothing more than the “canonization” of Vatican II.
Maggie • There is NO way that I can accept Paul VI as a “saint”. He was, at the very least, an extremely weak pope and what occurred under his pontificate has been a travesty. I know of no cult of devotion for him nor are the so called miracles without questions.Barbara • I simply cannot, and will not, venerate or emulate John Paul II or Paul VI, or John XXIII because they have done so many things that are displeasing to God. How to I know this? My eyes and ears are open – the fruit of these Papacies is plain for all to see. The fruits of their pusillanimity is all rotten and destructive. Pope Francis, and John Paul II before him, is using canonization as political statement and it’s just plain wrong.
Babs Byrne • I don’t have a problem with refusing to accept or acknowledge Paul VI as a saint after reading Fr Luigi Villa’s account of his life and his refusal to have any Catholic symbols on or near his coffin/grave. His mother’s grave has Masonic symbols on it. If Pope Benedict canonized Paul VI I WOULD have a problem.
Down in the catacombs, Michael Matt looks at the life and legacy of one of the worst popes in history—the man Pope Francis now intends to canonize in October. Does papal infallibility seriously come into this farce? Please! At this point, claiming the Holy Ghost has anything even to do with such an obvious political stunt—aimed at canonizing the revolution of Vatican II—borders on the blasphemous.
Perhaps Paul VI had remarkable and heroic virtues in his private and secret life. But, as Pope, he is the object of not little debate: he promulgated the most liberal texts of the Council (Gaudium et Spes, Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Aetate, Dignitatis Humanae); he led a liturgical reform that turned sacred liturgy upside down and inside out; and several other things, big and small, such as the suppression of the extremely ancient and venerable Roman Subdiaconate.
Paul VI fully embodies Vatican II. It is precisely for this reason that he has been chosen for canonization, as the Popes of the Council and post-Council, who have been canonized one after the other: John XXIII, John Paul II…Is Paul VI presented to the Church as an example due to the publication of Humanae Vitae? Or rather for his “ecumenical gestures”, such as having given in 1966 to the archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, his pastoral ring and a chalice — which allowed Cardinal Coccopalmerio to affirm that the Anglican ordinations could be considered valid: “What could it mean for Paul VI the fact of giving a chalice to the archbishop of Canterbury? If it was to allow for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, it was out of consideration for valid ceremonies, right?” And we could go on: John Paul II was an example for the solid defense of Humanae Vitae, or rather for having organized the sadly famous “Assisi meeting”?*We must dare say it: by canonizing all Vatican II popes, it is Vatican II that is canonized. But, likewise, canonization itself is devalued when it becomes a sort of medal thrown on top of a casket. Maybe a council that was “pastoral” and not dogmatic is deserving of canonizations that are “pastoral” and not dogmatic.
CFN will be covering this unhappy development on the web and in our upcoming March issue in depth; we recommend reading Fr. Luigi Villa’s Paul VI Beatified?, available online here in the interim.The ‘canonization’ of Papa Montini is nothing else than a ‘canonization’ of the sordid agenda and disastrous orientation of Vatican II, the abysmal Novus Ordo Missae, and the embarrassing entirety of post-conciliar legislation and innovation.
. . . we . . . . [should] resist this fixed ecclesiastical farce, . . .
Then there is Phil Lawler: the respectable, renowned, mild-mannered Catholic journalist widely described and praised as orthodox and measured and calm and collected and objective and scholarly (not given to extremes or fanaticism at all; no, not him!) and slow to arrive at difficult conclusions (etc., ad nauseam). He wrote that the pope was:
leading the Church away from the ancient sources of the Faith. . . . radical nature of the program that he is relentlessly advancing. . . encouraged beliefs and practices that are incompatible with the prior teachings of the Church. . . . a Roman pontiff who disregarded so easily what the Church has always taught and believed and practiced on such bedrock issues as the nature of marriage and of the Eucharist . . . a danger to the Faith . . .
Oh, sorry! I was confused for a moment there. Lawler was writing about Pope Francis, not Blessed Pope Paul VI. It was such similar “sky is falling down” rhetoric that I got it mixed up (my bad). He wrote these remarks in the Introduction to his book, Lost Shepherd. But he never remotely proved the assertions in the book. Thus, I have described reading it and waiting for the “proofs” of these serious charges — that never came –, as similar to “peeling an onion.”
Photo credit: Chicken Little. Photograph by Dave Walker (12-12-06) [Flickr / CC BY 2.0 license] Chicken Little, you may recall, was the young chick in the children’s fable, who believed the sky was falling after an acorn landed on her head.