Dear Friends and Benefactors,
On May 1, 2011, Pope Benedict
XVI will declare his predecessor, John Paul II, blessed, only six years after
his death. This beatification raises many questions and concerns for Catholics
I. Papal Infallibility?
Let us remember that
beatifications do not fall within the charism of infallibility. It is an act by
which the pope gives permission to venerate the blessed in some parts of the
Church and does not establish an obligatory cult.
On the contrary, in the case of
canonizations, the judgment of the pope—without making it an article of the
Faith—is considered infallible by the theologians. It would be rash to deny a
One may, however, legitimately
doubt that modern canonizations fall within the charism of infallibility due to
the recent reforms in the way canonizations are prepared. According to Fr.
three things cause such doubts:
1. New policies and
Papal infallibility is given by
the assistance of the Holy Ghost, not by inspiration. Canonizations thus require
the most diligent preparatory work. The reduction of the number of miracles
required for both beatification and canonization, the shortened time before
declaring the heroicity of the virtues, and the influence of popular emotions
are all new elements which today diminish this necessary conscientiousness.
2. Collegiality in the
The new policy gives the
diocesan bishop the right to instruct the trial and to judge. This goes back to
the rule as it existed until the twelfth century. The pope retains the power to
confirm the judgment of the bishop as an organ of the collegial magisterium.
However, by doing so, “such canonizations are no longer guaranteed by the
personal infallibility attached to the pope’s solemn magisterium.”2
3. A new concept of
Until the Second Vatican
Council and the reform of the process of canonization, the Church declared as
saints those who had shown a heroic degree of sanctity and not simply the first
and common degree, which consists of the state of grace. This special and
eminent degree is called the state of perfection, when the soul is entirely
moved by the Holy Ghost. Today, this notion of heroic perfection is no longer
It [the lack of a special
degree of virtue] is not something infrequent, but on the contrary, universal.
This comes from the Second Vatican Council’s presentation of holiness as a
common state. The idea of the universal vocation to holiness is the center of
Chapter Five of Lumen Gentium.3
Beatification of a Man or of the Council?
There is a much more important
question than the doubts surrounding infallibility: it is the meaning of such a
As with John XXIII, John Paul
II’s beatification is related to the Second Vatican Council and the new era
introduced by this Council. John XXIII was beatified because he opened the
Council, and was thus considered the prophet of a new Pentecost. We fear today
that the hidden motive behind the beatification of John Paul II is a try to
declare the Council itself holy.
Leaving aside one’s feelings,
one is obliged to acknowledge that the inheritance of John Paul II’s
pontificate, far from being a new springtime in the Church, is an enormous field
of ruins. The Faith is no longer the light of the world, whether inside or
outside the Church, because those who were in charge of keeping it on a
candlestick have placed it under a bushel!
To be fair, the devastation we
see today is not only the consequence of the acts of John Paul II. But faced
with the errors and the ravenous wolves, what did he do about God, His Church
and her children, about the other sheep which are not yet in the House? How
heroically (above the common strength of man) did he exercise his office as
pope? Did he fulfill his duty of state as Holy Father?4
1. A field of ruins
instead of a new springtime
It is the former Cardinal
Ratzinger himself who judged the pontificate of John Paul II as a “continuing
process of decay.”5
It was also described as a “silent apostasy”5
and finally as “a process of secularization” that “has produced a
grave crisis of the sense of the Christian faith and of belonging to the Church”7
to such an extent that a new pontifical commission has been created for the
re-evangelization of the countries experiencing today an “eclipse of the
sense of God.”8
Just before he was elected
Pope, he also described the Church as a ship “taking in water from all sides.”9
We may ask: who was the captain in charge of the ship?
Today in America, eleven1
million baptized Catholics have abandoned the Church. Before the Council, the
conversions to the Catholic Faith used to amount to 170,000 a year.10
The former Cardinal Ratzinger
believes that a main reason for the crisis is a collapse of the liturgy. “I
am convinced that the ecclesiastical crisis in which we find ourselves today
depends in a great part upon the collapse of the liturgy.”11
For twenty-seven years, who
gave examples of an ecumenical man-centered liturgy where the worship of God
vanished to give place to popular shows? Not to mention the consequences of the
collapse of the liturgy on the priestly life of the ministers. Was it not during
the last pontificate that we saw so many scandals covered up? Was it not then we
saw so many lost priests, of which the former Cardinal Ratzinger alluded to when
he said: “How much filth there is in the Church, even among those who, in the
priesthood, should belong entirely to Him.”12
The crisis of the liturgy and
of the priesthood, however, comes from a deeper problem: the crisis of the
Faith. This is what Archbishop Lefebvre so often proved. The rule of prayer is
the rule of the Faith. What did Pope John Paul II do to defend, preserve, and
promote the Catholic Faith?
2. The Faith put
under a bushel
Forty years after Vatican II,
Rome is still trying to give the right interpretation of the Council.13
But where has the magisterium been during these four decades? Is not the
magisterium responsible for giving the correct interpretation? John Paul II
therefore did not provide the right interpretation of the Council. Was it not
his charge to do so
In fact, the Pope spent his
whole pontificate spreading around the world the principles of the French
Revolution, teaching the rights of man based on the Council’s texts: religious
liberty and ecumenism.
After the liturgical reform, of
which he gave numerous examples of perpetual evolution and inculturation, he
adapted Canon Law to the spirit of the Council (1983). Then came the Catechism
of the Catholic Church, which had many translations published before the
original text had even been officially approved.
One could easily make a list of
all the spectacular acts of ecumenism with the heretics, schismatics, Jews,
Muslims, and pagans. The most spectacular were the two meetings at Assisi which
scandalized so many souls inside and outside the Church. It was a concrete
lesson that it was not necessary to belong to the Catholic Church founded by
Jesus Christ in order to be saved.
In encyclical after encyclical,
John Paul II buried the Catholic Faith and morals14
under a worldly humanism, preaching often the rights of man in place of the
rights of God.
In a few weeks, Angelus Press
will publish a book of great interest on the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
The author, Fr. Patrick de La Rocque (FSSPX) explains how this humanism is the
central idea of the pontificate of John Paul II. Through his prolific papal
teachings, Father shows, quoting text after text, that this false love of man
led John Paul II to act against the virtues of faith, hope, and
charity—essential virtues to attain holiness—as well as the virtue of prudence,
especially needed by those who govern.
Bishop Fellay, in the preface
of this book, explains how the Society of St. Pius X tried three times, through
different channels, to bring this work with these doubts to the attention of
Rome. As it was never received by those in charge of diligently studying the
heroic virtues of the blessed, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius
X decided to have this book published.
Immaculate Heart Will Triumph!
One more time, and more than
ever, let us turn our sights with confidence to our Lady. She who denounced the
“cesspools of impurity” in the clergy and announced that “Rome will
lose the Faith,”15
showed her preoccupation for the souls falling into hell and showed us the means
to sanctity: sacrifice and the rosary. She also gave the condition and remedy
for the restoration of the Church: the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate
Is it not amazing that the one
who is celebrated by some as the main destroyer of the Berlin Wall—symbolizing
the end of the Communist era—is qualified by Archbishop Lefebvre as “communist-loving”?16
The truth is that with or without the Wall, “Russia will spread its errors
throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The
good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and several
nations will be annihilated.”17
Finally, this certain future
can only be hastened by our supplications: “In the end my Immaculate Heart
will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia, which will convert, and a
certain time of peace will be given to the world.”18
As May begins, let us be found
more faithful, with our rosary in hand, and desiring perfection in our hearts, and ready for a new and more fervent Crusade!