Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Thoughts about the late Pope.

I am immensely saddened by the passing of Pope John Paul II.

He appeared to be a kind, gentle and loving man, a devout minister, and a man of immense personal piety and devotion to the tenets of his RC faith.
He was a staunch defender of the sanctity of Life, no matter how unpopular that stand made him in our so-called "enlightened" society.

Nevertheless, as Fr John Whiteford points out in his blog, Pope John Paul did do some things which the early Christian martyrs would never have done, namely kissing the Koran, and allowing an image of Buddha to be placed upon a Catholic Altar during a service...the Holy Martyrs of the Faith would rather have died first than ever have paid reverence to any faith which denied the Divinity of Christ.

Possibly these actions stemmed from a desire not to hurt the feelings of others, but they did strike a discordant note to me as an Orthodox Christian.
Most likely these actions stemmed from love of others and personal innocence as to potential repercussions rather than any possible denial of Our Lord.

May the Lord have mercy upon the soul of John Paul, and grant him a good defense before the dread Judgement Seat.
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Dave Holford said...

I have to admit that JP did things that I would never do. In fact, as an RE teacher I have come into conflict with my Head of Department over much less.

But of course we don't believe that he was infallible. ;-)

The young fogey said...

As I blogged the 2nd April when he died, Pope John Paul II made mistakes in prudential judgement - some pretty glaring ones as Fr John points out. That such can and does happen isn't a shock to those who know what Roman Catholic doctrine really says: that the Chair of Peter is infallible under rare circumstances but the opinions and judgement of the man sitting in it are not. None of John Paul II's mistakes fell under infallibility.

What's frightening is that the secular world liked him so much perhaps because of those mistakes and not the truth in his message.

Dave Holford said...


I wasn't suggesting that JP's kissing the Qur'an or other indescretions were the equivalent of ex cathedra pronouncements. I was just having a bit o' fun with one of the doctrines that separates the Orthodox from the Roman.

The young fogey said...

I understand that, Dave.

Also, to answer Fr John's blog entry, there is the matter of Orthodox bishops (granted, after they'd been beaten into submission) cooperating with the Communist governments in Eastern Europe... a matter of prudential judgement rather like the last Pope's mistakes.

Dave Holford said...