Holy Cross Seminary

Most Asked Questions About the Society of Saint Pius X


Question 7: But shouldn't we be following Pope John Paul II?


     This Pope arouses various sympathies, some Catholics lauding his stand on moral issues or that of women priests, others scandalized at the encouragement he gives all "religions" and his preaching based on the dignity of man. How are we to understand him?

     In the opening address1 of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II declared that his first aim would be to promote and implement the decrees of Vatican II and to bring to light all it contained implicitly. He says the 1983 Code of Canon Law is an effort to put conciliar doctrine, and especially its new ecclesiology, into canonical language.2 The Catechism of the Catholic Church is likewise an effort to renew the life of the Church as desired and begun by Vatican II.3 Look at the references in any of his encyclicals; see the preponderance of the Second Vatican Council and its teachings. The gravity of this situation lies in the fact that Vatican II actually favors heresy (QUESTION 6).4

     Moreover, with the prolongation of his reign and the prolificacy of his writings and discourses, however, it has become ever more clear that Pope John Paul II is preaching a new religion, a humanism, a gospel of the intrinsic goodness of man, thanks to Gods becoming man, with the implied consequence of the salvation of all men. His starting point is Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes, §22):

     Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him, has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.

     The Pope is constantly basing his teaching on these lines of Vatican II5 using them to illustrate this novel doctrine of universal salvation.6

     Actions speak louder than words. Pope John Paul II preached in a Lutheran church (Dec. 11, 1983); recited psalms with Jews while visiting the synagogue of Rome (Apr. 13, 1986); invited Catholics and Jews to prepare together for the coming of the Messiah (June 24, 1986); engaged in dialogues with the high priests and witch doctors of Voodoo (Feb. 4, 1993); took part in Animist rites in the "Sacred Forest" in Togo (Aug. 8, 1985); had the sacred Tilac put on his forehead by a priestess of Shiva in Bombay (Feb.2, 1986); and invited representatives of the "main religions" (about 130 came) to Assisi to pray for peace (Oct. 27, 1986). Everywhere and with all he praises the "values" of these false religions but fails to tell them that they and their people must convert if they want to be saved.

     Therefore, both in word and deed, he is preaching that all men of whatever creed are acceptable to God, which is contrary to Catholic dogma (Principle 2).

     In this we cannot follow this Pope's ideas but must hold fast to the doctrine constantly taught by the Church of all time.

 

BUT HOW ARE WE TO JUDGE HIM?

  • It is not for us to judge his culpability in the destruction of the Church, more devastating now than in any previous pontificate (with the probable exception of Pope Paul Vis). Only God can so judge him,
  • nor is it for us to judge him juridically—the Pope has no superior on earth—or to declare unquestionably null all his acts,
  • but we must make a judgment of his words and actions inasmuch as they affect our eternal salvation, as our Savior said:

     Beware of false prophets who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them (Mt. 7:15).

     We are not to cooperate blindly in the destruction of the Church by tolerating the implementation of a new religion or by not doing what we can to defend our Catholic faith. Archbishop Lefebvre was surely our model here.

     The Church is in crisis. If the Pope really wants the aid of heaven, he has only to do what God wants. A good first step would be to take seriously all three parts of the secret of Our Lady of Fatima, and consecrate Russia as She has requested. But how can he, when he pretends that the "fall of Communism" in the USSR is the fulfillment of Our Lady's promises and the hope of world peace?7

 

BUT ISN'T HE INFALLIBLE WHEN IMPOSING TEACHING ON THE CHURCH
(e.g., the teaching understood by the 1983 Code of Canon Law)?

     The Pope is infallible primarily in matters of faith and morals, and secondarily in matters of discipline (legislation for the Universal Church, canonizations, etc.) to the extent that these involve faith and morals (cf. Principle 4), and then only when imposing for all time a definitive teaching.

     Now "infallible" means immutable and irreformable (Principle 6), but, the hallmark of the conciliar Popes, like the Modernists,8 is a spirit of evolution.9 To what extent can such minds want irreformably to define or absolutely to impose? They do not and, in fact, "they cannot..." (Archbishop Lefebvre, Ecône, June 12, 1984). Cf. QUESTION 15, n.3.

     For Pope John Paul II, this is evident by his understanding of his own authority as presented in Ut Unum Sint (May 25, 1995). After summarizing the traditional teaching on the Petrine office (§§90-94) he goes on to wonder how to exercise the primacy in the new situation of recognition of other Christians as being in partial communion with the Catholic Church (§95); how it may "accomplish a service of love recognized by all" (ibid.),and whether we could get together with non-Catholics to learn from them on this score (§96). This is confirmed by his acceptance of the new collegial understanding of authority (1983 Code of Canon Law, canons 331, 336).

 


1. Acta Apostolicae Sedis (LXX) p.920ff.

2. Sacrae Disciplinae Leges Qan. 25, 1983).

3. FideiDepositum(Oct. 11, 1992).

4. N.B.: Certain theologians (De Lubac, Von Baltasar, Congar) have been named cardinals by Pope John Paul II for die very teachings that saw diem reprimanded by die pre-conciliar magisterium.

5. By way of example: Redemptor Hominis, §§8,13,18; Evangelium Vitae, §§2,104; Tertio Millennia Adventente, §4; Sign of Contradiction, Karol Wojtyla. Geoffrey Chapman, p. 10Iff.

6. Pope John Paul H's Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi: Pan I, pp.78-95 (Appendix II).

7. Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, Fr. Francis de Marie des Anges. Immaculate Heart Press, pp.209-217.

8. Pascendi, §26.

9. From Pope John XXIIFs aggiornamento (updating} to Pope John Paul's "adaptive renewal" cf., Pope John's Council, p.8; Pope John Paul II's Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assist: Part I, pp.15-19 (see Appendix II).

 


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