NEWS:  June 4, 2005

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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

THE CANONIZATION OF WOJTYLA, THE MORAL-FREE POPE  -  One of the first declarations of Pope Ratzinger was that Karol Wojtyla would be set on a fast track toward canonization. On May 13, Ratzinger announced he had dispensed with rules that normally impose a five-year waiting period before beatification can even start. Actually, he was just repeating what he had already stated before he was chosen Pontiff on the eve of the conclave.

Saint Wojtyla 1

Endorsing the topless

Saint Wojtyla 2

Admiring scantily dressed acrobats at the Vatican

Saint Wojtyla 03

Allowing a bare-breasted woman to read the Epistle

Saint Wojtyla 6

Watching a bare-legged contortionist in an indecent position

Saint Wojtyla 5

Receiving the gifts of the Offertory from an almost naked woman

Saint Wojtyla 4

Greeting a circus perfomer in tight leotards at the Vatican

Saint Wojtyla 7

Giving Communion to an almost naked woman

Saint Wojtyla 8

Admiring indecent and sensual acrobatics
Given the favorable hullabaloo that the media raised over the death of John Paul II, Ratzinger’s comment on the eve of the conclave about speeding up the process of JPII can easily be seen as a smart campaign maneuver to attain the papacy. His later announcement of a new track for sainthood especially designed for Wojtyla can also be understood as a way to make himself appear more appealing to public opinion, which has never found him so. He places himself under the umbrella of Wojtyla's popularity.

So, regarding politics and tactics, Ratzinger has acted, and continues to act, as a politician persuing his own interest. Machiavelli would have advised the same thing. This kind of “divinization” of close friends or relatives for political advantages was not rare in the decadent Roman Empire. For example, the emperor Caracalla made his brother Geta, whom he had murdered, a god.

But, what does this announcement mean on a doctrinal level?
"To canonize a servant of God the Catholic Church demands evidence that is absolutely convincing. Her decree is the last act of a long and detailed process during which the life of the deceased person is examined with a most rigorous critique. The process does not advance unless the Catholic practiced all the virtues to a heroic degree, and uncontestable miracles were worked through his or her intercession" (Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, Vancant-Mangenot, Paris: Letouzey, 1923, vol. II, 2, col. 1627).
Until Vatican II, all Catholics knew these rigorous conditions. The confusion started with liberalizations introduced by Paul VI. Further, the new Code of Canon Law (1983) abolished all the canons (141 canons) that regulated the processes of beatification and canonization. These canons simply disappeared in the new Code. Eliminating these canons delivered a blow of relativism to the beatification and canonization processes. The traditional seriousness that surrounded these procedures vanished and an arbitrary, erratic new system was established. What criteria were employed? No one can say for sure, but in the last 25 years, it often seemed that there was only one criterium: whatever Wojtyla wants. This also explains why the number of the blesseds and saints grew completely out of proportion.

It is my opinion that the infallibility linked to the previous processes also vanished. I think that no one is obliged to believe that all these new “saints” and “blesseds” are really such.

Another sad consequence: by abolishing the wise previous conditions for elevating a person to sainthood, and by enormously increasing the number of “blesseds” and “saints” in an arbitrary way, Wojtyla gave a powerful argument to the Protestants, who, as everyone knows, abhor the Catholic saints. If everyone is considered a saint, true Catholic sainthood is abolished.

In fact, the selection of saints that pleased Wojtyla was far from being perfect. He decreed that modernists like Frederic Ozanan and Angelo Roncalli be raised to the glory of the altars. He championed existentialists like Edith Stein and religious indifferentists like Mother Teresa, along with others whose orthodoxy of thought and heroic practice of virtues are widely open to discussion.

We also witnessed others be declared saints to repay some financial favors the Vatican received. I refer here to a case of the Vatican escaping an imminent financial bankruptcy that followed the Marcinkus scandal. It has been widely spread that a certain international organization offered the needed money to fill that enormous financial hole. As retribution for the favor, among many other advantages given to this organization, its founder was beatified and then canonized in a very short time.

Just in passing, let me observe that Msgr. Paul Marcinkus - responsible for Vatican finances - was also Wojtyla’s close friend and personal bodyguard. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison for many financial crimes but found refuge at the Vatican. Wojtyla ignored the sentence and prevented any one from touching Marcinkus. Since the Vatican is a sovereign state subject to the Pope, Marcinkus remained comfortably installed there until his sentence expired. There is a curious paradox in this case: the same John Paul II who made bad persons saints, made a known criminal innocent. Why? Just because he was his friend…

For the festivities of the Millennium, John Paul II had everything in place to establish a common martyrology with Protestants and Schismatics. He praised Protestant heresiarchs Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin so emphatically that his eulogies led one to think that they would be included in this martyrology. If they were included, why not also Photius and Cerularius, the two heads of the Greek Schismatics? He also raised the possibility that everyone killed under Nazism and Communism could be declared a “martyr” - no matter what religion they professed. I have already dealt in detail with these possibilities in an open letter to the Pope (Quo Vadis, Petre? Los Angeles: TIA, 1999, pp. 10-26). Fortunately, at the last moment there was a strong reaction against that “common martyrology” in the Roman Curia, and so far, John Paul II’s desire hasn't become a reality.

The rigid requirement for miracles became less and less rigorous until we reached a case where a mere cure of varicose veins was admitted as a “miracle” sufficient to raise someone to the glory of the altars. To consider this cure as a miracle is ludicrous, since it is common knowledge that varicose veins can be cured with the application of various creams and remedies advertised everywhere. Further, some months before JPII’s death, news reports came from the Vatican stating that even such "miracles" would be suppressed as a condition for sainthood.

Now, Pope Ratzinger has put Wojtyla on a fast track to sainthood.

Leaving aside a multitude of disputable aspects of Wojtyla’s life, let me deal here with only one. Wojtyla’s extremely bad example in morals would certainly annul any attempt to make him a saint. For in the Catholic Church, a saint must be an example of the highest moral conduct. And Pope Wojtyla was not.

I present facts, rather than interpretations. I invite my reader to look at the photos I am posting at the right of this article that portray Wojtyla with a variety of half-naked women. During the Holy Mass – at the Epistle, Offertory, and Communion - there they are, exposing themselves blatantly with Wojtyla’s endorsement. Am I selecting a few isolated pictures to prove a point? No. You need only visit TIA website (click here), and you will become weary of seeing other examples.

Is it only a question of exposure of native women? No. Many times he hosted indecent performances of acrobatics at the Vatican that clashed frontally with Catholic Morals. I ask Catholics, how can a man who encouraged such things be presented as a model of sanctity, as one who lived a life of perfect purity? No honest person can present such a man as a saint. It is impossible! According to the most elementary Catholic sense, this man is not a saint.

Now then, if John Paul II is made a saint as announced, this act will constitute an indirect destruction of Catholic Morals. Does Pope Ratzinger have the right to do this?

Let me quote the very famous Spanish theologian of the 16th century, Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, O.P., who lived at the time of the immoral Popes of the Renaissance. He stated:
"A Pope must be resisted who publicly destroys the Church. What should be done if the Pope, because of his bad customs, destroys the Church? .... He would certainly sin; he should neither be permitted to act in such fashion nor should be obeyed in what is evil; .... The reason for this is that he does not have the power to destroy. Therefore, if there is evidence that he is doing so, it is licit to resist him. The result of all this is that if the Pope destroys the Church by his orders and actions, he can be resisted and the execution of his mandates prevented" (Obras de Francisco Vitoria, Madrid:BAC, 1960, pp.486-487).
Given the data presented in this article, and the advice of Fr. Vitoria, it is my opinion that regarding the possible canonization of Wojtyla, Pope Benedict XVI should be strongly and frontally resisted.


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