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Your Comments on Pictures Are Foolish

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To whom this may concern:

I was reviewing the pictures on your website, and would like to comment on them.

1. The Pope as a showman. What kind of objection is this? Rubbish! His arms are in the air, wow. Do you know the exact occasion for why that was? If not, then this is just childish. I don't see any papal mandates for Popes not putting their hands up in the air, expressing some type of joy.

2. JPII meets with baton majorettes. You all said this was inappropriate because they went against dress guidelines. Which ones? There is a difference between a PRIVATE AUDIENCE and a large event. And since you all obviously overlook the good side of life, the Vatican prohibits people to come into St. Peter's Basilica in inappropriate attire.

The same goes with July 16's "progressive picture". A new morality? My goodness.

3. JPII embraces Rome's chief Rabbi. Is there any previous condemnation of embracing a non-Catholic human? Not really a relevant objection.

4. JPII's intimacy with the ladies. This is probably the most foolish objection I have seen. When was it illegal for the VICAR OF CHRIST to express love for Christ's people, subsequently the Pope's flock?? I doubt there is.

5. Pope Paul VI and the standing lay member. How do you know this wasn't after Vatican II?

I don’t have time for the others, but this is really just a far-fetched attack. I am in no way a N.O. person, but somewhere lines are drawn.

     Pax Christi,

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TIA responds,

Mr. B.H.

Regarding the general lines of your objections to our comments on pictures, we would suggest you read our response to similar liberal remarks made by another reader.

Regarding the particular details you mentioned, we offer these explanations:

1. On the two occasions when we criticized John Paul II for taking theatrical postures, raising his arms high in the air, we indicated the specific places where it took place. You argued that if we did not know the places, we could not make any criticism. Well, even if your argument is not easy to understand, we did, as noted, mention the places. Let us remind you of them here: The first photo was taken in New York City, the second, in the Montreal Olympic Stadium in Canada.

2. The principles that forbade a Pope to receive majorettes with bare legs are the principles of Catholic Morals. A Pope or anyone else must not favor the near occasion of sin, and leg expositions such as this can easily lead to sin. Such principles can be found in any good Catechism when it deals with the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.

3. The picture of John Paul II embracing the chief-rabbi of Rome should be seen in the context of what that visit to the synagogue represented. Only from that perspective does its meaning become fully clear. Notwithstanding, signs of friendship and cordiality with heretics, schismatics and Jews must be avoided by Catholics if they want to be faithful to the teaching of the Church.

4. There are many moral norms for any Catholic man to avoid close touching, embraces and kisses with ladies who are not his mother or sisters. Again, consulting the same Catechism should provide you with the guidelines that you are ignoring.

5. Due to a lack of precision on your part, we could not figure out which picture you were referring to when you mentioned that Paul VI was standing with a lay man. In the section Pictures of the Week, we did find one that might match your vague description. In another section we also posted a photo in which Paul VI was giving Communion to a standing lay man.

If this picture is the one to which you refer, we know that the incident took place before and not after the end of Vatican II because we have the issue of Informations Catholiques Internationales of April 1, 1965 that reported the fact and printed the photo. By the way, this information was also provided in the caption of that picture.

These are the details that seemed to us fitting to help you resolve your objections. We hope they did so.

We thank you for presenting your objections listed in numbers, making it easier to respond.


     TIA correspondence desk

Blason de Charlemagne
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