On the Limits and Failures of Saints

It is crucial for the Church to foster a healthy and realistic devotion to saints, with an awareness of historical context and a frank admission that every child of Adam struggles against weakness, ignorance, and sin.

Pope John Paul II embraces a young woman during the closing Mass of World Youth Day in Denver in 1993. (CNS photo/Joe Rimkus Jr.)

The life and papacy of Saint John Paul II have had an immense impact on the Church after the Second Vatican Council and beyond. One only has to look at his contributions and personal witness through his theological and magisterial writings, his Marian and Eucharistic devotion, his opposition to atheistic communism, to his trips around the world for various events such as world youth days. In these areas and so many others, Saint John Paul II helped bring many souls the truth, freedom, and joy that faith in Jesus Christ through His church offers all nations in every age of history.

In recent weeks, there has been elevated criticism of Saint John Paul II for what is perceived by some people to be actions that enabled the predatory behavior and ascent of power of the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as Archbishop of Washington, DC. This criticism comes largely from the publication of the McCarrick Report in November, which highlights some details of John Paul II’s relationship to McCarrick’s rise of power and influence. Some commentators in the Church have questioned the prudence of the speed of his canonization. Other commentators have called outrightly to remove his feast from the Liturgical Calendar of the Church. In contrast, others have sought to defend his papacy against false allegations of his enablement of Cardinal McCarrick’s predatory rise to ecclesial power.

For such a conversation about John Paul II’s connections to Cardinal McCarrick, two questions ought to be asked. First, to what extent can human limitation/sin be accepted among those we dare call saints? Second, what are the actual intentions and reasons of those who wish to place a black mark against Saint John Paul II and even lobby to remove his feast from the liturgical calendar of the Church?

“Christ who lives in me”

The Second Vatican Council teaches us that the holiness of the Church “is unceasingly manifested, and must be manifested, in the fruits of grace which the Spirit produces in the faithful; it is expressed in many ways in individuals, who in their walk of life, tend toward the perfection of charity, thus causing the edification of others.”i The holiness of the lives of each of the saints is both “the fulness of the Christian life” and “the perfection of charity,” but it also manifests the presence of Christ in the life of the individual saint so much so that they have become one with Him.ii St. Paul speaks to us of this reality when he states to the Galatians “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me” (Gal 2:20). Pope Benedict XVI speaks of this reality of the saints when he stated:

…Whoever had and lived the faith in Christ Risen was called to become a point of reference for all others, setting them in this way in contact with the person and the message of Jesus, reveals the face of the living God. And this holds true also for us: a Christian who lets himself be guided and gradually shaped by the faith of the Church, in spite of his weaknesses, his limitations and his difficulties, becomes like a window open to the light of the living God, receiving this light and transmitting it to the world.iii

It is in this sanctity of life that all of the faithful in heaven and on earth manifest Jesus Christ uniquely in their own lives and persons. This manifestation of sanctity is not just rooted in natural moral greatness or human achievement but in surrender and cooperation with the grace of God given through the sacraments, prayer, and living out one’s vocation in the world. This fruitfulness that manifests the mystery of divine union with Jesus goes beyond the capacities of the individual believer, thus fulfilling Our Lord’s promise to His Apostles, “I  am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

Each member of the Church, whether they be a saint in heaven or a saint still climbing the mountain of holiness on earth, is called to know, love, and serve God. Some of the saints are known for a specific strength in this regard, whether it is their zeal and love for the Lord and for souls, their contemplative or intellectual knowledge of the Lord, a combination of their knowledge and love of God and souls, or their service to the Lord through faithfulness to their daily duties of their state in life. There is also a need for each believer to be purified and liberated from sin. This need is at the heart of the call to conversion that brings about the sanctity of life that the Lord calls each of us to embrace that culminates with divine union. This call to conversion enables each believer to bear the fruit of grace that the Lord calls them to foster according to the particular vocation and mission he has entrusted to them in the life of faith.iv

Sinful saints and heroic virtue

But is every saint perfect in that they always did the will of God in everything in their life? Are canonized saints without mortal sin or personal failures? Are saints always fruitful in the way God intended them to be?

When we look at the saints and some of the significant figures of salvation history in Scripture, the apostles themselves, and the great saints of the history of the Church, we can see that the answer to these questions is “No”. Despite their sinfulness, the faithful witness of the saints, they also give encouragement and hope, highlighting that even our faults and sins can be paths of grace that lead us to conversion and union with Christ both on earth and in heaven.

One can see this, for example, in the case of St. Andrew Wouters, a diocesan priest in Gorkum, Netherlands. He was known for his public drunkenness, multiple affairs, and fathering multiple children despite his vow of celibacy. Calvinist raiders had taken over the town and started murdering priests and religious. According to some accounts, he chose to join them in their imprisonment, where he endured ridicule for his life of sinful debauchery, infidelity, and scandal at the hands of his Calvinist captors. On July 9, 1572, Fr. Andrew Wouters was executed alongside eighteen other priests and religious for being Catholic. As the noose was placed around his neck, he was asked by his captors if he would renounce his belief in the Eucharist and the papacy in order to save his life. Fr. Wouters final words to his captors were: “Fornicator I was, heretic I never was.” He would be canonized by Pope Bl. Pius IX, alongside the other martyrs of Gorkum, in 1865.v His faith and love for Christ exemplified in his act of martyrdom atoned for the sins of his earthly life to bring him by the grace of God to heavenly glory.

St. Robert Bellarmine reminds us that the Church honors the saints because they merited heroic virtue. “The saints are certain examples of virtues and norms of right living, and, as it were, a certain lamp enkindled before God so that they would give light to all others.”vi An act of canonization is known as a dogmatic fact because the authority of the Church states with absolute certainty that the person canonized died in a state of grace, is in heaven, and exemplified heroic virtue in their life of faith on earth.vii

Yet outside the case of Our Lady, who is without sin,viii heroic virtue in the cases of all other saints should not be confused with perfect heroic virtue nor the divine virtue that is proper to God alone. This witness of heroic virtue does not mean every saint always did the will of God, is without sin, or is always fruitful in the life of grace in all that they did. Imagine if St. Andrew Wouters lived out his priestly vows more faithfully and took advantage of the graces that he was given early on through his ordination and the sacramental life of the Church? What else could he have done if he was more faithful to the graces that he was given but squandered in his early life?

Such an insight into the limits of saints is not to sweep sin, such as clerical sexual abuse, under the rug. It is to realize that each saint bears a light, but also struggles with the realities of the Fall. God can use the light of the holiness of the Saints to compensate for what each other lacks and to help sanctify each other. In this bond of sanctity established through faith, hope, and love that the Lord brings about his Kingdom.

Questionable motivations

As horrible as the sin of clerical sexual abuse is, the call Catholic figures and by some news outlets to suppress devotion to John Paul II and to place the blame of the McCarrick scandal at his feet may have ulterior motives. The loudest cries for “justice” in suppressing his cult come from figures and outlets who openly sought to undermine both the magisterium of John Paul II and change the constant teaching of the Church to suit their own theological preferences and agendas. Such calls are not only dishonest but spit in the face of Our Lord, as well as John Paul II, and do a serious disservice to the efforts to bring healing to victims of clerical sexual abuse. They reek of dishonesty, arrogance, and promotion of heresy masked under the guise of supposed pastoral sensitivity, justice, and compassion of abuse victims.

It also hides the fact of their own personal collaboration with Cardinal McCarrick to promote various progressive and heterodox agendas. Instead of bringing healing, they bring division, chaos, and new wounds through both ideological warfare and “selective” prosecution of the errors of “some” and not “all” who are involved with the McCarrick affair.

Not all who question the prudence of John Paul II’s canonization do so maliciously. Some raise legitimate points of question on prudential judgments he made through wrong information, personal weakness, error, or shortcomings. Some of these questions may involve some of the episcopal appointments that he made, specific pastoral strategies, or inactions that perhaps bore a negative effect upon the Church. To question the actions of the pontificate of Saint John Paul II is not to denigrate his sanctity or the heroic virtue he did through the grace of God. Such questions seek to have an honest look at the person and legacy which impacted the present day.ix

Nevertheless, these questions have to be raised in a spirit of truth and esteem for the Church, whose process of canonization leaves no stone unturned in the careful assessment of candidates for sainthood. A discovery of new information casting a shadow on John Paul’s legacy of leadership can still help us to recognize the real dynamic and tension between personal virtue and occupational success. If anything, the McCarrick Report underscores the incompleteness or sometimes lack of information that was at the Holy Father’s disposal. Such a lack of prudential judgments in no way compromises the integrity or value of his papal magisterium.x Furthermore, we learned that the late Pope was quite familiar with the destructive nature of smear narratives having witnessed such campaigns launched against the Church’s leaders, by the atheistic Communists of his native Poland.

Conclusion

It is crucial for the Church to foster a healthy and realistic devotion to saints, with an awareness of historical context and a frank admission that every child of Adam struggles against weakness, ignorance, and sin.  Where certain saints have limits and failures, other saints can show great heroic strength, knowledge, and confidence that make up for the weaknesses and afflictions in the members of the body of Christ (cf. Col 1:24). Such a realization is not only at the heart of the union of the Communion of Saints that is the Church Triumphant in heaven but also its union with the members of the Communion of Saints that is Church Militant on earth and the Church Suffering in purgatory. It shows that our salvation is not just individual achievement but rooted in the familial love of faith that is the bond that unites earth to heaven and the saints of God, no matter where they may be on the journey of faith, to the love of God manifested in Christ Jesus (cf. 1 Jn 4:9).

Endnotes:

i Lumen Gentium 39; CCC 688.

iii Benedict XVI, “The Faith of the Church”; General Audience (October 31, 2012).

iv Reginald Garrigou Lagrange, “Our Participation in the Mysteries of Our Lord’s Life,” Our Savior and His Love for Us, (Rockford, IL: TAN Books & Publishers, Inc, 1998) 341-350; Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exultate: Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World (March 19, 2018), 25-34.

v Charles Johnson, “Father Andrew Wouters: ‘Fornicator I was, Heretic I never was.” Nowthatiamcatholic.com (12-27-2020).

vi Robert Bellarmine, On the Canonization and Veneration of the Saints, (Mediatrix Press, 2019. Kindle Edition). Chapter VII

vii Ibid Ch VII & VIII; John Paul II, Ad Tuendam Fidem, Motu Proprio (May 18, 1998); Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei (June 29, 1998), 11.

viii CCC 966-971.

ix See especially Gaudete et Exultate, 169-175.

x As Catholics we believe that when the Holy Father teaches the faith in proper stewardship and cooperation with graces of His office, he cannot err. See further CCC-880-892; Lumen Gentium, 22-26; and Pastor Aeternus, Ch 3-4.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Fr. Matthew MacDonald 7 Articles
Fr. Matthew MacDonald is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Ordained in 2014, he has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville, as well as a Bachelors in Sacred Theology, Masters in Divinity, and Masters of Arts in Theology from Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York. He is currently assigned as parochial vicar at Saint Mary’s Church in Washingtonville, New York.

31 Comments

  1. I believe it would have been prudent for John Paul’s Canonization to have been delayed which has been normal practice for generations as to test the waters so to say.
    John Paul himself did not ask to be Canonized rather we see internal politics at play.

    The canonization of John Paul 11 before the world media by Pope Francis and the Bishops was an act of emotional violence on those who have been abused and their families, by having to watch (relive) and see again the hypocrisy of so many of the elite in our Church who the majority of mankind believe contrived in the cover up and then to be seen participating in bestowing its highest Honour on the one man, who so many believe could have averted the untold suffering of so many innocent and vulnerable victims, this action has to call into question the integrity of the leadership of the Church and to some degree our Shepherds who stood by and permitted this act to happen.

    Pope John Paul most probably trusted his close friends/associates within the hierarchy while apparently showing little regard to the sufferings of the vulnerable within the flock. Similar to what Pope Francis did in giving his consent to Pope John Paul’s early Canonization as he too showed little regard for the suffering/feelings of the most vulnerable also.

    The above has been taken from one of my posts given by the link below perhaps some may consider reading the said posts.

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/12/12/st-john-paul-ii-1700-professors-respond-to-wave-of-accusations-against-polish-pope/#comment-232033

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Please stop cutting and pasting repetitive, previously used posts on this site. It’s disrespectful and inappropriate. The canonization of JPII was not an act of emotional violence committed against anyone, and it is deeply dishonest for you to frame the issue in that manner.

      It is obvious that you have some unspoken personal stake in this issue. Please seek assistance from appropriate professionals to address and resolve your “concerns.” That is a more mature and constructive solution than posting on this site.

      • Thank you Athanasius for your comment.

        “Please stop cutting and pasting repetitive, previously used posts on this site. It’s disrespectful and inappropriate”

        I have explained previously to you why I use cutting and pasting see the link https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/05/08/the-subtle-lie-women-must-be-powerful-but-not-fruitful/#comment-143872I

        “The canonization of JPII was not an act of emotional violence committed against anyone, and it is deeply dishonest for you to frame the issue in that manner

        I disagree to me it was an act of emotional violence / abuse
        ‘Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that involves the continual emotional mistreatment of a ‘child’. In this case the most vulnerable within the flock. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate or ignore a child (A person who has not attained (Christian) maturity).

        The act of Canonizing St John Paul 11 by Pope Francis can clearly be seen as a self-serving attempted to reinforce Clericalism -Merriam-Webster: Clericalism; a policy of maintaining or increasing the ‘power’ of a religious hierarchy;

        As once again the leadership of the church avoids having to confront the reality of its failings especially in regards to its failure to protect the most vulnerable within the flock. In the act of conferring the highest honour, especially at this ‘moment in time,’ which is one of great scandal, on one of their own, so to say, the leadership of the Church has diminished the Priesthood which should reflect one of service and humility before God and mankind.

        For credibility to be restored, a sea change will have to take place, which confronts the arrogance embedded within it, as only a manifest humble Priesthood will restore credibility.

        I reiterate “I believe it would have been prudent for John Paul’s Canonization to have been delayed which has been normal practice for generations as to test the waters so to say.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

  2. I do not doubt John Paul II’s sanctity. I did not, however, like the rush to canonize him and John XXIII. Neither do I care for what seems to be unseemly haste in the case of some other individuals. Setting aside normal criteria seems–peculiar.
    However, the enemies of the permanent things hate John Paul II, as they hated Benedict and Pius XII. Orthodoxy is, for these people, the greatest and most dangerous evil. These are they who mock sanctity, deny that there is anything virtuous beyond “social justice” and yet demand what we (not they) would deem perfection from humans they fear. There are no perfect humans in this world, nor can there be. There are, however, people whose struggle for virtue or whose ultimate moral (and often physical) heroism sets them apart as examples of what is possible.
    The instances of pedophilia and aggressive homosexuality in Catholic clergy are repugnant and deplorable. The failure to adequately address the problem once it was understood is appalling. That said, one need only look at the prevalence of these problems in society at large–in particularly among political and social “elites”–to wonder whether the non-stop attacks on the Church are as much misdirection as they are indignation.

  3. Instead of removing St. John Paul ll from the Liturgical calendar, “The Great” should be added to his name. After the death of His Holiness the Congregation for the Saints had 279 documented Miracles that came through his intercession. That! for Beatification alone. I wonder how many more miracles there were for Canonization? Perhaps he should be declared a Martyr, as the Modernists caused him so much suffering that it surely must have taken its toll on His life. Our Saint bore it all for Jesus Christ.

    We live in the day of great Apostacy, Modernism has infiltrated the Church. Modernists are known for being conniving and being liers. Scripture says that in these days even the elect will be tricked. Trickery and lying was the art that the Modernists used against St. John Paul ll. I’m a Traditionalist and I wonder what category some traditionalists fall under. There are some who have absolute hatred for St. John Paul ll.

    • Miracles mean zero without charity. Google “sister magdalena of the cross.” I don’t care if someone levitates and has the stigmata and all kinds of nonsense. What matters is true charity and following all the commandments of Christ. John Paul II in 1986 prayed with pagans and Jews. This is public apostasy. I don’t care if hosts bled in his hands and he prostrated and wrote volumes on the holiness of the Blessed Virgin. It means zero if you’re an apostate. Even dying a martyr for Christ means zero if you’re a heretic.

      So if a devil worshipper has the stigmata, we should canonize them? This was the claim for sister magdalena, and all of Europe was fooled. The smart Catholics knew she was a fraud, but most people are impressed by satanic magic.

  4. I appreciate this review. Far too many Catholics — let alone non-Catholics — equate a declaration of sainthood with perfection. One need only look at the original 12 and their contemporaries who personally knew and followed Jesus to grasp that ALL of us are imperfect beings. We can find something to object to in every saint.

  5. Thanks a lot for your article Fr. Matthew MacDonald.
    The people who dare to criticize St John Paul II are more LGBT activists than priests or bishops, they celebrate that the JPII Institute of Family and Marriage is led by an insane person ,Vincenzo Paglia, who needs psychiatric treatment given his ideas about sex education, but appointed by a another person Jorge Bergoglio, and all of them believe that Biden is a good Catholic, when he is pro abortion and pro same sex marriage. I have to say that Jesus expels the merchants and consumers from the temple and said to them ” a den of thieves “, that’s what they need.

  6. This is an excellent article. If read carefully, the McCarrick Report is nothing close to an indictment of John Paul The Great. There were no known accusers. Multiple bishops, including Cardinal Hickey, endorsed him for Washington. At least three bishops misled two nuncios: including Cardinal Cacciavilan twice. Cardinal O’Connor endorsed McCarrick as a good man as late as 1995. His 1999 letter produced no clear evidence of wrong-doing. The story is really the story of how an 80 year old man in the grips of Parkinson’s Disease was manipulated by people in the Secretary of State’s office and in the US hiearchy. It was elder abuse.

  7. I think the Church should return to the older, more strict canonization process. There was a reason why the Church took her time with elevating people to the altars.

    I think JP2 was a holy man. I’ve been hard on him in the past, but he was very sick the last 10 years of his pontificate. Evil people clearly took advantage of his infirmity. This also raises the question of what we should do when a Pope becomes incapacitated due to illness.

  8. Jesus said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect in heaven”. In the spiritual life this is what we must strive for, PERFECTION. God does not ask us for the impossible. St. John Paul The Great, was a Third Order Carmelite and was of the school of St. John of the Cross. St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, both Carmelites, are Doctors of the Church. St. John Paul The Great was a Mystic, read up on Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila and be prepared for the shock of your life. St. John Paul The Great reached the 10th stage in the spiritual life, that is the highest state, its called Perfection. I guess that explains 279 miraculous documented cures after his death, through his intercession. I still wonder how many more miracles were attributed to him after his Beatification.

    Politics should have no play in Canonizations. In the case of His Holiness it was the Congregation for the saints to study all the testimonies on his life and to look at any possible miracles attributed to the Candidate for Sainthood. In the case of St. John Paul The Great, the ones who determine that a Candidate for Sainthood can be Canonized is the Congregation for the Saints. When all Documentation is presented to the Pope, the Pope only signs the decree for the Canonization to take place. There were no politics involved in Our Saints case, the politics are happening only now. His holy life and miracles prove he is in heaven. The Modernists condemned him for going backwards, the Ultra-Traditionalists condemned him for going forward. There are some crazy mixed up people in the Church today. St. John Paul 2, We still Love you. Ora Pro Nobis!

    • Andrew Angelo

      “John Paul The Great reached the 10th stage in the spiritual life, that is the highest state, it’s called Perfection”

      In the link given in my post above on the 13th Dec 2:31 AM I have given a link which incorporates an unfinished discourse which I had with you. From our discourse
      You say
      “St. John Paul ll was no ordinary man but one of the greatest of Faith, Hope and Charity to perfection”

      One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is Wisdom; Wisdom is both the knowledge of and judgment about “divine things” and the ability to judge and direct human affairs according to divine truth; as you say “It is not a life so much on paper, (Image) but as one that is lived” Yes and if lived with the Holy Spirit’s gift of “Knowledge which is the ability to judge correctly about matters of faith and right action, so as to never wander from the straight path of justice. Which the most vulnerable were denied under John Paul’s 11 Watch…..

      kevin your brother
      In Christ.

      • Kevin Walters, I speak in defense of St. John Paul The Great because I am a witness to how he guided the Church for over 25 years. From the moment he stepped out of the Loggia in 1978, his first words were those of Christ, “Be not afraid”. In over 25 years he was a witness to not being afraid. One month into his papacy he began to reform the Church. He ordered all priests to return to the Cassock. He ordered all Nuns to wear a clearly identifiable habit, it was only the beginning. Within a year he was already working on restoring the Tridentine Mass. He gave great importance to the TLM. I was subscribed to the newspaper “the Wanderer” so I had the chance to read what he said at his General Audiences and Noon Angelus talks. His words were always rich in restoring the Church from the Modernist takeover. His words gave us Faith, Hope and Charity. His actions were always done with the Theological Virtues. If I were a writer I would write a book on all I remember about the Holy Father. I didn’t realize it at the time but God was speaking to us through the Holy Father. Those of us who listened to him were greatly gifted by God in the spiritual realm. Through his words I was sure of God’s will and lived life to the fullest. We wouldn’t be here were it not for St. John Paul The Great. He made the requested Consecration to Our Lady. According to Sr. Lucia Dos Santos, God had planned to destroy the world “through Atomic and Nuclear war in 1986”. The Holy Father with his Consecration on March 24, 1984 averted the merited Divine Justice against us. Can we at least say thank you to to His Holiness. Great things from heaven were granted to us by one man, His Vicar on Earth St. John Paul The Great. How I wish I could say more on the greatness of Our Saint, But it would be book length.

        I harshly unconditionally condemn the attacks against the Holy Father St. John Paul The Great, by satans Modernist heretics and Ultra-Traditionalist devil incarnates. (Wow I’m speaking like St. John Paul ll, you wouldn’t know because you and others have never known this great Pope). St. John Paul ll beg God for Mercy on your diabolically inspired calumniators, your human enemies who will one day be judged severely. Totus Tuus my great Saint. Amen!

        • Thank you for your comment Andrew His words were always rich in restoring the Church from the Modernist takeover Much of what you say and others I cannot contest (Or want to) as I am uneducated and know little about his efforts on reforming the church. You say that He ordered all priests to return to the Cassock” But did they? He ordered all Nuns to wear a clearly identifiable habit This did not happen in England or if it did it was very short-lived. Within a year he was already working on restoring the Tridentine Mass From a personal point of view, I was glad to hear the Mass in the vernacular as now I understood what was been said and could fully participate. I personally can thank the Modernists for this, while understanding that all Catholic Masses are valid.

          (Wow I’m speaking like St. John Paul ll, ‘you wouldn’t know’ because you and others have never known this great Pope

          Possibly not Andrew as only God truly knows the reality of another’s soul/heart but I and many Christians know the will of Jesus Christ the Word incarnate and that it is the action of Truth (The essence of Love) that sets mankind free from the workings of evil. Jesus promised that those who love Him will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (as previously stated above) one of the gifts is Wisdom another is Knowledge.

          Wisdom should embrace the practicalities of our earthly life. King Solomon prayed for the gift of Wisdom and it was given to him and he acted with justice in caring/governing his people while praising God.

          As I have previously stated ‘I believe that Pope John Paul 11 was enwrapped in a worldly image/cult of Goodness which was most probably encouraged by the dark forces at work within the church, evil always works to our weaknesses and in this weakness, he was oblivious to the reality of a suffering church. This worldly image was reinforced by the blasphemous divine Mercy Image which emanated from spiritual and nationalistic pride which resulted in the breaking of the Second Commandment by the elite within the Church’. See the link

          https://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2020/11/full-text-of-the-mccarrick-report-published-today-in-rome/#comment-99319

          ‘I was made aware by the visual observance of St Pope John Paul’s personal ‘naivety’ (lack of wisdom/ discernment) by those mocking wolves close to him, who showed him the reality of his own previous lived fallen selfhood, in the later stages of his earthly life and if borne in humility (Which I believe he (most probably) did) would lead to spiritual enlightenment accompanied by the Holy Spirit into full Christian Charity. Which would most certainly make him a Saint’. He lived the later stages of his life courageously we can only pray that God will grant us the grace to do the same.

          I reiterate “I believe it would have been prudent for John Paul’s Canonization to have been delayed which was ‘wisely’ practiced for generations as to test the waters so to say.

          kevin your brother
          In Christ

          • Kevin Walters, Thank you for your sincere words. I am much relieved. As you can note I am frustrated at attacks against St. John Paul The Great. You asked if after the orders of His Holiness, whether priests returned to the Cassock and whether Nuns returned to a clearly identifiable habit. I remember the Nuns didn’t obey. I also remember according to the news that company’s in Rome who made clerical garb were overwhelmed with orders for Cassocks to be made, requested by priests. I made a pilgrimage to Rome in 1986 with the Blue Army, there were many priests in the tour. Before landing at the airport all priests were instructed that the Pope forbade any priest while in Rome to be without the Cassock. We were instructed not to attempt to receive communion on the hand as the Pope had absolutely forbade this practice in the City of Rome. There were Bishops around the world who forbade the wearing of the Cassock in defiance of the Pope. One was Cardinal Mario Jorge Bergoglio who is said to have punished priests if they attempted to wear the Cassock. As for the Tridentine Mass, the Pope deplored that the faithful no longer knew the nature of the Mass. It is a Divine act and not a human act. Pope Benedict XVl said this, “The priest does not need the Mass, the people do not need the Mass. God the Father needs the Mass”. This is profoundly theologically correct. Our Saint deplored that Christ was dethroned from the Mass and the Mass became the peoples faith community gathering, a sacrilege, blasphemy, insult to God etc…. Our Saint was elected to the Papacy in October of 1978, in the beginning of 1980 he had a letter ready and sent to all the Bishops of the world, asking them if there was still a desire among the faithful for the Tridentine Mass in their Diocese. In October of 1984 St. John Paul The Great granted the Indult for the TLM. The Bishops around the world condemned the Pope for not following Collegiality, like granting this Indult behind their backs. Our Saint publicly lambasted the Bishops of the world, reminding them of the letter he sent to each of them in 1980. His words were, “Most of you did not answer and those who did said there was no desire whatsoever for the Old Mass, and yet I receive thousands of letters a week from the faithful of your perspective diocese’s asking for the Old Mass” This silenced the objections against the Pope. Our Pope was Charitable but with Justice. When he slammed his authority he minced no words. The Popes main responsibility that he took seriously was in smashing Modernistic errors, one example is that he strongly condemned that after the Council, “Change for the mere sake of Change” that occurred in the Conciliar Church were unacceptable and condemnable. I remember him saying with a strong voice, “There is NO New Church, this is the same Church before, during and after the Council”. When he spoke, he did it so sternly and with authority, assuring everyone, even hell itself that, he was the Vicar of Christ. The late Exorcist Fr. Amorth in exorcisms used prayers to St. John Paul The Great. Fr. Amorth said that hell feared the name of St. John Paul ll. I’m sorry if I went off the track here but I enjoy telling stories and defending the Great Holy Father.

          • Thank you, Andrew, for your comment and your other recent comment under a similar article see link
            https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/12/12/st-john-paul-ii-1700-professors-respond-to-wave-of-accusations-against-polish-pope/#comment-236121

            For clarity/continuity of thought, I will respond to both posts here.
            I was sorry to hear of your mini-strokes but often adversity creates empathy for the suffering of others and as your comment demonstrates, for those who love God all adversity works for the good. I was heartened to read of your spiritual journey to date and grateful for the good well-intended advice that you have given me. Although it is a little bit late in the day for me to start studying as my demise could proceed yours. And of course, you can depend upon my prays while grateful that I am within yours.

            “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment”

            So, care has to be taken as all men with good intent (Modernist or Traditional) journey/walk towards our Father’s House in heaven via different routes which can be short, long, convoluted, and often arduous, etc, as our life circumstances/experiences/gifts/failings are different but in reality, they are the same as we all walk in our fallen nature (Brokenness). While we want for others that which we have been given ourselves His gift of Divine Mercy.

            Yes, it is true that the church is in great turmoil at this moment in time but we have been forewarned of these times from within the Gospels when many will be led astray. It is natural to feel anxious for the wellbeing of the flock and loved ones but we are not here to judge others as only God sees the heart, rather we are to enlighten others from any form of prejudice and this can only come about when we walk in humility with the Holy Spirit who sifts our hearts which creates Wisdom (The harmonizing of the heart and mind.) The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting;

            To divide/categorize believers into Modernist or Conservatives is divisive as there has always been good and bad men within the church. In humility, we should trust in the workings of the Holy Spirit knowing that all enlightenment comes from God alone and because of this we will not be driven into anxiety or divisiveness as the peace that He gives to His true Disciples, cannot be taken from them.

            “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” (Change direction)

            I am sure that you will agree that all Catholic Masses are valid, equal, and beneficial to all those who worship in humility. True believers cannot be divided by worldly manmade structures/ideologies/modes of dress etc, as God is Spirit and He is Truth and His dwelling place is found within the tabernacle of a humble heart.

            “Spiritual reading and Prayer are the main paths by which God the Holy Ghost inspires us and teaches us”

            So yes absolutely! Andrew. Prayer the uplifting of one’s heart before God in humility/honesty will inspire us to read the book of our own hearts/lives in relation to His inviolate living Word (Will) given within the simplicity of Gospels. While the Holy Spirit cleanses our heart/soul to create a dwelling place for Himself to reside in.

            Sincerely
            kevin your brother
            In Christ

          • Kevin Walters, You say, “To divide/categorize believers into Modernists or Conservatives is divisive..” That’s because we are divided! This has happened throughout Church history. Today the Church is divided, there is but one way and that is Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life through His Holy Roman Catholic Church. Christ our Savior established it upon the Rock who is St. Peter the first Pope. The Papacy, up until Pope Benedict XVl has guided our steps in the Divine law which makes for the way, the truth and the life. I don’t say “Francis” as he himself has confused and divided us, he himself said, “I will the the first Pope to cause a schism the Church”, I think he was saying it jokingly but then its exactly what he has done. I label myself a Traditionalist as did St. Padre Pio. For me it means living according to the wisdom of the Church as She has taught for 2000 years. The Modernists wish to demolish the Church and start it all over again, in the past 55 years they have attempted to but have only failed. This is Jesus Christ Church and not our own. Jesus Almighty God and Savior is in command and will be for eternity. This is what it means to be a Traditionalist.

            As for the Mass, yes every approved Rite is valid, But there are problems as has been pointed out by Benedict XVl with the Novus Ordo Missae. One thing he made clear reference to was, “The Mass was reformed too quickly and in a half/hazard manner”, that sounds like what Archbishop Lefebvre was saying and what Archbishop Vigano is saying now. Now its out in the open, something went wrong! God Bless you and yours.

  9. Of what use is having Popes as saints? St. Pope John Paul himself who canonized so many saints declared that saints are presented by the Church as models of holiness for the all of the people of God, the vast majority of whom are lay people. But Popes? How can they be model for lay people? Yes, Pope Saints can be models for current Popes or those both ambitious and sincere cardinals and bishops who pray to be Pope someday. We have a disproportionate number of saints who were Popes, bishops, priests, sisters, founders of religious congregations. What we need now are more saints who were lay people. Let’s have a moratorium of beatification and canonizations of Popes – and clerics and religious – for the next 200-300 years even as we raise more lay men and women as saints during this period.

    • Thaddeus: Just a followup to your point, I looked up the general defintion of a saint. One definition was a person of exceptional holiness or closeness to God. Now I know there is a lot of steps the Church goes thru to formalize the process. Unfortunately, this tends to put more recognized people up front, like popes, priests, nuns etc. I for one think that Pope John Paul II easily met the criteria and the miracles validated his sainthood.

      But then what about the average Bob and Jane who are holy and go about life doing what God expects from them with little fanfare. I am thinking about people I have known that brought relatives back to the Church, made daily sacrifices for the family, prayed etc. Moving up the chain a little how about the people involved in productive Catholic organizations like Knights of Columbus, Church Rosary Societies etc whose work and sacrificies do enumerable good for the Church, but is largely unrecognized. It’s not that just belonging to such groups, but those individuals that go the extra mile, in obscurity, but bring people closer to God. While the saint formality will never be recognized by the Church for such people, God does not miss their holines, work and prayers. Can’t recall the Gospel passage but God rewards them, so their sainthood exist. There may be, but if there isn’t, there should be day in the Church calendar recognizing the unknown everyday saints, the holy people who do God’s work living a simple life, but do so much good.

  10. My impression is that the many in the current Vatican Hierachy want to diminish St John Paul II legacy as part of the plan to rewrite Catholic Doctrine according to accepted secular standards. In effect it is a twist of Saul Alinsky tatics to cause of disdain for St John Paul II to support that effort. Since the memory of St John Paul II seems to hinder their goal, why not try to demolish him legacy.

  11. I believe George Weigel’s analysis of this matter to be more accurate and informative. Believing the actual lies from McCarrick and certain US Bishops, and not able to see through or suspect the support and cover MCCarrick received from the lavender mafia in the hierarchy was regrettable. But it was at least understandable in view of JPII’s prior experience of dealing with Communist slanderous attacks on the clergy in his native Poland. My respect for the saintliness of JP II is undiminished.

  12. When the Church declares someone a Saint, it is an Infallible Proclamation that they are in Heaven. It is not meant to say that every single aspect of their lives was perfect and beyond reproach. St Celestine V was canonized for his personal Holiness despite the fact that he was a subpar Pope who only reigned five months. Pope Paul VI was considered a devout and Holy Man by those who knew him, and he did attempt to defend Church teaching (such as with his encyclical Humanae Vitae and by ordering Fr. Hardon to write The Catholic Catechism to counter theological progressivism in Catechesis) despite the fact that his Pontificate was rather chaotic, and his “reform” of the Liturgy was a complete disaster.

    If absolute perfection in all things were a requirement for canonization then there would be no Saints at all.

    • Paul VI was light years away from perfection. The martyrs of the early church were sinful, but they didn’t promote global sin, heresy, and evil like men such as Paul VI, John Paul II, or Alphonsus Liguori. Judas wasn’t perfect either, should we make him a saint too? What becomes the criteria for sainthood? Just any person, even if they believe and spread gigantic heresies, but then write a ten volume work on the Blessed Virgin Mary? It’s nonsense. John Paul II was canonized due to popularity and his promoting of the heresies of Vatican II. It was a way to canonize Vatican II.

      These men were canonized by Francis. This is the same Francis who says there is no hell and that atheists go to heaven. This is no longer the Catholic Church. I also refuse the canonization of Alphonsus Liguori, on the grounds that he spread heresy worldwide, and Gregory XVI accepted a Rothschild loan, which approved of usury on a massive and global scale. This was public heresy, and he was therefore outside of the church.

      Why not also say, “well, Stalin wasn’t perfect” or other nonsense? You have to judge their entire life and what they taught. It’s the same reason Origen and Tertullian aren’t saints, even though they both contributed a huge amount of good.

      • It’s the fifth of January, Mr. Newlin. Just how much did you drink on New Year’s Eve that it’s still affecting you so severely five days later?

  13. Imagine if Paul VI was examined based on his Episcopal appointments!!

    JPII is only guilty of a bit of gullibility in several of these cases…

    they attack him in death as they did in life, STILL A SAINT

  14. Saying, “a saint isn’t perfect” is a convenient way to cover up their massive scandals. John Paul II in praying with Jews and pagans made a public act of apostasy. The damage he did in 1986 was incredible. No pope had prayed with Jews since apostolic times until John Paul II did this. I don’t believe the church was somehow in error for over 1900 years, then suddenly John Paul II understood things that were somehow missed by the many pope saints previously. I refuse to accept that somehow John Paul II understood better than Pope St Leo or Pope St Gregory.

    Alphonsus Liguori taught probabilism, mental reservation, and he is the reason that contraception was accepted worldwide before Vatican II. To say, “he’s not perfect” is a way to brush under the rug the fact that he taught that contraception was ok, popes then approved it, and therefore millions and millions of mortal sins were committed, falling inline with the teaching of this “doctor of the church.” The teaching of Alphonsus Liguori has sent millions and millions to hell. This incredible level of evil was approved by the church. How is this possible? Alphonsus Liguori covered up his evil and sick writings with massive amounts of writing on the Blessed Virgin. I don’t care how much penance and writing he did, when he injected such incredible poison into the church by allowing contraception.

    You don’t just make someone a saint if they have these massive, gigantic, global sins on them. John Paul II was on a global stage praying with pagans. That alone keeps him from sainthood. Then he put a known predator in charge of the US church. These aren’t minor faults, but are calculated decisions by an old man in order to spread paganism and evil throughout the world.

    I refuse to see John Paul II as a saint. The sinful writings of Alphonsus Liguori are straight from the pit of hell. What a tragedy that laity would rather blindly follow Rome (like a good & obedient Jesuit) rather than seeing the truth right in front of them. It’s cowardice for laity to allow a pope to teach evil without saying anything. If a pope says black is white, it’s your job to say no it’s not.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Por que os mártires saíram de moda? – Comunidade Católica Fiat Mihi

Leave a Reply to James Newlin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*