John Paul II 7 Capital Sins
Eleven theologians and one journalist from Europe and Latin America have joined in a statement entitled "The Beatification of John-Paul II: Appeal for Clarity." In their statement, they list what they consider seven "negative" aspects of the late Pontiff's life, and encourage other Catholics to testify against his beatification.
The group notes that when the cause for beatification of John Paul Ii was opened in Rome on June 28, the Church called for testimony either for or against the late Pope's beatification. The group calls upon all Catholics to "express formally, with evangelical freedom," the arguments against John Paul's cause.
The statement concedes that the pontificate of John Paul II had positive aspects, "such as the commitment to peace and the effort to admit historic errors." The signatories also admit that the Pope showed some personal virtues, and state that they cannot judge his private conscience. But in an effort to balance what they see as media adulation of the Polish Pope, they focus on a "negative evaluation of his work, in many respects."
The group then lists a series of complaints about John Paul's pontificate:
1. the "repression and marginalization" of controversial theologians
2. the movement away from collegiality in Church governance [in the light of Vatican II]
3. the unwillingness to engage in "real and serious debate about the status of women in the Roman Catholic Church"
4. the opposition to "a reconsideration-- in the light of the Gospel, science, and history-- of certain norms of sexual ethics"
5. the adherence to the discipline of clerical celibacy--which, the statement said, continues despite the evidence that many priests in some geographical regions live with women, and the plague of sexual abuse of children in other regions
6. the lack of control over Church financial institutions, leading to the banking scandals of the 1980s
7. the "ecclesial isolation" of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the failure to support the Theology of Liberation in Latin America."
Most of the twelve people signing the statement are Spanish-speaking. Three are currently living in Rome: Abbot Giovanni Franzoni, OSB, who resigned in 1973 from his post at the basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls; Filippo Gentiloni, a columnist for the Italian leftist newspaper Il Manifesto; and Giulio Girardi, a prominent exponent of liberation theology. The signatories include six Spanish theologians: Jaume Botey, Casiano Floristan (the former dean of theology at the Pontifical University in Salamanca), Casimir Marti, Ramon Maria Nogués, Juan José Tamayo, and José Ramos Regidor. Also signing were the Salvadoran theologian José Maria Castillo and two feminists thinkers: Rosa Cursach of Palma de Majorca and Martha Heizer of Innsbruck.
December 6, 2005 Reuters & CWN