B-DAY Beatification Day is like D-DAY - a major military campaign begins with a view to ultimate victory - the canonisation of John Paul II
Pope Benedict's announcement that he will beatify his predecessor at the beginning of May has set off a predictable flood of eulogic propaganda in the neo-conservative press.
The orchestrated exultation actually started in April 2005 when Charismatic groups conspired to reduce the Pope's requiem to a liturgical circus with their puerile and irreverent chants of "Great! Great! Great!", "John Paul II we love you!" and "Saint now!" The excessive response to news of the beatification is just the latest stage of this contrived process which will speed on to canonisation, by hook or by crook, in double quick time.
Papolators and Realists
By no means, however, does the propaganda represent the universal view of Catholics. Rather, it is aimed at the emoting majority: the neo-conservative herd who put their brains on hold long ago in order to cope with the brave new world of endless novelty, mixed-messages and chaos opened up by the Vatican Council. Their emotional response is understandable. False obedience and feel-good papolatry makes for an easier life than the sacrifices demanded by baptismal promises and serious reflection on Catholic Tradition.
For those who have managed to keep their heads these past forty years while the bulk of the hierarchy, clergy and faithful around them have so determinedly lost theirs, on the other hand, the announcement is just another post-conciliar red flag: a clarion call for more straight talk and ever blunter assessments.
Representing a vast, albeit ignored minority of the faithful, these (ever hopeful) realists are not prepared to suspend their critical faculties in this or any other matter. Nor will they discount their painful lived experience of the 1978-2005 papacy, which screams out against the latest attempt to bless the catastrophic Pastoral Experiment-known-as-Vatican II by formally raising its greatest champion to the altar of the Church just five years after his death.
Indeed, to their mind, the fast-track beatification of this particular pontiff and its delirious reception positively embodies the present delusional and dysfunctional state of local Churches everywhere. For the injustice, arrogance, blindness, cowardice and suicidal self-satisfaction that afflicts the post-conciliar Church is not only exemplified by the diabolically disoriented Modernist episcopates tyrannising the West. It is personified, too, by neo-conservatives who, to a greater or lesser extent, acquiesce in the destructive status quo promoted by a Pope they idolise.
Not so the discerning minority. These faithful understand John Paul II's popular appeal and most certainly regard him as the Pope of Life. Yet while truly grateful for his mighty contribution to that cause, they refuse to wish away the tragic fact that he was just as surely the Pope of unspeakable Negligence, Complicity, Scandal and Dissolution. [See "John Paul the Great? ... Or Great Disappointment?"], June/July 2005. Also, John Vennari's excellent summary, "The Secret of Pope John Paul II’s Success,"], 2005. ...
In his December 2010 Libero article, Prof. de Mattei explains that: "[the historian] cannot isolate the texts of the Second Vatican Council from the historical context which produced them.... Just as Vatican II cannot be presented as an event which only concerns three years of Church history, without considering the deep roots and also the profound consequences it had in the Church and society. The pretentious separation of the Council from the post-Council is as untenable as separating the Conciliar texts from the pastoral context in which they were written. No serious historian or person of good sense could accept this artificial separation born of pure bias and not of a serene and objective evaluation of facts. Still today, we are living the consequences of the 'Conciliar Revolution' which anticipated and accompanied that of May 1968. Why hide it? The Church, as Leo XIII affirmed, opening the Vatican Secret Archives to researchers, 'must not fear the truth'."
Similarly, we should not fear the truth about John Paul II, one of the leading architects of that very Revolution, nor create an "artificial separation" between the pontificate and the person based on emotion rather than "serene and objective evaluation of the facts"; details pertaining to his suspect views and their relation to the scandal and chaos he oversaw and bequeathed.
Like his mentor Paul VI and his successor Benedict XVI, John Paul II and Vatican II are joined at the hip. If that fact alone was not enough to disqualify his cause, it should at least have put it on hold for a very lengthy period of time. And that holds true even if God used the Council as a winnowing fan to purify His Church [see "Vatican II and Divine Providence," Oct. 2003]. God's ways are certainly not ours. But He does not play His earthly Vicars like fatalistic marionettes. A pope is not given a free pass on the strict fulfilment of his duties. He is not exempted from the godly exercise of his intellect, free will and prudential judgement. He does not stand blameless before God and men while peddling or tolerating erroneous ideas and actions that imperil the very Barque of Peter he commands. He is God's helmsman, not His helpless puppet!
During a 5 February 2011 episcopal ordination of the secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Benedict said "We must be careful that the faith always expresses itself in love and in justice toward each other." Absolutely. But where is the love and justice in disregarding the feelings of millions of faithful Catholics who harbour such fearful reservations about John Paul II? Where is the prudence and propriety in accelerating his beatification to warp speed in these circumstances? Where is the charity in treating critics as if their myriad, irrefutable objections do not exist?
The injustice at play here mirrors the heinous maltreatment and disregard endured by defenders of Tradition for forty-five years. It is a sure recipe for still further division and discontent in a Church already balkanised from top to bottom. It sets orthodox Catholics one against the other. And all for what? To shore up a corrosive Council and save it from the ignominious dustbin of history marked "Failed," that it so richly deserves.
Make no mistake, if D-Day marks the day on which a major military campaign begins with a view to ultimate victory, then 1 May 2011 is surely B-Day: John Paul II's beatification marking the start of the push for his canonisation and the final crowning of the Balthasarian revolt he led like no other.
If achieved, this Conciliar Crown of Thorns will weigh upon the Mystical Body of Christ in perpetuity: a bitter memorial to a sainted pontiff who played to the crowd while Razing the Bastions; who fought for Life yet, paradoxically, sacrificed his flock on the altar of neo-Modernism.