Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Il Papa Buono

No, it’s not the name of a rapper. It’s the handle frequently applied to Angelo Roncalli, Blessed Pope John XXIII. It means “The Good Pope.” As today is the 45th anniversary of his death, it seemed appropriate to reflect upon the question suggested by his nickname. What made him so good? For the most part, the answer depends upon who you are asking.

I don’t think there are many folks who would think that John XXIII was a bad person. To the contrary, pretty much everybody agrees that he was a very holy man. He was known for having a good sense of humor and fitting perfectly into the mold of the jolly old round Santa Claus-type that everybody knows as a stereotype. There’s no reason to think that the personality he portrayed was a fabrication. For those who may be screeching at this point, I’m not going to even touch some of the comments often given about this Pope belonging to certain reprobated organizations, etc. Such comments seem to me to be slanderous as they lack any sort of evidence at all and are so scandalous that I am simply not going to go there.

Anyways, amongst the heretics who professed the Litany that is currently making the rounds on this blog, there was one truly dishonest schmuck who related the following story. He was sitting in Mass one day back in 1958 and internally cried out to God, “Lord, I’ll never leave your Church, but I’m not having any fun here!” (because, of course, that’s what the Sacrifice of Calvary was all about). Only a couple of months later, he said with exuberance building in his voice, Pius XII was dead and “the man who changed the Church forever was elected pope.” Ignoring for a moment the rather ghastly jubilation over the death of an outstanding pope like Pius XII, let’s consider what this buffoon of an instructor (and most other “progressive” Catholics) like to hold up as the “good” qualities of John XXIII.

1. Vatican II.
2. He understood that the priesthood and the laity shouldn’t be considered as separate states of life.
3. He was clear that Protestants and other Christians had no need of conversion, removing all the “barriers” that the Church had placed in the way of “unity.”
4. He was actually concerned about social justice and the well-being of the faithful.
5. He updated the Mass by getting rid of Latin and turning the priest around to face the people.
How can he not be “good” with a resume like this?

Yeah, I know. It’s crap. This is the kind of idiocy that people trot out to justify their disobedience to the Church. I can almost guarantee that these folks either have no clue about anything John XXIII has ever written or they’ve bought into a popular caricature and don’t care what the Pope actually thought about things. Take note next time you hear a story about something John XXIII was supposed to have done, such as the famous line of “Now begins my council,” allegedly uttered after (fill in the blank with event, usually Leinart’s speech hijacking the council) demonstrative of the bishops finally understanding what the council was about. See if you can find a real source, rather than second or third hand accounts. Usually, they don’t exist.

More on these items as the day progresses.

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