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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Further commentary on Pope John Paul II: A Roundup

  • Offering his thoughts on the funeral, Kevin Miller @ "Heart, Mind & Strength" believes John Paul II is on the road to Sainthood:

    When the man who has been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and is Dean of the College of Cardinals and was principle celebrant of the pope's funeral, together with the simple Catholics who crowded St. Peter's Square for that funeral, all express such a thought, one sees, I think, something very close indeed to the sensus fidei. Of course, the main purpose of this morning's Mass and of the others that are celebrated at this time is to commend John Paul to God's mercy, and we ought to do that, until there has been a more definitive judgment by the Church. But in light of the thoughtsI'd already had, and of what I saw and heard this morning - and also in light of Cardinal Sodano's words in his homily on Sunday - I'm now quite comfortable speaking of Saint John Paul the Great, and honoring and praying to him as well as praying for him.

  • Not yet ready to proclaim him 'John Paul the Great', but just as reluctant to pronounce him an abject failure, is Kevin Tierney @ Restore the Church, offering musings on the death of John Paul II from a "traditionalist" perspective:

    So the score so far is that within the "secular" realm, he most certainly was a man who could be called "the Great." As far as the religious realm and that realm within the Church, well, for those young who so often call him the Great, it will rest on you to make him great. Live out the legacy he has asked of you. Be bold in proclaiming Christ and him crucified. Do not waste the gamble he took by paying such attention to us. In the meantime, pray for him as Karol Wojtyla. For he does not appear before God as anything but that. He appears before the throne the same as the peasant in the street. One of the great things about our Christian faith, it is no respecter of persons. The Pontiff needs our prayers just as much as anyone else does. Let us offer them without ceasing. Perhaps for the repose of his soul, and in honor of his accomplishments, say the devotion around which he died. For he died right around the Feast of Divine Mercy, the feast he instituted. Perhaps one could reflect for the rest of this month every night on the Divine Mercy devotion. For that is the way we honor him best, not by giving him titles so rashly or anything else. Those titles if he truly deserves them will come in time without a doubt.

  • Christianity Today executive editor Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, says that "Pope Gave Evangelicals the Moral Impetus We Didn't Have". April 4, 2005.

    Ted Olson @ Christianity Today's weblog interviews Thomas C. Oden, a Methodist theologian at Drew University on the way the Pope "broadened the way" for evangelical-Catholic relations, and compiles additional evangelical praise for the Pope, noting that he is "'Antichrist' No More" (4/5/05).

  • "A Pope, A Reverend, And A War". The blogger from Mystery Achievement responds to an interesting post by Donald Sensing (One Hand Clapping) on "Pope John Paul II and resisting terrorism", which does "a superb job in chronicling and analyzing the sometimes confusing and seemingly contradictory statements made by the late Holy Father and the Vatican on war in general, and the GWoT in particular."

  • "Farewell to John Paul II" - Arthur Chrenkoff says goodbye, offers more critical commentary on liberal bias in the MSM . . . including this piece of stupidity by Agence France-Presse.

  • John Paul a giant despite criticisms - Rich Leonardi responds to Rev. Thomas Bokenkotter's "Catholic, but ..." view of JPII.

  • "Tragic Blindness of John Paul II"? -- Rick Lugari @ Una Sanctum responds to the assessment by Catholic journalist Rod Dreher that "as governor of the church, John Paul was largely a failure"; Chris Burgwald of Veritas fisks Andrew Sullivan's incoherent ranting in The New Republic.

  • President Bill Clinton -- yes, he of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" fame -- had the nerve to tell reporters on board Air Force One that the Pope leaves behind "a mixed legacy". FoxNews television pundit Bill O'Reilly described the Church "a catastrophe. People are walking away . . . and things are going south fast." Colleen Carroll Campbell from the National Review counters with some facts, explaining why things aren't necessarily as bad as the nay-sayers suggest.

  • "There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who realize they are dogmatists; and blockheads." Disputations explains why Dogma is not a dirty word.

  • If anybody could out-do Hans Kung in the "perpetual chip on the shoulder against the Vatican" dept., it's Matthew Fox, the former Dominican who came under investigation by Ratzinger and the CDF in the late 80's, was expelled from his order and ultimately left the Church for the Episcopalians ("Catholicism for the New Age", by Mitchell Pacwa, S.J.).

    Never one to pass by an opportunity to slam the Vatican, Matthew Fox -- whose own website describes him as "the most creative, the most comprehensive, surely the most challenging religious-spiritual teacher in America" -- has published his "Reflections on the Recent Papacy of JPII".

    According to Fox, "This pope and his self-appointed German mafia headed by Cardinal Ratzinger will have to face the judgement of history (and very likely God also)" for their preoccupation with sexual morality; active encouragement of population explosion by forbidding birth control; "head-long pursuit of Augustine's theology of sexuality"; "conscious destruction and systemic dismanteling of the Liberation Theology movement . . . with the encouragement and support of the CIA"; "the effort to eliminate theology and replace it with ideology by spreading fear among theologians"; "the rigid sticking to celibacy as a requisite for being a priest (as well as the requisite of having exclusively male genitals)" . . . oh, yes, and criticizing yoga -- in what amounts to "a prolonged effort to render fascism fashionable."

    Evangelical Lutheran blogger Christopher Johnson ("Midwest Conservative Journal") provides the appropriate fisking.

  • Trivializing the Conclave and More Roman Catholic Church Bashing -- two excellent pieces of analysis of the Los Angeles Times from Hugh Hewitt.

And in other news . . .

  • Dave Morrison on "the next pope":

    If there is one guy for whom I already feel a twinge of pity it is the poor cardinal who is walking around not realizing that, somewhere and at some time, the Holy Spirit has already tagged him to be The Next Pope.

    Poor guy, he is already the recipient of all sorts of unsolicited advice from various media-friendly types about what his course of action should be . . ."

  • "Just after midnight on April 8, 1,500 young adult Catholics (and some older friends and professors) from throughout the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston gathered to honor the life of a pope who had touched them through his teachings, his witness, and his presence for them at World Youth Days and other celebrations throughout his pontificate." Story from the Houston Chronicle. Bill Cork has photographs; Vincent posts his reflections of the midnight march @ What a Mystery.

  • A Georgia Woman Being Starved and Dehydrated. Fr. Rob Johansen has the details. "Her doctors have said she is not terminally ill . . . Furthermore, Mae's Living Will provides that nutrition and hydration are to be withheld only if she is comatose or vegetative. Mae is in neither condition. Neither is her condition terminal." (More here; another update here from

  • "Terri Saved My Brother's Life", by Callie S. Baillie, posting to Life Matters.

  • "Thinking Straighter: Why the world's most famous atheist now believes in God", by James A. Beverley. Christianity Today April 8, 2005. Philosopher Antony Flew has joined other intellectuals in "become a deist like Thomas Jefferson." Well, I suppose it's a start.


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Against The Grain is the personal blog of Christopher Blosser - web designer and all around maintenance guy for the original Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club (Now Pope Benedict XVI).

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