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Originally Posted by byzanTN
I don't know why you are surprised. Paul VI was essentially driven away from the Vatican by Pius XII who considered him dangerous. Pius XII - the one who actually should be canonized - was correct. The aged and ill John XXIII convened a council with little preparation, that he couldn't control and didn't live to finish. Surely, Paul VI was a punishment on the Church. He waffled, blew left and right with every wind, was weak, vacillating and was a wretched administrator. What authority he inherited, he squandered away and chaos ruled through his pontificate.


You sound like you're in the "know", and it frightens me that you are serious.

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I posted the wrong quote here. I meant to respond to the post about being, "in the know."

I am old enough to have seen all these things develop, and the results from them. I was 15 when Vatican II ended, and followed it closely even then, as did many others. It was fascinating and was a time of hope. The hope may not have lived up to the hype. When Paul VI complained about the "Smoke of Satan" entering the Church, I remember thinking, "yes, and you held the door open while he entered."

Last edited by byzanTN; 07/28/14 04:24 PM. Reason: wrong quote
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I somehow can't imagine that God would have allowed Satan to enter the Church by way of Pope Paul VI.

He has ample means of entering the Church as it is. But we have the Lord's promise that the gates of hell will not PREVAIL against His Church.

If WE, I mean all of us who are Catholics, cannot accept that, then we really aren't where we should be, Church-wise.

But we shouldn't idealize the Orthodox Churches in this respect either.

Alex

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There is no perfect place on earth, Alex. At least I haven't found it yet. Paul VI was a naïve when it came to human nature. He talked about man having reached a new stage where he no longer needed strictures on him to get him to do the right things, and on and on. I think he actually believed that. While Paul VI complained about the loss of faith, he systematically dismantled the machinery that had been put in place by his predecessors to prevent the loss of faith. The result was predictable. But keep in mind Paul VI was a diplomat, not a pastor.

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
I don't know why you are surprised. Paul VI was essentially driven away from the Vatican by Pius XII who considered him dangerous.

Well that's certainly news to me ... are you sure you haven't been listening to Orthodox propoganda? wink

(Actually my first thought was "I can picture our present pope driving someone away from the Vatican" but I know that's not the kind of driving you mean.)

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
While Paul VI complained about the loss of faith, he systematically dismantled the machinery that had been put in place by his predecessors to prevent the loss of faith.


And what, pray tell, was the machinery that prevented the loss of faith that this venerable pope systematically dismantled? I think the great loss of faith that occurred at this time had more to do with the social upheavals that we're swirling about the western world at this time rather than anything this holy and discerning pope did or did not do. Monastic and convent walls just could not keep out the groundswell. If you had been a bit older, as I am, you would have felt the surge a little more keenly than a fifteen year old can or should; or perhaps I'm underestimating the level of maturity you possessed in 1965.

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I don't read any of the Latin Trad stuff since I am not even Latin. The story goes that Montini as a diplomat was in dialogue with persons Pius XII disapproved of so Pius removed him from the Curia and shipped him off to be Archbishop of Milan (1955). For a diplomat involved in the highest levels of the Vatican state department, that must have been a blow to him.

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[quote]And what, pray tell, was the machinery that prevented the loss of faith that this venerable pope systematically dismantled?/quote]

Start with the Holy Office and all the prohibitions earlier popes had enacted to keep Catholics a bit safer in a world hostile to Christianity. What Pius X had enacted to thwart Modernism, Paul VI systematically undid. Note that I did indicate he was a holy individual, just not an effective leader or pope. Don't dismiss 15 year olds. The opposite end of that is forgetfulness - may we never get there. LOL.

Note: A correction. I was 18 in 1965 and I misspoke - mis-wrote, etc. I was 15 when the council started in 1962.

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on Paul VI.

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Well, agree or not about Archbishop Montini, you have to admit that the archdiocese of St. Ambrose is a pretty prestigious church, and it was his elevation to this see that led to his receiving the Cardinal's hat, and ultimately made him "papabile" whether Pope Pius XII liked the people he conversed with or not. By any standard, he was an astute, intelligent and extremely humble man. He knelt down and kissed the foot of an Orthodox prelate and was the first pope to cast aside the trappings of a monarchical papacy;the first to have his coffined body laid on the ground in St. Peter's Square. I love and revere this holy man, and pray that he bring you the enlightenment you might discover for a new and fresher perspective.

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Inept administrators and shepherds whose flocks have been eaten by wolves need patron saints too.

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Inept administrators and shepherds whose flocks have been eaten by wolves need patron saints too.


Amen to that! Sometimes holy people don't make good administrators or leaders. Their holiness blinds them to the practical and causes them to look for good in situations and people which is not there. Some holy individuals, like Paul VI, don't seem to be able to see the logical and predictable consequences of their actions.

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My own ambivalence with respect to Paul VI comes primarily from reflection on the state of the Roman rite liturgy, which has to be laid in large measure, though not totally, at his feet. I think the post-Vatican II period has been a different experience for the Eastern and Western "halves" of the Catholic Church. Vatican II was certainly good for the Eastern Churches, with the path of delatinization and recovery of authentic Eastern patrimony explicitly encouraged at the highest levels. At the same time, in the West, the liturgical patrimony of the Roman rite, and with it the other Latin rites of some regions and religious orders, was all but destroyed, and in some places with an iconoclastic zeal that is disconcerting.

And this is not a language issue - I think the vernacular should have come into the Roman rite ages ago, and Pope Paul was right to permit it. Characteristically, the "liturgy wars" in the West have focused almost entirely on Mass; comparatively, Mass changed little, though there are definite differences in the officially promulgated rite itself. The bigger issue for me is that - literally - every rite of the Roman Church was "reformed" - Divine Office, every sacrament, every blessing, even exorcism (eventually). And it wasn't just a matter of changing "mere externals" - with the exception of Holy Baptism, even the very "sacramental forms" were changed in every sacrament. Certainly some liturgical reforms were needed - they've been needed since at least the 13th century, but Pope Paul's reforms seem on the face of things to far exceed what the conciliar documents actually call for, and coupled with his overt and strangely-optimistic humanism, they are at times suspect.

A lot of the other stuff, particularly dismantling many of the trappings of the papal court, bothers me considerably less, but in addition to the quality of some of the changes, from a practical standpoint, it may have been too much, too fast. The subsequent flurry of heresy, confusion, liturgical nonsense, and frankly, stupidity in many Latin parishes for a long while afterward seems to confirm that. Pope Paul didn't seem to take much concrete action against that kind of nonsense. I know it isn't his job to police every parish in the world, but he couldn't have been ignorant of the state of things, and after the firestorm of dissent following Humanae Vitae, he seemed less interested in combating error.

I've read several biographies of Pope Paul, and I have developed considerable sympathy for him; he inherited a very difficult situation - an in-progress Council that was already much different than any of its predecessors (and which he counseled against having in the first place!); and all this occurring in arguably one of the most socially-tumultuous periods in centuries. I certainly wouldn't have wanted the job!

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Dear Charles,

Certainly, I've always thought that the unstated rule with respect to papal choices, that is, alternating between pastoral bishops and Vatican administrators, is a straight-jacket that shouldn't be imposed on conclaves.

The best popes have tended to be those chosen from among the world's bishops.

But you may disagree with me there too! wink

Alex

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
[quote]And what, pray tell, was the machinery that prevented the loss of faith that this venerable pope systematically dismantled?/quote]

Start with the Holy Office and all the prohibitions earlier popes had enacted to keep Catholics a bit safer in a world hostile to Christianity. What Pius X had enacted to thwart Modernism, Paul VI systematically undid. Note that I did indicate he was a holy individual, just not an effective leader or pope. Don't dismiss 15 year olds. The opposite end of that is forgetfulness - may we never get there. LOL.

Note: A correction. I was 18 in 1965 and I misspoke - mis-wrote, etc. I was 15 when the council started in 1962.

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on Paul VI.


Dear Charles,

If anyone has the right to be critical of Pope Paul VI, it is Ukrainian Catholics. Paul VI was quite forceful in his demands of our Cardinal Slipyj that he not only NOT lead the cause for a patriarchate for our Church, but that he also refrain from using the title, and command that his "partisans" (I am and still am, one of them) refrain from calling him "patriarch."

Of course, we EC's have learned to overlook such things and not pay attention . . .

But the fact is that, as someone who grew up Catholic under Pope Paul VI, those times were ones of great spiritual and moral upheaval.

Certainly, Rome tried to negotiate a "deal" with contemporary society along a number of fronts, deals that ultimately didn't work. That isn't new to Roman Catholicism. Traditionally, Rome and her theologians have done that with prevailing philosophies such as Aristotle and the like. St Thomas Aquinas (called the "father of all heretics" by St Bonaventure) was even given to quoting from Rabbi Moses Maimonides.

St Augustine even went so far as to say that the pagan Greek philosophers knew the "true religion" etc.

So things do repeat themselves in Catholic Church history.

Pope Paul VI tried to accommodate as much as he felt he could - and when he believed he could not, he simply stated "this is the way things are, take it or leave it." And many Catholics, imbued with the spirit of worldly liberalism, left it or else ignored him.

Pope Pius XII, great man of God that he was (I venerate him highly as my father worked in an underground Caritas group that rescued Jews during WWII under his protection and orders), was very uncompromising. He was right for his time. I don't know if he would have been right for the sixties. But then again, the argument could be made that no pope would have been.

Alex

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
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Inept administrators and shepherds whose flocks have been eaten by wolves need patron saints too.


Amen to that! Sometimes holy people don't make good administrators or leaders. Their holiness blinds them to the practical and causes them to look for good in situations and people which is not there. Some holy individuals, like Paul VI, don't seem to be able to see the logical and predictable consequences of their actions.


Can't say that I disagree with our premise here, sir.

And I'm not saying that I always agreed with Paul VI.

But when he reposed, I was left with the sense of his holiness and his dedication to the Church, whether his decisions were correct or not (who am I to judge him?).

But his liturgical and other decisions were certainly not infallible. Rome can change them.

Alex

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