Category: Pope John Paul II

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The dramatic developments of John Paul and Francis

In yesterday’s post, I explored the hostile responses from many of Pope Francis’s critics over his ecumenical gestures towards Christians outside of full communion with the Catholic Church, and how the outcry compares to their acceptance of similar gestures — not to mention a major change in sacramental discipline — made by St. John Paul II during his papacy. Today, we’ll take a closer look at three issues that are at the center of debate...

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Does Amoris Laetitia contradict Familiaris Consortio?

When trying to prove that Amoris Laetitia contradicts established doctrine, papal critics will usually refer to Familiaris Consortio as proof of this “self-evident contradiction.” Familiaris Consortio was a post-synodal apostolic exhortation issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1981. It is interesting that papal detractors will sometimes try to undermine Amoris’ authoritativeness by invoking the low magisterial weight of a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, while at other times assigning a definitive, infallible nature to the...

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The Harmony of Amoris Laetitia and Veritatis Splendor

You often find the charge among critics of Pope Francis that his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, is opposed to Pope John Paul’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor. The differences between the two are exaggerated in order to set these two documents of the papal magisterium against each other; Amoris Laetitia against Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II against Pope Francis, Pope Francis supposedly against tradition. Veritatis Splendor, according to this narrative, is the strong, bold, defense of...

Bishop Barron on Amoris Laetitia and the JPII Generation

I love Bishop Robert Barron. I just listened to his talk from the World Meeting of Families last month in Ireland where he spoke on chapters seven, eight, and nine of Amoris Laetitia and I noticed two things.First of all, in an hour long talk he spends all of five minutes on chapter eight because he sees it as obviously non-controversial. Bishop Barron explains the most contentious teaching in Amoris in his book, “To Light...

Should we un-canonize John Paul II?

“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother bishops, we declare and define Blessed John XXIII, John Paul II, be saints, and we enroll them...

Humanae Vitae: truth, accompaniment, and culpability

Therefore, it must be emphasized once more that the pastoral intervention of the Church in support of the family is a matter of urgency. Every effort should be made to strengthen and develop pastoral care for the family, which should be treated as a real matter of priority, in the certainty that future evangelization depends largely on the domestic Church.” …The Church’s pastoral action must be progressive, also in the sense that it must follow...

Misunderstanding Veritatis Splendor: A reply to E. Christian Brugger

Veritatis Splendor has always been the favorite encyclical of those who are unhappy with the theological direction of Pope Francis.  It is their source of authority for their condemnations of Amoris Laetitia especially. In one recent example, E. Christian Brugger pits Pope John Paul’s Veritatis Splendor against Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia in an article published and hosted by National Catholic Register called ‘Amoris Laetitia’ vs. ‘Veritatis Splendor’: You Say You Want a Revolution?. The subtitle is:...

If you can’t keep the Commandments, it’s your fault! A defense of JP2

Last week I wrote an article about neo-Pelagianism that drew from the recent CDF document titled “On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation.” I wanted to follow up that article first by drawing from Pope Francis’ brand new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, regarding neo-Pelagianism and then compare what Saint John Paul II has taught on this issue with Pope Francis. Pope Francis devotes an entire chapter of Gaudete et Exsultate to discussing two heresies that...

The JP2 atomic bomb

“There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. (…) [The Church] of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in...

Three Popes, Two Conclaves, One Church

For a long time, Pope John Paull II was the only pope I knew. He was the pope of my childhood, and I was married with four kids by the time he died. But his death, the funeral, and the conclave, they all unleashed a torrent of grace over the Church. It was a spiritually dark time for me and the whole series of events was a time for personal renewal and a new beginning....