Tag Archives: pope john paul II

St. John Paul II on Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy

English: Pope John Paul II at a Papal Audience...
English: Pope John Paul II at a Papal Audience on 17 July, 1985—St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. Behind him, Camillo Cibin, former Inspector General of the Vatican Gendarmerie. Français : Jean-Paul II, Pape de l’Église catholique romaine, à la place Saint-Pierre en 1985) Italiano: Giovanni Paolo II in Piazza San Pietro per l’audizione del 17 luglio 1985. Dietro di lui Camillo Cibin, Ispettore Generale della Gendarmeria Vaticana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thought I might share a few of these quotes about orthopraxy before I say something.

Catechesis and Life Experience

22. It is useless to play off orthopraxis against orthodoxy: Christianity is inseparably both. Firm and well-thought—out convictions lead to courageous and upright action, the endeavor to educate the faithful to live as disciples of Christ today calls for and facilitates a discovery in depth of the mystery of Christ in the history of salvation.

It is also quite useless to campaign for the abandonment of serious and orderly study of the message of Christ in the name of a method concentrating on life experience. “No one can arrive at the whole truth on the basis solely of some simple private experience, that is to say, without an adequate explanation of the message of Christ, who is `the way, and the truth, and the life’ (Jn. 14:6).”

Nor is any opposition to be set up between a catechesis taking life as its point of departure and a traditional doctrinal and systematic catechesis. Authentic catechesis is always an orderly and systematic initiation into the revelation that God has given of Himself to humanity in Christ Jesus, a revelation stored in the depths of the Church’s memory and in Sacred Scripture, and constantly communicated from one generation to the next by a living, active traditio. This revelation is not however isolated from life or artificially juxtaposed to it. It is concerned with the ultimate meaning of life and it illumines the whole of life with the light of the Gospel, to inspire it or to question it.

John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae (Apostolic Exhortations; Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979).

What is Capitalism? Pope John Paul II has the answer.

Pope John Paul II
Cover of Pope John Paul II

“If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a ‘business economy’, ‘market economy’ or simply ‘free economy’. But if by ‘capitalism’ is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative”

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 42: AAS 83 (1991), 845-846

Which one is morally “good?”

One the Church appreciates. One is Ayn Rand. Your choice.

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Reviews of several @Verbum packages

Today seems like as a good a day as any…

A few months ago, Cliff from Logos sent along several packages related to Catholic Studies. As a new Protestan who proudly accepts the title of Catholic-lite, I was happy to receive these works due to their theological value as well as, in many cases, their critical value. From Boethius to Pope Benedict XVI, these packages include a wide range of (C)atholic teaching ranging from the beginning of the medieval spirituality to the present theological movements.

We in the more enlightened 21st century tend to view with apprehension anything coming out of the medieval period, even to the point of denying that Christian theological development and even Christian philosophy was alive and well during these so-called dark times. However, to do so would be to miss the great wealth of spirituality and deep theological insight produced by Hugh of St. Victor, St. John the Damascene, and Pope Gregory the Great. What is also essential about these authors and their works — these preachers and their sermons — is the value of learning how the Roman Catholic Church developed such elements as the papacy, such seedbeds as free will and determination, and how love was treated. The 34 volume set of The Medieval Preaching and Spirituality Collection beckons us to consider the great treasure trove that is medieval theological tradition.

Of course, there is something more too. I was able to receive as well the Encyclicals of the two most recent Popes, Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Fourteen and three, respectively, these letters show how the two popes covering most of our lifetimes have develop Catholic doctrine and practical theology in the face of post-modernism, the rise of the vitriolic class, the end of Communism, and all the while exploring what Vatican II means to twentieth and twenty-first century Catholics (and Christians on the whole, if we allows ourselves to willingly found common ground). Likewise, the Apostolic Constitutions, those exhortations of doctrine and piety confessed by these two Popes, provide deep insight into the modern Catholic (and Christian, see the parenthetical just above). These provide three decades worth of decisions, thought processes, and a sincere appreciation both for Catholic tradition (natural law, especially), and the modern human existence. Both of these sets include the English and the Latin, with the latter most helpful in keeping up your Latin reading (as well as reading it in the original language of production).

Below is are several pictures from one of Pope Benedict’s encyclicals:




Perhaps you will can live your Christian life without such works in your library. Others have, but we are given such a short space on this planet, and we must seek to enrich it continuously. These books will enrich and enliven your Christian life, even for the Protestants, because it connects you to the deep and reflective thought over a millennia long. And frankly, you should not count yourself truly living until you have read Boethius.

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Vatican Christmas Shocker!

Well, that is the newest, or rather, the current recycled headline which details that Pope Benedict has forever decided that child rape is really just something being blown up. Such as this articlewhich has a headline which reads, Pope says child rape isn’t that bad, was normal back in his day.

Of course, since the internet is, for now, free… you can actually read what the Pope said… last year:

In order to resist these forces, we must turn our attention to their ideological foundations. In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today. Against them,Pope John Paul II, in his 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, indicated with prophetic force in the great rational tradition of Christian ethos the essential and permanent foundations of moral action. Today, attention must be focussed anew on this text as a path in the formation of conscience. It is our responsibility to make these criteria audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind.

Wow… so, people weren’t and aren’t reporting the story right…

By the way, the Pope was not wrong, that in the 1970’s, there was a rise of pro-pedophilia among ‘intellectuals.’ Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Jean-Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, André Glucksmann, Roland Barthes are just some of the names. Kinsey as well. Who knew that leaders in Western society, and not the Roman Catholic Church, fought to justify child rape.

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Modern Day, real life, Exorcists?

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...
Image via Wikipedia

“The world must know that Satan exists,” he told CNA recently. “The devil and demons are many and they have two powers, the ordinary and the extraordinary.”

The 86-year-old Italian priest of the Society of St. Paul and official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome explained the difference.

“The so-called ordinary power is that of tempting man to distance himself from God and take him to Hell. This action is exercised against all men and women of all places and religions.”

As for the extraordinary powers used by Satan, Fr. Amorth explained it as how the Devil acts when he focuses his attention more specifically on a person. He categorized the expression of that attention into four types: diabolical possession; diabolical vexation like in the case of Padre Pio, who was beaten by the Devil; obsessions which are able to lead a person to desperation and infestation, and when the Devil occupies a space, an animal or even an object.”

Read the rest of the story, here:

Rome’s exorcist finding Bl. John Paul II effective against Satan :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

I’m not too interested with some of this theological statements – because I can separate the fact that he fully believes what he has been taught, and while I may disagree with him over that, there are bigger fish to fry – but I am interested in his notion of evil.

Clearly, he is not Bultmannian.

Do you explain evil? Is it personified or actually embodied? Is there a honest to goodness Satan and his band of evil demons, or is Satan more of a Loki type character?

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