Pope Benedict on Blessed Pope John Paul II

From the Beatification homily:

During his first solemn Mass in Saint Peter’s Square [Blessed John Paul II spoke] in the unforgettable words: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!” What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was himself the first to do: society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan – a strength which came to him from God – a tide which appeared irreversible. By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of man. This was the theme of his first encyclical, and the thread which runs though all the others.

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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11 Responses to Pope Benedict on Blessed Pope John Paul II

  1. matthias says:

    I would like to add that i find it appalling that Robert Mugabe was in attendance at this ceremony. As Fr Ray Blake says on his blog ,JPII would not have had him there. If this is what “Head Office” to quote Fr Bob mcGuire,does then i will skip joining Rome via the Eastern door and become Orthodox.

    • Schütz says:

      I didn’t know he was there. I don’t know the circumstances. I guess he went as a Head of State. I don’t know if he was invited or if he simply said he was coming and it would have caused some kind of inter-State furor if he had been refused. Lots of Catholics in Zimbabwe. How they treat this particular character could have all sorts of repercussions. WWJPIID? ie. What Would JPII Do? We can only guess.

  2. Matthias says:

    I was wrong to make the comments about skipping to Orthodoxy instead of becomming Eastern Catholic. Afterall it seems many Orthodox have not got over 1054 nor the Crusades ,whilst e catholicism to me,spells out what Schutz said of his own pilgrimmage to Rome via the “West’door ” “Authenticity, Authority and Continuity.”,which is why i will journey to rome via the eastern door. But it still makes me mad to have seen the Basketcase of Africa there at this service.

    • Tony Bartel says:

      Indeed, you will find much more horrendous things in the Orthodox Church than inviting Robert Mugabe to the Divine Liturgy. Who knows? Perhaps Mr Mugabe might hear or experience something which will change his heart, though this is a long shot I grant you.

      Both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have their fair share of failing. Orthodoxy may have many more. However, I believe that the right test is authenticity, authority and continuity, but, as everybody knows, would beg to differ and say that these are found in the Orthodox Church.

  3. Schütz says:

    Joshua, Tony and Gareth may notice that some of their comments are gone. The particular points of the case they were discussing were very interesting, but I have no wish to use this blog to speak about that particular case.

    I am happy to have a discussion, however, on the matter of the benefits/difficulties of papal powers to remove bishops – which is surely a logical corrollary of the papal power to appoint bishops. In a sense, I have already raised this issue in regard to the Orthodox demand on the reform of the exercise of the Roman Primacy before they will have a bar of it.

    I think I will start a separate post on this matter, however, rather than have it discussed on this post. Because in relation to the Orthodox demand that there NOT be any power above a bishop in his own diocese, I am really wondering how (in the current climate) unity of faith will be maintained. Anyway, that’s for another post.

    So if you can hold off for the time being, please no more discussion of this issue here. And in particular be warned: NO DISCUSSION OF THAT PARTICULAR CASE.

  4. Gareth says:

    If JPII can make it to the altars, surely their is also a spot for the great Pius XII who led the Church throught equally troubling times and was equally as charismatic.

    It can’t do anybody harm and would offer people a lot of hope to give Pius his rightful day in the sun.

    • Peter says:

      Could not agree more Gareth.
      Papa Pacelli was a legend (and a saintly man)

      • Gareth says:


        If you are interested, try looking up on youtube: the last yers of Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) for some pretty cool footage.

    • Tony says:

      Brace yourself Gareth. I agree!

      Well … not completely.

      I don’t know on what basis PJPII gets a gong and PiusXII doesn’t. Both, as you say, were leaders in troubled times. Both had relatively long Papacies. Both had controversies associated with their papacy.

      If the elevation of individuals looks inconsistent and illogical, it surely is not a good thing for the whole notion of beatification?

      What purpose can it possibly serve to have these matters cloaked in so much secrecy?

      • Gareth says:

        Hi Tony,

        The most important part forgotten here is both (by many people’s accounts) also was that they were men of deep interior prayer that was reflected in everything they did before the world’s gaze.

        I have heard some pretty heavy criticisms of both men, some that are warranted and some that were not, but I have never heard any arguement in regards to their personal witness to the faith, that they were anything less than a positive force for the masses they lead or exemplary models.

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