Sunday, April 27, 2014

Low Sunday at my parish, and more on St. JP2

Looks like we have a new priest on the roster for my Mass. He does the very proper thing Fr. Pasley does at Mater Ecclesiæ: he unpins the maniple from his arm and lays it on the pages of the missal before going up to the pulpit. That's because it should only be worn when actually celebrating Mass; the sermon, for example, is a pause in the Mass. Fr. Hunwicke says that Anglo-Papalist priests used to unpin the maniple at the altar to read the Book of Common Prayer aloud, then pin it back on to whisper Catholic prayers.

In front of the Lady altar is a temporary John Paul II shrine with two second-class relics on display: a zucchetto (skullcap) JP2 gave to the Mercedarian Order (which while not always high-church has always been sound on doctrine) and a rosary he gave to the pastor.

JP2 took the hits from the secular world for defending the teachings of the church, and he gets a partial credit for moral support of the fall of the USSR, but he wasn't a great Pope. Personal holiness is not necessarily the same as being a great Pope. (Celestine V: holy man, disastrous Pope.) Sede vacante can happen but hasn't.

I heard once that as a bishop, Karol Wojtyła was so non-confrontational with the Polish Communist government, unlike the lion of the Polish church, Cardinal Wyszyński, that some thought he was a collaborator. When he was elected Pope, embattled orthodox Catholics hoped he'd bring the conservatism of the Polish church to the universal church, rolling back the effects of the council. He didn't. He seemed to be on board with the space-agey thinking of the council, like the architecture the Communists built in Poland: streamlined style for modern man. In America in the '80s, if you were sound on doctrine, the official church told you to forget old-fashioned practices and be a charismatic instead: an enthusiasm imported from conservative Protestantism when ecumenism was cool; it filled the void left by the destruction of traditional Catholic practice. "Be open to the Spirit." So again, not a great Pope.

That Vatican II didn't condemn Communism is one of the mysteries of the 20th century. I don't think it was simply to bring some measly observers from the Russian Orthodox Church to the council. I wouldn't be surprised if the Vatican-Moscow agreement story known among traditionalists is true: that the Vatican secretly made a deal with the USSR, much like, around the same time, President Kennedy secretly caved to end the Cuban missile crisis.


  1. Anonymous4:19 pm

    He should also remove the chasuble if preaching from the pulpit.

  2. Anonymous4:20 pm

    He should also remove the chasuble if preaching from the pulpit.


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