"Pope Paul VI to be beatified after miracle confirmation" (CT, May 8, 2014):
A miraculous healing of an unborn child, following prayers to Pope Paul VI, has been confirmed as genuine by the Vatican, paving the way for the former Pope to be beatified.The up-side of this is the miraculous cure of the unborn child and the prospect that yet another pope, although once a sinner like all of us, may soon be known to be in heaven.
The down-side of this is that if the Church's act of canonization is not primarily about assuring the faithful that the deceased is in heaven, but rather about proposing him as a model of heroic virtue (as previously noted HERE and HERE), this act will almost surely be interpreted by some as practically calculated to undermine their confidence in the Church and drive them into schism.
What do I mean? Quite simply that many Catholics, whatever their reasons, are going to have serious qualms about Paul VI being elevated to the Church's altars as a model of heroic virtue. Some may even have what Fr. John Zuhlsdorff calls a "spittle flecked nutty."
Who? Since 2005, when the notorious renegade priest Joseph S. O'Leary made a number of unsubstantiated accusations about Pope Paul VI (far worse than THIS) that struck me as malicious, it has come to my attention that there are quite a few Catholics -- ranging from troubled but faithful individuals with considered opinions (like Alice von Hildebrand) to inhabitants of fever swamps bordering on schism -- that will be sorely tested by the prospect of Paul VI's canonization.
Let me be clear that I am not endorsing the objections raised from these various quarters. I have not investigated many of them in any serious detail. My purpose here is not to examine and evaluate them, but simply to note their fairly wide-spread existence, which I believe is a legitimate concern.
In light of this, as argued previously (HERE and HERE) concerning the recent canonizations of John Paul II and John XXIII, the prudent course would seem -- as in the case of Pius XII -- to avoid fast-tracking canonizations as long as significant doubts trouble the faithful and even the world beyond. (Catholic journalist Brett M. Decker, for instance, recently declared that "canonizing pontiffs from the era of abuse is not only tone deaf but also exposes a continuing, stubborn refusal to acknowledge the institutional coverup that occurred for decades and that those at the highest levels — including popes — didn't do enough to prevent the crimes, enabling the crisis to continue.")
What are the objections regarding Paul VI? They range across a host of issues, including claims of modernism, indecisiveness, contradictory declarations, rupture with liturgical tradition, association with Freemasonry and Marxism and homosexuality.
- Peter Kwasniewski, "Paul VI: A Pope of Contradictions" (New Liturgical Movement, December 10, 2013)
- Michael Matt, "Pope Paul VI: Next Contestant on the Santo Subito Show" (The Remnant, April 24, 2014).
- Fr. Luigi Villa, Paul VI Beatified? The book that stopped the beatification process Pope Paul VI(2009) [available online HERE - PDF]
- Robert J. Siscoe, "Who was Paul VI? A review of Msgr. Villa's Paul VI Beatified?" (Catholic Family News, February 5, 2013).
- Alice von Hildebrand, "Present at the Demolition: an interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand" (The Latin Mass, Summer 2001)
- "The Homosexual Colonization of The Catholic Church" (New Oxford Review, November 2006), p. 19.
- Randy Engel, "The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Cathlic Church"(2006).
- "What stopped the beatification of Paul VI? An Italian journalist reports the opposition" (Giulio Ferrari, "Non beatificate Papa Montini, in L'Italia, March 15, 1995, p. 16, via TIA)
- "Was Paul VI homosexual? Testimony of Prof. Bellegrandi" (Franco Bellegrandi, NichitaRoncalli - Controvita di un Papa, Rome: Editizioni Internazionale di Letterature e Scienze, 1994, pp. 85-86, 91-92, via TIA)
- Marian T. Horvat, "Paul VI's Homosexuality: Rumor or Reality?" (excerpt from Atila Sinke Guimarães, Vatican II, Homosexuality & Pedophilia, TIA, 2004)
- Fr. Joseph S. O'Leary, "New Catholic Thinking on Homosexuality" (Joseph S. O'Leary homepage, March 14, 2008), see combox comment quoting "Paul VI's letter to Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle of Washington" by "Spirit of Vatican II" (=Joseph O'Leary), April 17, 2008, at 7:20 PM time signature, as well as his numerous salacious remarks HERE under the same moniker [Advisory: indelicate subject matter].
Let us pray for the Church, that God will give her leaders wisdom; and let us pray for Pope Paul VI in the hope that, when the time comes, we may be confident of his prayers for us and for the Church of our Lord, which has suffered such confusion, disaffection, dissent, and defection since the advent of his new Mass and Pope John's Council preceding it.