The SSPX is providing a brochure to explain the serious doubts related to the forthcoming canonization of Pope John Paul II.
In response to the problematic canonization of Pope John Paul II planned for April 27th, the Society of St. Pius X has compiled a brochure entitled "A New Saint?", explaining the many grave doubts about this matter.
Along with a convenient listing of the various available documents related to this topic, this informative brochure will soon be published here on SSPX.ORG.
We will also be printing a special edition of the Regina Coeli Report dedicated to the issue of canonizing John Paul II, which will be freely distributed to the SSPX's chapels during Easter Week (a PDF of this RCR will also be available on our site).
In anticipation of the publication of this brochure, we offer this announcement from DICI containing some main points and extracts from "A New Saint?"
A brochure on the canonization of John Paul II
Under the title “A New Saint?” a brochure edited by the Society of St. Pius X exposes the serious doubts raised by John Paul II, using and developing the study by Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, professor of ecclesiology at the seminary of Econe, that was published in the January 2014 (no. 372) edition of Courrier de Rome. Here are a few significant extracts:
What exactly does the initiative of the Church represent when she canonizes saints? How does John Paul II’s life deserve to be the object of this choice? The answer to these questions should help men of good will to see clearly the meaning and consequences of this act announced by Pope Francis for Sunday, April 27, 2014."
For this is what a canonization implies:
The canonization of saints includes a double judgment:
A speculative judgment, that affirms that the beatified soul is a saint and in heaven.
A practical judgment and precept that decide that this beatified soul must be honored by a cult here below. And let us add that all the faithful are obliged to believe, without the slightest doubt, that the canonized person is a saint and in heaven, and to consider him as entitled to a public cult."
These two judgments are connected: the affirmation of sanctity and of heavenly glory imposes a public cult.
Sanctity and heavenly glory form the fundamental reason for which the Church imposes the cult. And this cult comes down to recognizing that the life of the saint is a sure example for all the faithful who wish to obtain their salvation by persevering until the eternal happiness of heaven. A deceased soul would thus be susceptible of canonization to the extent that his life was holy and exemplary, or to be more precise, exemplary because holy to an eminent degree.
Indeed, sanctity is defined as the habitual exercise of all the virtues to a heroic degree:
What the Church requires of those to whom she reserves the honors of canonization is not only the possession of a virtue, but of all the virtues without exception. To begin with, the theological virtues, that have God for their immediate object, must shine out. And then all the other intellectual and moral virtues. These virtues have to have been practiced not in an ordinary way but heroically (Dictionary of Catholic Theology, vol. II, 2nd part, col. 1642-1654).
Benedict XVI defined this heroism in virtue by saying that it is at the origin of acts that far surpass the ordinary way in which virtuous men, and even Christians in the state of grace, act. This eminence must itself be explained by the excellence of the work accomplished or by circumstances that make its accomplishment particularly difficult. Heroic virtue is absolutely necessary: it is what gives the life of the canonized soul the value of an example for the whole Church.
Before being declared before the whole Church, this exemplary sanctity of life is verified with the utmost care: 'The life of the servant of God is submitted to the most pitiless scrutiny; and not only must there be nothing reprehensible, but there must be heroism at every step.' (D.C.T. ibidem). The slightest equivocacy, and even a simple uncertainty, is enough bring the process to a halt.
What is more, God must make Himself a direct and privileged witness of this heroism, by His miracles: two are enough for a formal canonization, that is, a canonization as the result of a process. When it is an equipollent canonization, that is, when the Pope simply ratifies an already immemorial cult, miracles are still required, three of them.”
After this reminder of the conditions required for a canonization, the question is to know whether John Paul II fulfills them. And principally whether, in his public acts, he practiced the essential virtue of the successors of Peter: faith. Thus follows a very well-documented examination of:
- John Paul II and the Supernatural Order;
- John Paul II and the Church;
- John Paul II and the Orthodox Schism;
- John Paul II and Anglicanism;
- John Paul II and Protestantism;
- John Paul II and Judaism;
- John Paul II and Islam;
- John Paul II and the Heads of States.
Using the demonstration laid out by the Society of St. Pius X’s brochure, the editorial of Nouvelles de Chretiente #146 (March-April) that is soon to be published, asks: “Would Pius X be canonized today?”:
A hundred years ago, on August 20, 1914, Pius X passed away in the Vatican. Pius XII beatified him on June 3, 1951, and canonized him on May 29, 1954. On the eve of new canonizations, we must refer to the reasons given by Pius XII for the beatification of his glorious predecessor.
"The world that today acclaims him in the glory of the Blessed, knows that he followed the path laid out for him by Providence with a faith to move mountains, with an unshakable hope, even in the darkest and most uncertain hours, and with a charity that moved him to give himself over to any and every sacrifice for the service of God and the salvation of souls. By these theological virtues that were so to speak the fundamental outline of his life, and that he practiced to a degree of perfection that incomparably surpassed any purely natural excellence, his Pontificate shone as in the golden ages of the Church...
"In the face of the attacks perpetrated against the imprescriptible rights of freedom and human dignity, against the sacred rights of God and of the Church, the humble country priest, as he sometimes called himself—and it is in no way belittling to call him thus—, knew how to rise like a giant in all the majesty of his sovereign authority. And then his non possumus made the powerful on earth tremble and sometimes retreat, and at the same time encouraged the hesitant and galvanized the timid."…
In conclusion, Pius XII insisted on how useful the precious heritage of Pius X would be to the Church in future combats:
"If today the Church of God, far from retreating when she has to face the forces that destroy spiritual values, suffers and fights and, by divine strength, still goes forth to win back the world, it is largely thanks to Pius X, to his foresight in action and his sanctity. Today it seems obvious that all his pontificate was supernaturally led according to a plan of love and redemption to form souls and prepare them to face the present battles, our battles, and to ensure our present victories and the victories of tomorrow." (Catholic Documentation, #1097, p. 706-714)
And Nouvelles de Chretiente concludes:
Other canonizations of popes are to take place, and offer other reasons than those exposed by Pius XII for the cause of Pius X. These new canonizations show by this very fact that they are far different. On every point."
(Sources: FSSPX/Econe/dici.org—DICI no. 294, 4-11-2014)