May 2011 Print

The Last Word

Pope John Paul II and Tradition

Le Sel de la Terre

The announcement of the impending beatification of John Paul II (scheduled for May 1st of this year) is the occasion to remind our readers that we have already published an article by Fr. Hervé Gresland on this subject: “Some Reasons for Not Beatifying John Paul II.”� Let us briefly summarize the arguments of the article:

John Paul II was the Pope of Vatican II, the council that introduced a break with the Church’s past for the first time in its history. He developed, according to the analysis of Fr. Johannes Dörmann,2 the strange theology that propagates the idea of universal salvation (and thus of an empty hell). He presented all religions as means of pleasing God, notably by spectacular ecumenical gestures such as the one at Assisi in 1986. He was the first pope to visit a synagogue and a mosque: Not only did he not preach Jesus Christ there, but he let it be believed that these religions that explicitly deny the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ can be pleasing to God. Moreover, he publicly kissed the Koran, manifesting his respect for a book that denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and presents a man ankylosed with vices as a messenger of God; and he slipped a message of repentance into the Wailing Wall at Jerusalem, as if it were Isaac who had persecuted Ismael and not the reverse.3 Again he manifested his repentance in the year 2000 for all of the Church’s glorious past, especially the Crusades. It would also be necessary to cite his excesses in inculturation–he agreed to participate in pagan cults and mingled them with Catholic worship; his off-centered morality, based upon the dignity of man and no longer on divine law; his propagation of a superficial Catholicism, especially during the World Youth Days; the inflated number of trips, of beatifications and of canonizations (he canonized more saints than all his predecessors combined); his liberal governance, allowing the propagation of dubious or scandalous movements (for example, he had a great admiration for Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionnaries of Christ4); and so forth.

Henceforth everyone can see for himself the fruits of this pontificate: the apostasy of Christian nations and the autodemolition of the Church.

If the origin of all these errors is sought, it is readily to be found in the abandonment of Tradition in favor of a neo-modernist “new theology,” which has been amply analyzed in these columns.

As a matter of fact, John Paul II will go down in the history of the Church as the Pope who excommunicated Archbishop Lefebvre and through him the Church’s bimillennary Tradition. This spot [upon his reputation] is indelible. And if, God forbid, the beatification and canonization of John Paul II go through, it would become necessary to pray that God curtail the passion of the Church and that He raise up a true pastor who will annul this scandalous act and restore Tradition to its place of honor.

Meanwhile, within the measure of our means and in the footsteps of Msgr. Lefebvre, let us defend holy Tradition. This is what all the saints, all the doctors, all the good shepherds, and all the great ecclesiastical writers have done, as this quotation from the famous Origen (A.D. 185-253) testifies:

…seeing there are many who think they hold the opinions of Christ, and yet some of these think differently from their predecessors, yet as the teaching of the Church, transmitted in orderly succession from the apostles and remaining in the Churches to the present day is still preserved, that alone is to be accepted as truth which differs in no respect from ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition.5


Editorial, Sel de la Terre (Spring 2011)

1 Sel de la Terre, No. 55, Winter 2005-2006, pp. 252-60.

2 John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions at Assisi, 4 vol. Kansas City: Angelus Press.

3 For an explanation of this allegory, see Gal. 4:21-31.

4 In 1998, a complaint was lodged by eight members of the Legion of Christ with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (then directed by Cardinal Ratzinger), accusing Marcial Maciel of sexual abuse. On March 26, 2010, in a communiqué, those in charge of the Legion of Christ acknowledged that their founder had committed “acts of sexual abuse on minor seminarians.”

5 “Cum multi sint, qui se putant sentire quae Christi sunt, et nonnulli eorum diversa a prioribus sentiant, servetur vero ecclesiastica praedicatio per successionis ordinem ab apostolis tradita et usque ad praesens in ecclesiis permanents, illa sola credenda est veritas, quae in nullo ab ecclesiastica et apostolica traditione discordat.” Origen, De Principiis, Preface, 2 (online at New For other authors having written in favor of Tradition, one might cite: St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, I, 9, 4; I, 10, 1; III, 2, 2; Tertullian, De la Prescriptione, XIII; Apologetics, XLVII, 10; Of the Veil of Virgins, I, 3; Against Praxeas, II, 2; Clement of Alexandria, Stromates, VII, 16, 94-95; VII, 17, 107. Lastly, one might also cite Origen’s Commentary on St. John, XIII, 16, 98. See Fr. C. Hanson, Tradition in the Early Church (London, 1962).