An Opening in a Double Direction

Source: FSSPX News

In his homily for the beatification of his predecessor, Benedict XVI proposed an interpretation of the famous “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!”, pronounced by John Paul II at the beginning of his pontificate.  For Benedict XVI, “what the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was the first himself to do.  Society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ.”  Vatican Council II, which was John Paul II's “compass”, claims to be the council of the opening of the Church to the modern world, but Benedict XVI tells us that the Pope who for 27 years applied this council with zeal, “opened society to Christ”.  A double question arises: is it the spirit of the modern world that entered into the Church?  Or is it the Catholic spirit that has transformed the modern world?

Paul VI had answered the first question, without proposing any remedies: “Doubt has entered into our consciences, and it has entered in by windows that should be open to the light. (…)  This state of incertitude reigns even in the Church.  It had been hoped that after the Council a sunny day would shine on the history of the Church.  Instead, it is a day of clouds, tempests, shadows, groping and incertitude that has come.” (Insegnamenti, Ed. Vaticana, Vol. X, 19972, p. 707)

John Paul II himself gave an answer to the second question, without drawing from it its concrete consequences, recognizing that the time we live in is one of “silent apostasy” in which there reigns a sort of “practical agnosticism and religious indifferentism, which leads many Europeans to give the impression of living without a spiritual loam and as heirs that have dilapidated the patrimony bequeathed to the.” (Ecclesia Europa, June 28, 2003)

In both cases, the desired opening turned into a tragic disappointment.

Fr. Alain Lorans

You can also read :
Benedict XVI's Homily for the Beatification of John Paul II
Commentary on Benedict XVI's Homily
Preface by Bishop Bernard Fellay to "John Paul II: Doubts about a beatification" (Angelus Press)
Excerpts from the book by Fr. Patrick de La Rocque, John Paul II: Doubts about a beatification (Angelus Press)
Beatification and continuity
A Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II
John Paul II to be beatified May 1, 2011
Communiqué of the District of Germany on the beatification of John Paul II