Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paul VI...

... is beatified in Rome today.  He was derided by so many. I remember tirades against him from the early Lefebvrists...and a vile campaign which claimed to have prevented him from ever being beatified: it was tosh, and later the same chap tried the same with - now SAINT - John Paul. And of course there were all the massive attacks from the supporters of contraception who loathed Humanae Vitae.  And among most middle-of-the-road Catholics he was regarded with a sort of bleak sympathy, and/or people sneered at him because he so often looked so sad. All this made me read and study more on Paul VI and, especially over the past few years, I have come  rather to admire him.  And now he is to be honoured by the Church he loved and served, and justice is being done.

The beatification is a badly-needed sign of unity in the Church.  The heroes of the Synod  are Cardinals Mueller and Burke, and the African and Asian bishops who united to bring sanity after the interim report was produced. The worry for the future is factions and swings...

5 comments:

Charles G said...

Dear Aunty,

I believe Cardinal Pell also deserves a mention.

Bobbie Trew said...

..And don't forget Cardinal Pell!Media portrays Francis as siding with liberals, that he is disappointed with outcome.That's not what he said. He did express a desire for collegiality, he certainly witnessed it!

Virginia Mcgough said...

Paul VI is a true hero - he stood up for the truth, defended women's true dignity, and endured martyrdom by media (not to mention betrayal by many of the clergy). I rejoice that he is being beatified - and at the conclusion of the Synod! Another saint to intercede for the Church and the family.

Malcolm said...

He was Pope at the very lowest point of the Church's modern power and influence, though I don't say fortunes. After the loss of the Papal States, the Church ceased to be a secular power, and for the whole of the 20th century was widely regarded as irrelevant. Catholic France and Catholic Austria lined up on opposite sides in the First World War, and no-one thought anything odd about that. Intellectually, Marx, modern science, and national movements seemed to be making all the running.

There was bit of a dead cat bounce in the 1950s as men traumatised by World War II returned home and wanted to re-establish some sort of family normality. Then the baby boomers rebelled when they reached teenaged years in the 1960s, and the Church in the West suffered a steady decline.

But with hindsight, Vatican II and Humanae Vitae was the turning point. It marked the start of the fightback. The boomers are still working through to retirement and death. But JP II restored the political significance of the Church by seeing off Communism. Now, when you buy a newspaper, as likely or not there will be a religious story on the front page. Attendance hasn't recovered yet, but there has been a trickle of high profile converts, including a former Prime Minister. That will almost inevitably lead to a much larger influx later.

Almost everyone respected Paul VI personally, but he was seen as a marginal figure. He took the Church through a very difficult period, but not difficult in any dramatic or heroic way. He deserves a great deal of credit for that.

Joanna Bogle said...

YES, Cardinal Pell is a true hero...and a splendid Australian bishop who does honour to his country. We are blessed to have him in Rome.