HOW TO EVALUATE A POPE By Patricius Anthony TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Internet Site E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: http://www.traditio.com Copyright 2005 P. Anthony. Reproduction prohibited without authorization.
As the Church of the New Order has chosen its next leader and commemorates the passing of its last, Catholics should consider the manner in which the Divine Founder of their Church, Who was so conspicuously ignored throughout the proceedings of April 2005, evaluates those who hold the office that He created.
It is not surprising that a Catholic view of the action of popes and that of the world differ markedly, especially since the world and those now in control of the Church have deviated so far from Apostolic teaching. The outpouring of affection, the praise and tears for the passing of JPII by the masses, media-savvy politicians, and the heads of the many false religions that he deliberately embraced were to be expected, since it has been JPII more than any single figure of the last half century that has brought Christ's Church in line with the thinking of the debauched modern world.
While it is true that the papal office was "built" on the foundation of a mere mortal, it does not follow that each occupant that has resided in that august Chair becomes immune from scandal, espousing falsehood, or -- worse --becoming a personal heretic or apostate. Anyone with even a scant knowledge of Church history should know that plenty of popes have often strayed, and badly.
Take, for instance, the Prince of the Apostles, whom papolaters (those who attributed to the pope virtually divine attributes) often cite as an impeccable model. After receiving his commission as chief among the Twelve, St. Peter was sternly rebuked by the Divine Savior for his disagreement with the Will of Almighty God:
And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee; this shall not be unto thee. But he turning, said to Peter: go after me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou dost not relish the things that are of God, but the things that are of men (Matthew 16:22-23/DRV).
So much for St. Peter's "personal infallibility!" Fortunately, Sacred Scripture provides explicit detail on how Christ wanted His popes to act. Before His glorious Ascension, the Divine Savior asks St. Peter whether he loved Him. The repeated queries were an obvious reference to the first pope's triple denial at the time of his Master's trial.
As St. Peter heart-wrenchingly answers each time in the affirmative, Christ mercifully accepts, but not unconditionally. Instead, He instructs His disciple that if he was to love Him, he would have to "feed His sheep." Thus, for St. Peter and his successors, the prime requisite of the Head of the Church is to evangelize and dispense as widely as possible the Holy Sacraments for the salvation of souls. Whether or not the world is in accord with such thinking is immaterial; vicars of Christ are to do His Will. Those who succeed at such a daunting challenge have the opportunity for eternal life; those who fail or willingly disobey....
With this Divine paradigm in mind, how did the recently-deceased pontiff rate? Did he feed the sheep with, as St. Paul instructed, "the traditions that you have learned?" Or have the lambs been fed false doctrines, denied the real Sacraments, and instead been left vulnerable and defenseless against the Prince of this world? To speak of the Master of Lies, it would take some doing to find when the last time either JPII or his newly elected successor have mentioned in their vast Modernistic writings either Satan or Hell.
By any objective rendering, JPII was a revolutionary. While he occasionally spoke in a traditional manner (condemning abortion and trumpeting concepts such as the "Culture of Death"), he was a disciple of the Vatican II religion. The scandals, the ecumenical gestures to Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and other false religions are too numerous to review. His worst offense, however, was that during his entire reign he never offered the Apostolic Sacrifice of the Mass to Almighty God, but, instead, celebrated the Novus Ordo worship service -- a direct violation of Apostolic teaching.
For a proponent of the New Religion, Modernism could not have had a better front-man. However, judged by the paradigm that Christ laid down for his foremost representative, he was a scandal, whose actions, along with the entire Novus Ordo apparatus, will be eventually condemned by a future traditional pope.
His successor is cut from the same Modernistic cloth. He is one of the prime movers and shakers during the ill-starred Vatican II Council who, because of his relativistic mindset, can sound "conservative" one day and a twin of Cardinal Kaspar, "the oecumenically-friendly ghost," the next. If anyone thinks that this chameleon will turn back to Tradition, he is quite na´ve, while those who have already praised the erstwhile Cardinal Ratzinger for his supposed orthodoxy, despite his numerous statements tinged with heresy, have demonstrated such incredulity that they would most likely have doubted Our Lord's miracles, even if they witnessed them firsthand!
Although the world may hail JPII and celebrate the "installation" of his successor, Catholics, before they give their allegiance, must be certain that their earthly shepherds are feeding them Apostolic truth. If not, they are obligated for the good of their souls to reject, condemn and ignore the errors of such false prophets.