Thursday, August 27, 2015


In life, His Holiness Pope John Paul I was a humble pope. He embraced the trappings of the papacy simply because these were the trappings of the papacy, placed upon him, not chosen by him.

In death, His Holiness Pope John Paul I is a humble pope. No one really remembers him. His papacy was about a month in 1978. He was known as the smiling pope as Pope Paul VI had become so dour and depressed looking about the state of the Church in the 1970's and the loss of a best friend murdered by an Italian terrorist organization.


Vox Cantoris said...

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but to this day, I believe this holy man was murdered, martyred if you will, for what he was about to do.

May he intercede for us at the Throne of God.

Anonymous in Archdiocese of Detroit said...

I was a child during John Paul I's papacy, and I have very fond memories of him. I remember I really liked him, and felt quite bad when he died so soon. In contrast, I really don't remember anything about Paul VI. With those thick eyebrows, perhaps I thought he was the Grinch. In retrospect, I feel Paul VI was the worst pope of the 20th century, so its probably for the best I have no memories of him. But I hope John Paul I, up in Heaven, knows about my fondness for him and will pray for me every day.

Mark Thomas said...

It is difficult to believe that as late as 1978 A.D., we had a Pope who was willing to utilize the sedia gestatoria. I remember Pope John Paul I very well. Everybody knew that he was a very holy and humble man.

Within the Church, nobody except modernists and their iconoclastic spirit thought it arrogant to carry a Pope aloft. Catholics rejoiced in such pageantry as we understood that Papal symbols pointed to and celebrated God.

It is interesting that liberals continue to praise Pope Saint John XXIII's humility and supposed liberalism. Have they ever seen photographs and films of Pope Saint John XXIII?

He was carried aloft on the sedia gestatoria...wore the Papal tiara...offered the "arrogant" TLM as he donned beautiful vestments...was chauffeured about in a Mercedes-Benz.

The humblest of Popes respected and promoted Holy Mother Church's beautiful symbolism. Again, they and the laity understood that Catholic symbols glorified God, not man.

That spirit and understanding carried over to the parish level. Catholics constructed beautiful churches to give glory to God. Catholics, rich, poor, lower class, and middle class — everybody except iconoclasts — respected Catholic symbols.

Unfortunately, from Rome to the parish, the spirit of minimalism has taken root within the Latin Church. Iconoclasm has spread throughout the Latin Church.

When a football coach wins the "big game", to the delight of his team's fans, his players parade him about the field on their shoulders. A pitcher who throws a no-hitter or perfect game is carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.

People delight in honoring a human being...but, at least today within the (Latin) Church, honoring God via traditional Catholic practices is considered "arrogant" and unacceptable.


Mark Thomas

Lefebvrian said...

Mark, in a recent sermon at my parish, the priest mentioned an “egalitarianism and Marxist dialectic” being used by the hierarchy that undermines the family and teaches a false sense of charity in the form of an “idolizing of the poor as such.” The creation of a dichotomy that insists on the evils of material goods is, as you say, the beginnings of an iconoclasm. In our current times, it is an iconoclasm that makes no sense. After all, we are supposed to do away with material things so that we can provide material things to the poor. If material things are evil, then surely they are equally evil for the poor and the rich alike. This errant ideology is rooted in the same false materialism as all liberal political ideologies, and it is internally inconsistent.

Mark Thomas said...

In regard to the "trappings of the Papacy", and, for that matter, trappings of Catholicism, at least as was practiced throughout the Latin Church, I would like to offer the following:

"Once a Catholic" is a book from the 1980s. Said book featured interviews with several well-known Catholics. It is noteworthy that liberals whose interviews had appeared in the book had noted and lamented the destruction of the "trappings" and beautiful symbols that had marked the Latin Church.

The artists, musicians, writers, and entertainers interviewed in the book, even though many were liberals, expressed the greatest criticism of the destruction of the Traditional Latin Mass and Catholic trappings.

Artists, musicians, writers, and entertainers know how to captivate to interest to stir minds and hearts.

That is why they are among the most appalled in regard to the massive destruction of Catholics symbolism that our Churchmen have unleashed upon us from the 1960s to date.

A New York Times article on the book Once A Catholic noted the following:

"A surprising number of those interviewed wanted to talk about the loss of the Latin mass. Like most pageants mounted by the bookish, the new vernacular mass turned out rather badly in language, tone and staging.

"The artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt complains: "They wanted to make it conceptual instead of an experience. It's a theory Mass now.

"Michael Novak says, "Now we endure the Liturgy of Happy Talk and Forced Cheerfulness.

"As Mary Gordon says, :Better to get stuck in the thirteenth century than in 1965; better to get stuck in 'Pange Lingua' than 'Blowin' in the Wind.' "

In the book, staunch liberal Jimmy Breslin declared that the loss of the TLM was a disaster.

It is unbelievable to me that our Popes, Cardinals, bishops, and priests have been unaware of the massive destruction that they unleashed throughout the Latin Church as they moved to discarded Catholic "trappings".

When it comes to captivating and moving a Catholic's mind and heart, turn to a Catholic poet, artist, sculptor, musician, entertainer...when it comes to destroying the Church's beautiful symbols, turn to a...well, you know.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It is not "false materialism" to suggest that those who are in need of basic necessities should be provided for.

Nor it is "false materialism" to recognize the growing income inequalities that exist in much of the capitalist-driven world.

No, capitalism per se is not evil. However, St. John Paul II wrote; "Returning now to the initial question: can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

"The answer is obviously complex. If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a "business economy", "market economy" or simply "free economy". But if by "capitalism" is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative."

This is neither egalitarianism nor Marxist dialectic. Based on the inherent dignity of each human and the justice owed to each human being, it is Catholic doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Father Malachi Martin S.J. in his book alluded to the fact John Paul I was about to return the Church to the Traditional Latin Mass and therefore was murdered. If anyone has heard of this please respond with any facts this story seems very very true and continues to spread.

Go to bed Karl said...

I agree with Father Kavanaugh to a point. EVERY modern pope has spoken out on behalf of the poor. However, it must be observed that it IS false materialism when a pope, bishop or priest or news reporter or politician is locked in upon and focused so much upon income inequality that nearly every other important issue is ignored.

Jesus Christ told us that we would always have the poor among us. That is not an excuse to ignore them, but a statement of reality and of the human condition.

The Church has always led the way in helping the poor and the sick. The Protestant revolt did a great deal to increase the number of destitute people and closed down many Catholic institutions, including hospitals. However the Catholic Church led the way out of love of God. The Bible is quite clear, we are to love God first and our neighbor as ourselves. That is how the Church operates--out of love.

Jesus Christ started a CHURCH, not a social service agency. Unfortunately, we live in an age when many of the "solutions" to the problems of the poor, or if you prefer "income inequality" cannot be solved by governments or bureaucracies--indeed these sources of "help" often only aggravate the problem.

We will love our neighbor better by the conversion of our hearts and the hearts of our fellow man. By imposing crypto-socialist solutions, or demonizing successful people (many of whom are VERY charitable) or demonizing entire nations, we only perpetuate the problem. It might make us feel like we are really "fighting" for "social justice" and other such vague terms, but in the end, it doesn't change anything.