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"No one man, or group of men, can himself speak for the Church of Christ. It is nonetheless possible to speak from within the Church, in conformity with Orthodox tradition; and it is this that we shall attempt to do." Fr. Seraphim Rose Orthodox Word #1 Jan-Feb 1965 p. 17

Vis-à-vis the canonization of two Popes

parent post: http://remnantrocor.blogspot.com/2014/05/stickies_27.html


Human English translation, mostly done kindly by brother Vladimir Djambov in Sofia.
Thank you Vladimir!
+Prayers are asked for his health, as he is quite ill at this time!.


Protodeacon German Ivanov-Trinadtzaty: Are they saints indeed?
Reporter: Protodeacon German,  May 24, 2014,   Published in Authors’ column
Vis-à-vis the canonization of two Popes
On Sunday, April 27, exactly one week after the holy Pascha, Pope Francis canonized two of his recent predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II, proclaiming them saints worthy of imitation by the faithful. In the Orthodox Church, in the case of the glorification of saints it would be more correct to say, that as of now, people may seek their intercession and pray to them, but the canonization here was clearly in the direction, on the path that the leadership of that church has discovered and confirmed within the Roman Catholic Church during the last half-century. That path can be succinctly defined by one term – used and popularized by John XXIII himself – aggiornamento, which term became the cornerstone of today's post-Vatican Roman Catholic Church.
The aggiornamento concept can be translated by the fully understandable for every Russian Orthodox Christian word – renovationism [obnovlenie]. The Papal aggiornamento is nothing else but renovationism transplanted into Roman-Catholicism. With a delay of forty years as compared to the [ ecumenist MP] Russians, Catholics have introduced within  themselves that deadly contamination, but unlike the Russians, it has taken root with them, and has today become an irreversible path by and now – even the official path to holiness. One can directly say that Pope Francis canonized not so much his two predecessors, but he canonized the Second Vatican Council itself.
Belgian Cardinal Suenens[i], one of the leaders of the renewal movement and a prominent figure of the Council, in a moment of clarity once admitted that the Second Vatican Council was the same as 'the year 1789' within the Church! ... One cannot word this more correctly. Having elected for the Roman cathedra the rather elderly Cardinal Roncalli, an “intermediate good Pope” as he was called then because of his old age and the eternal smile on his face, they probably did not expect that less than three months after that election, that John XXIII would announce his desire to convene an “ecumenical Council”' in order to “open up the windows and let in some fresh air into the Church”, as he once put it himself.
In his inaugural speech on the occasion of the Council opening, John XXIII said that the time had come to do away with condemnations from all sides, it was time to take care of charity, to take care of the peace of the whole world. These were assertions of the right kind on the face of it, but it all too quickly became clear what was the meaning embedded in them. All that renewal program was presented six months after the Council’s opening, and less than two months prior to the death of the renovationist Pope, in the encyclical he issued «Pacem in terris», being as if, this was his spiritual testament and guide for the newly formed Roman Catholic religion. The whole point of the encyclical was to accustumate, adapt the Church and its teaching to the modern world, fully forgetting that in the Apostle’s words, 'it lieth in wickedness, and the prince thereof is Satan himself'.
With his direct predecessor Pius XII the Roman Catholic Church, though long already fallen away from Orthodoxy, was still similar with the traditional Church; it even felt it necessary and vital to warn against apostasy, to expose false teachings perverting human souls. The most memorable encyclical of Pius XII «Humani Generis» was subtitled: “On certain false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic doctrine.” But the Council convened by John XXIII did not at all aim to pursue the aim of fighting against heresies and fallacies. To the contrary, in his inaugural remarks on Oct. 11, 1962, this same renovationist Pope with amazing optimism or naivety, bluntly said that taking care of this was simply unnecessary, for as soon as these fallacies appear, “they are immediately dispersed as a mist at sunrise.... and people today already have rejected them on their own.” Therefore, to talk about a newly created religion and about the Vatican Council as of 1789, was by no means an exaggeration.
Henceforth, this Church was obliged to show a more attractive face, to not be closed but to appear as just the opposite – to be rather open to new trends and to the world, in which all religions are salvific and can freely express their teachings. John XXIII thus opened wide the path of ecumenism for his Church. For him the time had come to reconcile the Church with the world. Wretched Catholics were obliged, it seems, to see where that utopia had led them to. However – watching the exaltation with which the canonization of the forefather of this utopia was greeted by the people, only shows to what extent the very notion of the Church of Christ has been lost in ordinary Catholics, which is yet another reason to simply pity them even more.
That all still keep their memory of the Polish Pope and his popularity is hardly worth talking about, but this popularity has made him into some kind of a media product, i.e., precisely what modern society requires and which is so very much in tune with our times. This popularity never left him during the 27 years of his pontificate. But let us say  immediately: that the path from popularity to holiness is still a long way.
The inter-religious meeting in Assisi convened by him in 1986, at which praying together were representatives of all Christian denominations, plus Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists and so forth, shall remain in the eyes of  true faithful Christians a grave dark spot in the modern history of the Church, but on the other hand, in the perception of the soulless modern world, that ecclesial shame will remain one of his pontificate's pinnacles, which has brought him international wide fame. With this initiative of his he blended directly into the process of  mondialization and this even over stepped by a few miles, the World Council of Churches. To date one can still hear the nostalgia as they speak about the “spirit of Assisi”... But does this  amaze us? The modern soulless world rejects not only  true Christianity, but rejects also the simple Christian traditional way of life, however it does  welcome very much the presence of something pseudo-Christian, imparting a little false spirituality to [perceived by them], a fresh new, recent modern life. Therefore, the Assisi event was greeted with a storm of acclaim by this world.
What traditional examples of confessing Christianity did he give to people and what has remained of them? On the other hand, it is well remembered, the way he ostentatiously visited synagogues, prayed at the Wailing Wall, received Fidel Castro and went to visit him, well remembered is the way he reverently kissed the Koran and offered prayers that St. John the Baptist would protect Islam, (while the early Christians were ready to die for refusing to offer incense smoke before the idols and the false gods). The saints of yesterday were dying for the faith, for the truth, and they never kissed  heretics nor participated in their services. Or [else] is this what is now understood under the  heading of “living tradition”, or [else] is there a new norm of holiness underway? There is one more field, where he has left a lasting mark – that is  human rights protection. Of course, we all agree it is necessary to defend those innocently persecuted, offended, oppressed, however, one must know and remember well that the human rights movement which has become our fallen world's latest dogma, has  in its central principles, not a  Christian concept, but rather  a Masonic one.
All these characteristics and actions of John Paul II are very and much politically correct and they cause warm approval, but they are in full variance with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ – 'You shall be hated of all men for My name's sake'. Hated, and not beloved.
There is one more point included in the basis of the universal fame of John Paul II: it is as if it was he who demolished the Berlin wall of shame and it was he who defeated communism. These affirmations have grown so exaggerated, in any case in the West, that it is impossible not to mention them even if for us these are complete fiction. This question would deserve a serious exposition, but we shall limit ourselves here, to two or three facts that seem to us to be fully sufficient to dispel this chimera.
The Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, was a principled, true, outspoken opponent of communism and a fighter against it for his entire life – for which he was persecuted by the authorities. The Cardinal-Primate of Hungary, Jozsef Mindszenty, was arrested in 1948 and sentenced to life imprisonment for his anti-communist activities, he was released only thanks to the events of 1956. After the Communists quenched the uprising he found refuge in the American Embassy, where he lived without leaving it for as long as 15 years. Due to international negotiations and pressures it was possible to relocate  him to Vienna where he spent the last four years of his earthly life. Yes indeed – these are examples of true fighters against communism. But was Karol Wojtyla such a fighter? All his successful ecclesiastical career he did make under the Communists, up to his rank of Cardinal-archbishop of Krakow! Even if Poland was not in the official Soviet Union, we do know the way church careers happened in communist countries and what “flexibility” one had to exercise in order to stay afloat. And even having become Pope, he showed very great caution [in his dealings with the communist authorities], and could in actual fact have done a lot more for his people, than he did do.  But that is another, a whole different topic. However, we should definitely say that if anyone is to be thanked for the liberation from the communist plague, it is not him but the New Martyrs who shed their blood in rivers.
We would be unfair, however, had we failed to indicate one fact worthy of respect in real terms: that humility with which he endured the last few months, a year and a half, of his life. After that amazing vitality, manifested in the course of a quarter century, with an incredible and praiseworthy humility he endured the trials sent him from on high: being completely sane, to be a helpless being entailing a purely vegetative life, unable to even talk in his last days. And this cross he endured purely as a Christian to the utmost, without the slightest grumbling.
So, leaving aside this very last page of his life – what was his holiness manifested in? Clearly, today in the Vatican they view this question not from that same point of view and not with those same requirements that is done in the Orthodox Church. One of the most influential cardinals, Paul Poupard –the chairman until recently of two Papal Committees for Cultural Affairs and for Inter-religious Dialogue, substantiated on the Vatican Radio these two canonizations with the fact that the Vatican Council should be recognized as some kind of compass or guide, by the instructions of which one should move towards in life, in fidelity to the inspiration of its originator, John XXIII, and in furthering the way John Paul II applied it in his lifetime, throughout his pontificate.
As mentioned above – a canonization of the Second Vatican Council was made. In doing this – and pleasing the world with this very fact – Pope Francis is maybe preparing his own future canonization, too. And so as not to offend anyone, at the last moment they even remembered a completely nondescript Paul VI, whom they promised to soon pronounce beatific, that is – to raise him onto the first stage of sainthood. Paul VI was the first Cardinal made by John XXIII. Passing under his command were virtually all 3 Council sessions, with breaks. As the fruit of that Council, there was held  a commemorative meeting and kiss exchanging on the Mount of Olives between Paul VI and Athenagoras I. This kissing was also followed by the so-called  “lifting of anathemas” between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. “So-called” as from a theological point of view, an  anathema may not be 'lifted' [removed], one can only get out from under the anathema, [i.e. fully repent of and reject the causes for that anathema being placed, in the first instance],  but as far as we know that was not done. Nevertheless, on Sunday May 25, 2014 there will be held [which has now happened], at that same place in Jerusalem,  a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew to mark the 50-th anniversary of their predecessors' gesture.
Is ecumenism that sign from on high, confirming the sanctity of these two Popes? Another sign, apparently, they have not found. But a threatening sign has been given from on high. An ugly [misshapen] huge curved in arc 30-meter wooden cross with a 600-kilo crucifix-corpus atop, which is more reminiscent of a copy of the “Vostok” rocket in the ex-VDNH than of a Christian crucifix, placed in honor of John Paul II on the occasion of his arrival to the town, [ in Italy], suddenly collapsed with a crash and crushed to death a young boy as he was conversing with a priest. Being disabled, the young man could not run off in time and avoid the awful symbolic-laden death. Italian newspapers presented another piece of information: the unfortunate young man's address of his residence was “Pope John XXIII Street."
To a religious consciousness, that dreadful happening cannot be a mere chance to ignore. One of the indicators for glorification, as is normal along with the proclaiming of saints, is that of them healing people. And here, at the beginning of this current glorification process of declaring two Saint-Popes, it was shown to be,  as though something quite the opposite. But this has not at all stopped the process undertaken and this has passed as if unnoticed. That's who and how the Vatican can glorify new saints, which is causing neither bewilderment, nor objections.
Archdeacon German Ivanov-Trinadtzaty

[i] Léon Joseph Cardinal Suenens – a moderator of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), was instrumental in effecting liberal change within the Roman Catholic Church