Monday, May 18, 2020

Andrei Rublev

Assyrian Ecclesiology?

More on John Paul II/Karol Wojtyła

They are making a big deal out of the 100th anniversary of his birth because of the agenda to canonize him and to protect the "legacy" of Vatican II after the rather disastrous pontificate of Paul VI and the inconsequential pontificate of John Paul I. John Paul II seems larger than life as his pontificate was concurrent with the fall of the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc, and some, like Weigel, were eager to attribute being a cause who brought about the fall of Communist states to John Paul II. The conservative ultramontanists who think that John Paul II was traditional and liked him will defend his reputation, regardless of what evidence a more neutral historian might evaluate differently. Unfortunately for the patriarchate of Rome, he was canonized too quickly, and a fair and impartial assessment of his legacy may never be written at this point, unless the patriachate of Rome and its reputation were to suffer such a reversal in the future that all of its actions are called into question.

John Paul the Forgotten? by Richard A. Spinello

While Francis seems to be ignoring or revising the "theological legacy" of John Paul II (his encyclicals), what long-term effects will Francis's papacy have, besides confirming divisions among Latin Catholics and maybe even bringing about more muddle-headedness for those who have not been catechized well?

There are at least two other things at work here:
1. John Paul II's encyclicals can be difficult to read. This is a clear contrast with the encyclicals of Benedict XVI. While seminarians and young priests of the "John Paul II generation" may admire John Paul II, how many of them have the theological education to properly evaluate his writings, or the desire really to engage with them properly?
2. Top-down, centralized teaching of theology is a disservice to theology, which requires a personal relationship between the teacher and the student. It should be no surprise if the transmission of theology by the patriarch of Rome is incomplete and ineffective.

How many of today's current Roman Catholic seminarians were influenced by Pope Francis, rather than Benedict XVI? There are many priests, especially Jesuits, who are vocal Francis adherents, and progressives who see Francis as embodying their interpretation of Vatican II. Whether they will have any long-lasting influence on the patriarchate of Rome remains to be seen, as most of them are older and have limited influence among those who have different opinions about theology and liturgy.

There will be a lot of commentary about his pontificate this week, but it is unlikely that I will do a greater search of links to post them. Maybe Phil Lawler will have an interesting take on the man and his pontificate.

CWR: Wojtyla’s Athenian catechesis: An antidote to the culture of veriphobia by Eduardo Echeverria
A review of Archbishop Karol Wojtyla’s newly discovered and published 1965 reflections on St. Paul’s discourse at the Areopagus, titled Teachings for an Unbelieving World.

Remembering the lens and the life of Pope St. John Paul II by Joanna Bogle
He was an innovator soaked in the rich traditions of the Church, a man of physical courage who found his strength in spiritual truth, and a mystic with a robust and cheerful style which endeared him to non-believers and even to cynics.

First Things:
A Protestant Appreciation of Pope John Paul II by Bruce Riley Ashford
Pope on the World Stage by Peter J. Leithart
My Pope by Julia Yost

Wojtyła's The Catholic Social Ethic

CLJ: Everything You Know About John Paul II's Early Lectures on CST Is Wrong by Paweł Rojek

Ultramontanists will differ on the authority of the text depending on whether they agree with it or not. That's the folly of being an ultramontanist -- his lectures should be evaluated as moral theology, one theologian's private opinions, and nothing more than that.