The title above tells it all: Prince, Pauper and Pope. Many may think this is about John Paul II. I hate to burst their bubble, but hopefully the air will slowly, but surely deflate their emotional feelings and bring them back to the reality of the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church.
To those following the news, the prince could easily be one of two people: either the mousey heir to England's throne Prince Charles who finally attempted to legitimize his adulterous affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles over the last 30 years with a civil ceremony that cannot be blessed by God; or the steady, reclusive Prince Rainier III of Monaco who died this past week on April 6 at the age of 81. He was married but once to American Grace Kelly in a magnificent Catholic wedding in April 1956 with the blessing of Pope Pius XII. He sired three children by this good Catholic American woman who espoused Catholic principle by forsaking her acting career to be a wife and mother. Yet riches and being famous, and the loss of a good woman with Princess Grace's untimely death in 1982, allowed the world, the flesh and the devil to permeate even his three children whom he sired with Grace. Despite the scandals of his offspring, the Prince remained steady through it all and was a wise and loving ruler who, in the essence of Lazarus, kept the Faith. Though another wife might have helped curb the appetites of his unruly children, he remained unfulfilled with anyone else for they could not hold a candle to that elegant lady from Philadelphia. But he also remained loyal to His Master and the Church Jesus Christ established for all time. Catholicism remains to this day the official religion of the second smallest nation in the world with 90% of the 30,000 inhabitants practicing Catholics. It could be said Monaco has surpassed France as the eldest daughter since the latter has lost the Faith. The Prince's funeral will be held on April 15 in the great Cathedral of the tiny kingdom. To Americans that day is significant for it is Tax Day, whereas in the constitutional monarchy of Monaco the people are not taxed, but rather encouraged to practice their Catholicity. Their Prince is gone, but Christ Jesus remains their Sovereign King.
To those who have been consumed by the secular talking heads, the pauper could easily be identified as Theresa Marie Kathleen Schindler-Schiavo who had no say as she was the mere helpless hemp in a tug-of-war between pro-life and culture of death forces for several years, but only recently came into the public eye. The euthanasiasts won this round thanks to judicial tyranny dragging it through the mud in which a decidedly biased judge stubbornly persisted even though, by all legal and moral circumstances, should have recused himself. Evidence proving this has come to the surface recently including the contradictions of Terri's conniving estranged husband Michael Schiavo. Yet, Terri is dead because life is no longer valued in America. That became evident in 1973 when Roe v. Wade became legal in man's eyes but most unlawful in God's. And therein, we can see the other pauper in this: you and I and every Catholic in the world. Why? Because, other than the handful who valiantly persist and preserve the True Faith as it was practiced up until Vatican II, the vast, vast majority of Catholics have been deprived of the richness and treasures of the infrangible Faith of our Fathers for the last 40 years.
Indeed, because Paul VI was not a good shepherd, did not rein in his bishops, did not listen to the Holy Ghost but rather to masonic fifth columnists to alter what Pope St. Pius V infallibly set in stone, God has allowed His people to lose the Faith. He, like his predecessor, John XXIII sought the adulation and ease of man, betraying their duties as the vigilant shepherd and exposing themselves as hirelings who allowed the flock to be scattered to the wolves of the world, the flesh and the devil. While they, and their successors sought to justify their actions with words, they never went after the wolf directly, never sought to restore the sheep that had wandered. Rather, they hired more hirelings even worse than the first, creating factions in every vineyard that fled at the first sign of difficulty, seeking greener pastures where they could do their own thing without the necessity of having a shepherd telling them what to do. They grew lazy and fat, infected with the disease of modernism injested through the foul feed of ecumenism and humanism, ingredients strongly warned against by such noble good shepherds as Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII.
These false shepherds, who called themselves princes of the church, preached evolving doctrine to please man. Truth be known they had long ago fled their flocks even though they remained within their midst. They were unintelligible for they spoke a different tongue, not the Mother tongue but one of confusion. They fashioned their own Tower of Babble which they called Vatican II. Brick by brick of the solid foundation was dismantled so that the synthetic material of novelty could modernize the facade. Claiming the cornerstone was still in tact, many enthusiastically took up the mantra of modernism and the experimentation of the Novus Ordo for it was "easier to understand" and accommodated man's narrow thinking that the wide path would yet lead to salvation. As this poison spread, so did the effects. Soon the sheen of the wool lost its luster and lamb left lamb for another lamb, never mind if it was from another flock or species, or even the same gender. The sheep were now free to do what they wanted. Exactly what the wolves had waited for lo these many years.
I couldn't help but think of that as I watched bleery-eyed early Friday morning the funeral service for Karol Wojtyla. The sounds did not match the scene. How unorthodox the orthodox had been twisted. Here we had beautiful Gregorian Chant in the Mother Tongue that only the astute Traditional Catholic would catch as having been modernized - from the missing De profundis and Dies irae to the much-shortened Confiteor where good St. Michael and St. John the Baptist have been dispatched - most probably because the Baptist is too busy praying for the success of Islamism as John Paul II encouraged during his visit to a Mosque when he kissed the Koran, and since the warrior of warriors is no longer needed since everyone is supposedly going to Heaven through universal salvation, why confess to blessed Michael the archangel! The symbolism was evident.
JP2 was dressed in red - the "Red Pope" for, despite all the acclamations that he had brought down communism, it is not dead but rather flies over the modern Vatican. As Atila Sinke Guimarães so astutely documents in his just released booklet Curious Affinities between the Thinking of John Paul II and Marxism
"The conclusion of this study is short and sad. It is that John Paul II, as well as his two predecessors, seem to be supporting Marxism by way of the ideas and the facts. His teachings appear to be in blatant opposition to the entire Papal Magisterium on social and economic issues that came before him. From this exposé, one can see the length and breadth of the words of Our Lady when she foretold at Fatima that 'Russia would spread her errors throughout the world.' Perhaps she was implying that even the conciliar Popes would be instruments in spreading Communism." Indeed, communism is not dead and many long for the days of the cold war when at least we could identify where it was and know the good from the bad. Good Leo XIII and Herb Philbrick, where are you when we need you?
I have refrained from commenting officially about all of this out of respect for the dignity of the Papal Office and the nine day period - called the Novendiales - which traditionally has been the nine days after the death of a pope. Today is the ninth and in that, I may be jumping the gun by a day. If that offends the sensibilities of any reader, I do apologize. Yet, the modern Vatican institution has embraced humanism to the end, by changing the traditional Novendiales to begin after the burial. Yet another innovation that further dilutes Catholic culture.
Anything for culture, little for the Creed. In truth, as I watched the endless parade of vested prelates in all sorts of cultural and religious garb and headdress, I couldn't help but realize it was John Paul II who encouraged and enabled the men he personally appointed to desecrate altars, to veer far from tradition, to build pagan shrines paid by the blood money of sin, sorrow and deception. In a word, fraud. People who thought their best laid plans were going to the good of the Church, were financing hush payments, ghastly architecture and sculpture, and the life of ease for shepherds who long ago cast off the cloak of their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. And on the latter, the men he appointed demanded obedience to their subjects, but failed to obey Christ and even the man who sat on the throne of Peter. The word "cafeteria Catholic" is bandied about a lot, but it had its origins with the highest ecclesiasts in the Church who picked and chose what they wanted to believe and strove to alter the meaning of what they didn't. Can you say Martin Luther? The present crop of cardinals and prelates are no different, except they still call themselves 'Catholic' and demand respect and obedience. First, you cannot demand respect, you earn it, and secondly, how can the flock obey when the shepherd refuses to obey the Good Shepherd? Yet, those who have been punished for lo these 40 years are those who recognized this and remained at the foot of the Cross, meticulously maintaining the Faith and Catholic customs passed down from Peter through Pius XII. Those are the ones the modern Pharisees seek to expel and denigrate: the true, the few followers of Christ. But this is what we should expect for Our Lord told us this would be a badge of honor. We would need the grace to hold up under the grilling, the grit to grab hold of the Cross and not let go when all the world is ridiculing and mocking us, even persecuting.
Throughout the ceremony, Christ's words in Luke 6: 26 "Wo to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets" and Matthew 24: 24-25 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if it were possible) even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you before hand" kept coming back to me as the teary-eyed lamented what would become of them now that 'Papa' was gone, 'he was so great.' 'There'll never be another like him' and more worldly adulation from every creed, culture and commitment to the world, that, in truth, had to grate on every authentic Catholic who truly knows their Faith. We even heard one young lady bemoan that he (JP2) was more popular than Christ. Ah, yes, remember the Beatles! Yes, sadly it is possible, even the elect - those cardinals also dressed in gaudy red flowing chasubles that billowed up in the early a.m. Roman wind funneling through the square. And that, in itself was to this editor, another sign - one so significant and yet only a few caught it. Here was a man who was the visible head of the modern Roman institution, who on his watch had allowed the flock to scatter further; to let unearthly sins that cried to Heaven for vengeance to run rampant; who rewarded rather than reprimanded - even punish and excommunicate - those who caused grave, grave scandal and the loss of souls; who fostered scandal himself by going against everything his reliable and authentic predecessors before Vatican II not only warned against but condemned in no uncertain terms - from inter-religious worship to embracing pagans, dialoging incessantly with the non-believer and never prompting conversion, always compromise for the great goal of world peace for man so he could live with human dignity. Christ was sadly so many times missing from the equation except when he was speaking to the 'choir', so to speak, during his Wednesday audiences. He did not want to offend. Therefore he tolerated sinners to continue in their sins while and after they had performed in public displays of shock, from Bob Dylan to scantily-clad women cavorting during the papal 'masses' to topless women in Oceania participating in the papal ceremonies.
Maybe that is why, as much as I was offended by the bizarre crucifix hauled out for the ceremonies, I wasn't surprised. Considering the tolerance of homosexuality by the American bishops and, I fear the universal bishops and even modern Rome itself - especially with Paul VI's own sodomite tendencies, a blasphemous depiction of Christ was conveyed to the world. It was the type of art one would expect to find in a San Francisco museum, with the almost transparent loin cloth clinging tightly to the body, mixed in stripes that more represented a practictioner of sadomasochism than the pure under-garments of the Son of God. The facial expression did not say He was gay, but the artist's touch conveyed that. But then what was traditional has been expunged everywhere. Consider the grotesque crooked cross John Paul II - and Paul VI before him - always sported. Rather than the papal crosier of the good shepherd, he chose this twisted depiction which many have assimilated to a hidden satanic symbol. That we will leave for another time, but it needed to be said for the crosier represents to all the staff of the shepherd.
And where was the ceremony for this chief shepherd? Outside the church. That has tremendous significance for those who truly know their Faith, they realize he and those he appointed were indeed "outside the Church" and in a whole new church founded on the humanist principles of Vatican II in going against the will of God. St. Pius V and others warned that if anyone dared to do so, they would "incur the wrath of Almighty God and His Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul." And so the wrath of Almighty God has been unleashed, magnified with the natural disasters, but more visible through what is happening invisibly to those who haven't a clue. The clueless, we discover, are the billions who heap lavish praise on a man who they dare to call a saint. Without the necessary Devil's Advocate, who's left to argue? As many saints as he elevated without close scrutiny or any assurance most were in Heaven, what is one more saint, even on the fast-track? I just read where British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a non-Catholic was given Communion in John Paul II's private chapel. Wojtyla knew better, but he dismissed what is right and proper - vere dignum et just est, aequum et salutare in order to accommodate Blair and his feminist 'Catholic' wife. That confirms why he did nothing about Bill and Hillary Clintons' receiving in South Africa, nor why he did nothing about demanding the U.S. bishops discipline 'Catholic' politicians by threatening and following through on excommunication. The ghosts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More must be walking the halls of the Vatican. But then they'd be bumping into the ghosts of the martyred saints who gave their lives rather than compromising their beliefs. Yes, the holy spirits would truly crowd the corridors of the Holy See and, indeed, of every chancery in the world.
We've heard so much about how great he was. Indeed, this editor just before the Jubilee Year was guilty of such error until I began to truly study the Faith and what past, holy and reliable Pontiffs, the Doctors of the Church and Councils, and Holy Writ documents. Then I knew, after we had turned away from the New Order church and embraced the Faith of our Fathers in practice and piety, that what I wished and actually encouraged, was a figment of my imagination - something that would not come to pass for John Paul II had long ago passed the point of no return. Though we pleaded and prayed, we knew in our hearts it would be fruitless for there are no fruits from the church of Vatican II. Things have only grown worse, despite juggled statistics that see Catholicism growing in Africa, the Philippines, and South America. The fact is it is not true Catholicism being practiced there, but a hybrid cultural unity of community calling itself Catholic and going through the motions geared on emotion. And it is emotion that has produced the groundswell for giving him the moniker reserved only for a few - actually five: Saints Basil the Great, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Albert the Great and Gertrude the Great. There is a long line he would have to stand in to achieve greatness in the Church. Sts. Pius V and Pius X would be first in line for being called 'Great' and even they have not been mentioned for such an accolade.
Truth be known, he will forever be known as John Paul II the Great Humanist, the Great Compromiser, the Great Actor, and, sadly, as many will come to discover in future generations, or presently when the grace of the Holy Ghost removes the scales from their senses and they see for themselves: John Paul the Great Deceiver.
I know I will be lambasted for such, but prove me wrong. I stand not prideful in that statement, but respectfully challenge anyone to produce unmitigated, absolute proof that he was great in the eyes of God in the same sense as the five listed or any saint for that matter. I also challenge anyone to produce evidence that he was not a humanist, a compromiser, an actor, and a deceiver. There are many more titles that could be fashioned, but suffice it to be said that he was no saint and should not even be considered such an honor. Yet he has paved the way for that sacrilege to take place by relaxing the rules and requirements for canonization. That has further deteriorated the certainty that every person he elevated is in Heaven. Pretty futile to pray to saints in Purgatory, or worse, hell.
We know from Catholic truth that those given the eternal title of saint were afforded everlasting life in the presence of the Beatific Vision. We cannot say that of some promoted by John Paul II. Jose Maria Escriva and John XXIII are two who come instantly to mind. They, along with Mother Teresa, who, despite her tireless work and love of the poor, sought relief for the physical above the spiritual, allowing pagans to remain in their error rather than earnestly converting them. She was canonized first by the world and John Paul followed the crowd in acceding to their wish. Now in death he will expect the same. But is the world's wish, God's wish? That is the question we must all consider and pray that in the upcoming conclave, even though there is so little hope, that somehow, someway the Sanctifier will get through to the hard-hearted red-hats and choose a man committed to God's Holy Will in all things. We care not his nationality, his popularity, his political leanings; only his own holiness and a return to all Holy Mother Church has taught for nearly 2000 years. Only prayer - heartfelt prayer - will produce this reality. Whether it will be the next man to occupy the Throne of Peter or one yet to come, we will discover in the following months. Will it be a return to Eternal Rome, or more of the same ol' Modern Rome. Only time and prayer will tell.
On this day when the True Church celebrates one of the Great Popes - Saint Leo the Great - we must storm Heaven with the prayer we pray after every Low Mass:
"Let us pray. O God, our Refuge and our Strength, look down in mercy on Thy people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of St. Joseph, her spouse, of Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the freedom and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen."
Leo dispelled the Huns and Vandals, protecting the eternal city from being totally sacked. But interestingly, he is not remembered so much for saving man's temporal regions, as he is for saving souls by insisting on exact observance of all ecclesiastical precepts and practices, combatting vigorously and vigilantly every heresy that raised its ugly head from Pelagianism to Manichaeism to Arianism. He also strongly stood for the Primacy of Peter over any hint of collegiality and his shepherdly actions verify that he was the Pastor Bonus who confirmed the Dogma of the Incarnation against Eutyches and his followers. But Leo's like, even in the Church over her long and storied history that has outlasted every monarchy, kingdom, country, tyrant, despot and democracy, has not been seen in quite some time. Men like St. Leo the Great and St. Gregory the Great are few and far between. The closest to share that type of consideration was St. Pius X. But all these were merely men, fallible in their opinions, infallible when speaking ex cathedra from the Chair of Peter on faith and morals. That is what so many have mistakenly assumed, that John Paul's opinions were infallible. The opposite is true for no man since Pius XII on November 1, 1950 has declared anything infallibly. Yet the vast masses buy into anything John Paul 'the Great' has said. But then, as that noted Catholic philosopher and writer G.K. Chesterton is attributed with saying, "If they don't believe in something, they will fall for anything." And they have, as was only too clear with all the misinformation that flooded the airwaves over the past week, including the canard that he was a "traditional conservative." We'd sure like to see evidence of that!
The True Prince, Pauper and Pope
In truth, the Prince, Pauper and Pope is a reference to one Man - a Man Who did not visibly rule the Church for 26 years, but only three; a Man Who did not have billions attending His death service, but only a handful; a Man Who was not loved and applauded by the world, but a Sign of contradiction to all; a Man Who never compromised, never preached tolerance and diversity; a Man Who was faithful to the exact observance of the ecclesiastical precepts He had been raised in; a Man Who loved the sinner, but taught all to hate the sin, exhorting true forgiveness only if one resolved to sin no more; a Man Who was not afraid to confront evil and remand those who felt above the law, calling them what they were - hypocrites and vipers; a Man Who was born a Prince, yet declined recognition as king of the world for He knew there was no future on this earth for temporary gains - for those fiefdoms were already under the rule of the prince of the world; a Man Who embraced poverty, choosing Himself to be born in the humblest of hovels and live 30 years either on the run or in the simple, loving habitat of a one room home in Nazareth obedient to finite parents; a Man Who sought out the poor and yet dined with the rich, seemingly contradicting all customs and reasoning with such sayings as "the poor you will always have with you" to "it is harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than a camel to slip through the eye of a needle"; a Man Who was accompanied by a harlot , a tax collector, and lowly, salty fishermen yet raised a rich man from the grave; a Man Who fed thousands from the manna of a few loaves of bread and a handful of fishes, yet was not given even a drop of cool water as He hung upon the cross for every man and woman ever created. Yes, this Man was a Prince and a Pauper. He was also a Pope.
As the everlasting Sovereign Supreme Pontiff, He passed on the visible headship to one who He knew would betray Him, who would cower in fright when push came to shove. Indeed, even after He had ascended into Heaven, He returned to prod Peter to stay the course and return to Rome to establish a visible institution to carry on all He had bequeathed. As the Supreme Vicar, He sent His Spirit, the Holy Ghost, to assure the finite of the Infinite's promise that "the gates of hell shall not prevail" and that He would be with them "even to the consummation of the world." And He has remained ever faithful to His promise. He has been with His Church in thick and thin. And these are pretty thin times right now even though the world has been laying it on pretty thick over the last week in their unending, lavish, unhealthy and devil-prompted praise of a man above God. Only one Man that ever lived was indispensable and He remains thus to this day. All others created with a free will have or will return to dust. Not so Jesus Christ, Lord and Redeemer, a Prince above all, Who gave His very last drop of blood for man's salvation if man so chose to follow all He taught. He was not a man of this world bent on worldly peace. Were He thus, than Judas Iscariot would have been His general, leading the charge of war against the Jewish leaders and Roman intruders. He was simply the Pastor Bonus, the Good Shepherd. As yesterday's Gospel so clearly and simply said
"I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth His life for His sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."
That single paragraph from Sacred Scripture dwarfs and contradicts the millions and millions of words written from Rome over the past 50 years. Millions have chanted, "John Paul II, we love you." Seldom has been heard, "Jesus Christ, we love you." Indeed, our non-Catholic friends may be right in their assessment of the modern Catholic for we have failed to recognize Our Lord's warning in Matthew 24: 26, "If therefore, they shall say to you: Behold he is in the desert: go ye not out: Behold he is in the closets, believe it not." The sheep have been fleeced and few are the wiser. But then what do you expect when the shepherd has scattered the flock? That is why we must, despite the pull of the world, remain steadfast to the Truths and Traditions passed down from Peter through Pius XII and stand fast with the God-man Who remains with us always as Prince, Pauper and Pope!