We spoke, in the last installment, that the battle has begun. And there are factions out there, indeed influential and deeply embedded forces within the Vatican itself, whose agenda is to discredit and remove John Paul II. Yes, folks, they are not aligned with the Christ's "team" - ergo, they're not with the Pope's "team." While some may dismiss this as alarmist, look at the events of the day, the daily spins and reports from the "false prophets of our time" - the mass media, and study the plans of liberals, modernists and radicals as to how they are trying to undermine this man who should go down in history as the not only "John Paul the Great" and one of the greatest pontiffs in the long line of successors of Peter, but one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century. Indeed, no man has contributed more globally in a spiritual and cultural sense than this humble, wise Polish Prince of the Church from Krakow.
When you struggle through the gibberish of the radical rag the National Catholic Reporter you'll see article after article criticizing the Pope for "being out of touch, tunnel-visioned as to male-oriented hierarchy, lacking compassion, too strict and inflexible as to change, and one who has held the Church back severely." Every one of those claims is, of course, totally false, but it's rhetoric that causes the emotions to swell and stir a crowd to frenzy. This has been proven throughout history. Look at the Lenin and Marxist tactics, Hitler, Khomeini, and now Saddam. The modernists are not much different except for one thing: they're not getting the results they want! This was proven when Maureen Fiedler, a purported nun, announced with much bravado that her organization "We Are Church" in union with "Call to Action" would garner over one million autographs to attest that the Pope was off track and the people's demands would be met she pledged two years ago. Well, surprise, surprise. This organization, with all the supposed clout of the loud-mouthed modernists could only gather 35,000 signatures, many of them suspect over a 24 month-period. Hardly a majority of any kind. To contrast that, a group of high school students from Seton High School in Virginia, in a grass-roots effort with only the Human Life International organization behind them, managed to reap over 95,000 signatures strongly in favor of the Holy Father all in a span of just a few months! But, except in loyal Catholic circles and media, no one heard anything about this accomplishment which culminated with the presentation of the signatures to the Holy Father in November. It all comes down to the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and Fiedler's group has been squeaky, grabbing most of the headlines. Naturally the media, liberal themselves, jump in bed with these radicals who call themselves "Catholic" but their actions and rhetoric say otherwise. Can you say "Protestant?"
The media feeds on every fallacy they utter, portraying it to the public as "truth" without giving equal time to the true truths. Oh, they give the impression they are giving both sides by posing such modernist luminaries as Andrew Greeley or Richard McBrien to speak on behalf of the Church. Give us a break! They speak no more for the true Church as does Homer Simpson speak for sanity! But the people...especially the lukewarm Catholics who have not had the catechetical help over the past thirty years will buy it hook, line and sinker! Don't believe us? Look how the public is buying the claptrap of Bill Clinton's popularity. Can you say "manipulation?" And through manipulation the enemies of the Holy Father are doing all they can to disparage him, beginning with his age and health. How many times do they jump on the fact his hand is shaking, or he has a cold? Now tell us, who do you know at 77 years-old travels the globe, writes his own speeches, is constantly in demand and caters to those demands from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. almost on a daily basis. Add to that the grave responsibility of serving as the moral leader of the world who is sought out by every head of state from Castro to Q'uaddafi. How many could keep up with the pace of John Paul II? The answer is simple, no one we know of! But despite his track record for stability, perseverance and always sticking to the schedule come rain, shine, snow or a head-cold or flu, the media is quick to jump on this as the "great decline of an aged Pope who needs to be replaced." The liberals love this and grovel even moreso at the exalted feet of the media, pushing out in the spotlight their "favorite son" for the papacy - Cardinal Carlo Martini, a very, very dangerous liberal prelate. Martini has his allies or "henchmen" implanted deep within the hallowed halls of the Holy See who work behind the scenes to stir up dissent and doubt. They feed the fires of malcontents throughout Europe which is in just as dire throes of schism as is the American Church. Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France are all collectively leaning to the left and could break when the Holy Father truly cracks down on their open disobedience to Rome and the Magisterium led by dissident Hans Kung who would like nothing better than to dethrone the Polish Pope who took away his theological teaching credentials for preaching heresy. Plus, believe it or not, there is great resentment culturally among many Europeans to a Polish pontiff. National pride is strong and feuds stem back centuries. That is another reason few believe the coalition of a united Europe will ever become a reality. John Paul II has many more enemies than past pontiffs and that can be attributed to the growing culture of death and the Pope's strong stance against it. Who among the proponents of Planned Parenthood, NOW, pro-abortion, gays and lesbians, communism, socialism, liberal theology, radical catholic groups, dictators, etc. - the list goes on and on - who among these would not want the major thorn in their side - John Paul the Great - out of the picture?
Amidst all this, John Paul II continues undaunted, prompted by the Holy Spirit and, as an ardent student of history, he has a realistic and true grasp of where the world is today and where it's going. Many have a "sixth sense" about things, but we firmly believe the Pope has a "seventh sense" and that is being gifted with messages from Mary and a total comprehension of Mary's messages through the ages. We truly believe he is the one man who has put all the pieces together and knows where Holy Mother Church is heading as we near the millennium. He speaks of this constantly in his weekly Wednesday audiences, in his homilies, in his speeches, in his letters and encyclicals. He is a man of great spirituality, spending every waking moment in prayer whether he is on his knees in his chapel, ministering to the flock at St. Peter's or another church, meeting with the countless hordes who clamor for his attention, or meeting with dignitaries from every profession on a daily basis in private audience. All this has to be exhausting, but he has a secret "vim and vigor vitamin" he takes constantly: reliance on the Blessed Mother to protect and guide him as her Divine Son's chosen Vicar on earth. Unlike no other Pope, he has dedicated his entire papacy, now reaching twenty full years, to Our Lady with the motto Totus Tuus. In the face of the overwhelming culture of death covering the globe like a dark shroud, he serves as a beacon of light for the culture of life.
We also firmly believe that the only reason John Paul II is still with us is through the intercession of Mary and God's Mercy...as well as His plan for His Church. Those plans, prophesied in the visions to St. John Bosco in the mid nineteenth century will be the focus of our next installment as we continue with this same thread.
To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.