It only took three years to 'de-Wojtylize' the Church. Perhaps even less, since it will not be till Tuesday, April 2 - third anniversary of that sad Saturday evening when the death of John Paul II was announced to the world - that one will tangibly feel the weakening of the memory of John Paul II.Ah, how soon we forget the wretched countdown that some quarters were engaged in while awaiting the end of Pope John Paul II's pontificate.
In an era where events and persons flash through like ephemera, there does not seem to be any trace left of Karol Wojtyla.
First, in the person of his collaborators, because the heads of the Roman Curia and residential bishops have all been changed in large part by Benedict XVI - for reasons of age, since many of them were frozen in place during the last years of Papa Wojtyla, but also because of the will of him who now sits on Peter's throne.
Ratzinger, for example, does not like to travel, and has limited himself so far to a few trips, of short duration and sometimes for strange reasons such as the days he spent in Bavaria without any other stop in Germany (why not, for instance, to Berlin, the capital, on his first trip as Pope), or in Brazil, limiting himself to Sao Paulo and Aparecida, a country with a great Catholic tradition where the faith is now, unfortunately, fading.
And why would he have not gone to Lourdes on February 11, for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary, an event of extraordinary relevance to Christianity?
The understandable concern for his age does not erase doubts that his coming visits to Washington, his summer visit to Australia for World Youth Day, and his belated autumn pilgrimage to Lourdes cannot be the best he can do to promote the work of new evangelization that is demanded of the successor to John Paul II.
But above all, it is the disappearance from Benedict XVI's addresses of references to his predecessor and his work that had characterized his first few months. Nor is there any acceleration of the path towards the hypothesized beatification. [Mr. Francia, you spoke too soon...read here about the beatification case nearing completion. But then, it's easy to spout off a litany of complaints...squeaky wheel and all.]
As if the Polish Pope were an obstacle to Benedict's greatly wished- for trip to Moscow and rapprochement with the Orthodox. And that John Paul's inclination for meetings and celebrations togeter with representatives of the most varied religions was an error for a Church that appears to favor relations with other Christian confessions and with Islam.
And as if his appeals - although unheeded - for peace and the denunciation of oppression were anachronistic.
Yes, John Paul II was a 'political' Pope, but also and above all, a pastor. Can the Church, in this difficult time that it is undergoing, allow itself to forget all consideration and remembrance of him?
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Erasing traces of JPII
~What a lovely piece of tripe this is by Paolo Francia. Via Papa Ratzinger Forum