Truly Catholic:
Reflections on the Death of John Paul II

Catholics — By on April 2, 2005 at 10:59 pm

I was nine-years-old the first time I heard about the Pope. My family attended a small backwoods fundamentalist congregation ‘



  • http://www.nickqueen.com/archives/073911.php NickQueen.com

    Protestant View on the Pope

    I think Joe Carter got this right. I agree with him 100%. I can attest to the view of the Pope as antichrist among some, and as Joe says it: Fortunately, the Jack Chick-style anti-Catholic bias of my childhood never…

  • http://mrdumpling.easingthebadger.com Dave

    Well said, Joe.

  • http://www.florida-cracker.org/ Donnah

    Come on, Joe. Other people don’t have to suck for this guy to look good in comparison. He can stand very well on his own merits.

  • Apassionata

    I’m a Catholic who’s a regular reader of yours, Joe. Beautiful post. Thanks.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com Corrie

    Amen.

  • http://www.batesline.com/archives/001547.html BatesLine

    John Paul II, RIP

    It’s late, and I will save my own thoughts for another time. Don Singleton has a comprehensive biographical sketch of John Paul II, along with details of the process to select his successor, and links to reactions in the mainstream media and the blogos…

  • Larry Lord

    The first excellent thing that Pope JP II did was adopt the name of the preceding Pope John Paul, whose papacy was tragically short.
    I hope that God or whoever is in charge of these matters ordains a relatively young gun as the next Pope and that the age of Catholic Priestesses begins soon. It would be a helpful change, I think.
    Rest in peace, JP II — it’s too bad we didn’t get around to abolishing the death penalty while you were alive.

  • http://ateam.myblogsite.com/blog/_archives/2005/4/2/547425.html The A-Team Blog

    Turning a Page in History

    This day ha…

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/2005/04/john-paull-ii-and-i.html Notes in Samsara

    John Paull II and I

    As somebody who stopped being Catholic under John Paul II’s watch, I think I have something to say. Except for the fact that he pretended to be the vicar of Christ on earth, he might have been an OK fellow to know, albeit somewhat somber

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    Thanks for reminding me in your last point that the pope showed the Randall Terrys and Schindlers of the world that taking heroic means to prolong life isn’t being pro-life.
    More, much more on my blog. Although the guy’s dead there are things that can’t be swept under the rug.

  • http://tHINKINGfAMILYbLOG HerbieGrandma

    I WENT TO THAT CHURCH AS A CHILD MYSELF! IT DID NOT STICK ON ME EITHER, AND I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU ON ALL YOUR POINTS. THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE BECAUSE OF THIS MAN OF FAITH.

  • http://shortattnspan.blogspot.com Kevin

    My thoughts on JP2 here.

  • http://www.nihilfit.blogspot.com/ cgadsden

    I’ve posted a few excerpts from JPII’s dissertation on another of my spiritual heroes, St. John of the Cross at
    http://www.nihilfit.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.nihilfit.blogspot.com/ cgadsden

    Correction — the excerpt is from a letter he wrote, not his dissertation.

  • http://hirotao.blogspot.com The Billy Goat

    Well said Joe…
    My own 2 cents on JP II are here…
    Peace,
    ~ The Billy Goat ~

  • http://kmaru.blogspot.com/2005/04/truth-vs-relativism.html Kobayashi Maru

    Truth vs. Relativism

    I’m reminded of an e-mail ‘sig’ line that a liberal ex-colleague used – before he realized I was from the ‘dark side’ and stopped sending me moveon.org chain letters. It’s from an obscure scene in Douglas Adams’ wildly popular science fiction book, “…

  • http://www.technopuritanism.net/000068.html technopuritanism.net

    Karol Wojtyla on Evolution

    Genesis and Darwinism , Editorial in America, The Catholic Weekly Magazine In a message to the Pontifical Academy of Science in October 1996, Pope John Paul II said, “New knowledge leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as…

  • http://menorahblog.typepad.com/menorah/ Jim Brown

    First time visit to your site. A very good article on the Pope.

  • http://www.davidopderbeck.com/throughaglass.html dopderbeck

    Thanks, Joe. It’s great to see a thoughtful comments like this from other evangelicals.

  • http://www.mentormarkmemoirs.blogspot.com MMM

    I really appreciate your perspective and we all have the great opportunity to help comfort those who are sensing loss and searching for hope!
    Thanks for standing in the gap, Joe!

  • http://www.brutallyhonest.org/brutally_honest/2005/04/jill_carattini_.html Brutally Honest

    Jill Carattini: A Light That Is Real

    Jill Carattini has written something I think can easily be adapted as a tribute to Pope John Paul II despite the fact that it mentions him not:What do you believe in? If you were asked this question undoubtedly you could

  • Septimus

    Joe:
    Thanks for the tribute to the holy father. I have cried every day since the pope died. I feel a great loss. But then I thought: I’m being selfish. God gave us such a wonderful gift in this man, this shepherd — and that for over 26 years. What a gift!
    God gave us the shepherd we need, whether we knew it or not. The astonishing providence of such a pop is totally reassuring.
    I also think, apropos of Joe’s post and others, that John Paul certainly did greatly advance brotherhood among Christians and all religions.
    Oh, there are so many things to say. So: thank God for John Paul.

  • BR

    Thanks for commenting for us Evangelicals on the quality of this pope. Today in our church, we prayed for comfort for Roman Catholics and for guidance those who will choose the next representative of that great and influential church.

  • 1Corinthians12

    Joe: This Catholic Christian thanks you for your discerning and (I believe) annointed comments. I will enourage both my Catholic and Evangelical friends to view them. In Christ, Dave

  • http://www.blinne.org Rich

    Mumon said:
    Thanks for reminding me in your last point that the pope showed the Randall Terrys and Schindlers of the world that taking heroic means to prolong life isn’t being pro-life.
    No one is talking about being against not using heroic measures. The Pope showed by word and deed that feeding tubes are NOT heroic measures.
    Last month, the Vatican likened the removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube to capital punishment of an innocent woman.
    Note that the Pope did not refuse a feeding tube himself. While in the end he did not persue heroic measures, that act showed that the Pope did not consider a feeding tube a heroic measure.
    So, yes, evangelicals can learn from the Pope here. The other non-evangelical cleric we can learn from is Jesse Jackson. While he was trying to preserve Terri Schaivo’s life he challenged evangelicals in essence to put our money where our mouth is. This was not grandstanding on his part, but merely being consistent. He, unlike others who have made the same point, earned the right to be heard. Democrats could peal evangelicals away from the pragmatists and economic conservatives in the Republican party if they followed Jackson’s lead. The same can be done with the argument concerning capital punishment. Name-calling will not accomplish that end, however.

  • Dave

    The pope was a great man and leader. But what makes people automatically convey Pope John Paul II to heaven? Because he was a good man and a good world leader? Or that he embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ? In much of the talk, faith in Christ is seldom mentioned.
    I hope that he is with the Father now. But only the Father knows his heart.

  • http://10-8.blogspot.com Phil Aldridge

    Even though I am not a Catholic, I can feel the greatness of the man we have lost. He was a spectacular man to have leading the Catholic Church at Large and Catholics and Protestants alike were lucky to have him.
    My heart goes out to my Christian brothers who called the Pope “Father” and I hope that the Papacy enjoys continued prestige and success.

  • http://www.boccadellaverita.blogspot.com Jennifer

    Wonderful post, Joe. As a Catholic convert, I am truly amazed at the touching comments that the evangelical Protestant bloggers I read are making about JPII. Perhaps it’s a surprise, because I grew up in a church like the one you did & still see much of that attitude IRL.
    Dave, I agree that only God knows anyone’s heart. But if you’ve heard JPII speak or read any of his writings, it is clear that he embraced the Gospel of Christ.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    No one is talking about being against not using heroic measures. The Pope showed by word and deed that feeding tubes are NOT heroic measures.
    The Church has never spoken about this subject with authority. The Pope did give a speech saying feeding & water should not be considered ‘heroic’ or extraordinary measures but that is not the same thing as the Church saying Catholics must never refuse a feeding tube.
    The example the Pope set is also not much of a guide for us. He briefly had a tube in order for him to gain more nutrients in order to accelerate his recovery. The tube would have been a temporary measure had not the onset of septic shock and cardiac failure ended his life.

  • Larry Lord

    Boonton
    “The tube would have been a temporary measure had not the onset of septic shock and cardiac failure ended his life.”
    Indeed, it’s quite obvious the pope chose to die with grace and dignity in his own home, just like my beloved Catholic grandmother did about fifteen years ago.
    Could the Pope have lived longer in a hospital filled with tubes, pumped up with antiobiotics and attached to a fibrillating device?
    Most likely. But what would be the point?
    The Pope seized the opportunity to exercise his will and died where he wanted to die, surrounded by his friends, and conscious of the fact that he was dying. Bless him and his great example for the world.
    All is grace.

  • Elwood

    End of life options:
    I think what the pope taught us is that we do have end of life options, but not unlimited options. I agree that he could have been kept alive a few days or weeks longer if he’d returned to the hospital. But he also showed that receiving the feeding tube was not a heroic measure. We have the option to refuse herioc treatments but not to commit suicide, starve/dehydrate someone to death, or administer deadly doses of drugs.

  • giddyyup

    “My family attended a small backwoods fundamentalist congregation

  • Elwood

    Thanks Joe, for your tribute.
    It’s especially poignant to me that he died on the eve of the Feast of Divine Mercy. St. Faustina, who was also from Poland and canonized by JPII, started this simple devotion. The essential part of it is the mantra “Jesus, I trust in You.” In 2000, JPII ordered that this devotion would be celebrated with a feast day on the 1st Sunday after Easter.
    He started his pontificate by proclaiming
    “Be not afraid! Open wide the door to Christ!”
    and ended it with the feast day that encourages us to pray
    “Jesus, I trust in You”

  • Elwood

    LL: “Rest in peace, JP II — it’s too bad we didn’t get around to abolishing the death penalty while you were alive.”
    “All is grace.”
    Two things I agree with Larry about today. Another tribute to JPII!

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    But he also showed that receiving the feeding tube was not a heroic measure. We have the option to refuse herioc treatments but not to commit suicide, starve/dehydrate someone to death, or administer deadly doses of drugs.
    He did not show that one should never refuse feeding tubes. He accepted on in his case and in his case it would be pretty hard to justify refusing one. His condition was recovering & the tube was meant to be a temporary measure to accelerate recovery since he was having trouble eating enough. Does it follow from this that a feeding tube can never be refused (or rejected if it has already been installed)?
    Even Mr. Ed, when were debating Terri’s case, conceded that it was fitting to either remove or not implant a tube in some cases. ‘Heroic’ measures is a very vague word. It sounds like you are using it to mean medical devices that are somehow cutting edge technology. This isn’t a very good standard since what is cutting edge today will become common tomorrow.

  • http://www.blinne.org Rich

    Even Mr. Ed, when were debating Terri’s case, conceded that it was fitting to either remove or not implant a tube in some cases. ‘Heroic’ measures is a very vague word. It sounds like you are using it to mean medical devices that are somehow cutting edge technology. This isn’t a very good standard since what is cutting edge today will become common tomorrow.
    Mr. Ed is picking up on the terminology I used. So, I will define the terms. Heroic are those measures which postpone another cause of death. Terri Schiavo died solely from starvation. Thus, the means are not heroic.
    We are not ethically bound to always extend life but we are bound not to intentionally terminate it. As noted before the Pope died of septic shock, not starvation. The Vatican was clear that what was done to Terri Schiavo was a “murderous act of Euthansia”. None of the actions of the Pope contradicted that pronouncement. Since everyone seems to be speaking for the Pope, let’s let him speak for himself:

    The sick person in a vegetative state, awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery.
    I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering.

    –Pope John Paul II to participants, International Congress on

  • http://www.xanga.com/miss_o_hara Miss O’Hara

    Amen. Our thoughts line up quite nicely with one another’s, Joe.

  • http://www.xanga.com/miss_o_hara Miss O’Hara

    Amen. Our thoughts line up quite nicely with one another’s, Joe.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Mr. Ed is picking up on the terminology I used. So, I will define the terms. Heroic are those measures which postpone another cause of death. Terri Schiavo died solely from starvation. Thus, the means are not heroic.
    One of the examples used was of late stage parkisans/Alzheimers patients where water is removed. the reason for this is that near the end water simply increases the patients pain since it keeps the nerve cells operating at full blast. Yet this act will either generate another cause of death (dehydration) or hasten the original cause of death. If you approve of this then you would, in effect, be choosing to murder in order to spare someone a poor quality of life (aka pain & suffering). The same can be said for using high doses of pain killers that might alleviate suffering but shorten life (but fall short of actually inflicting an intentional overdose).
    It’s true the Pope did state that in a speech but there’s a distinction between speaking with the authority of the Church and speaking with his own authority. Catholic doctrine does not hold the Pope himself to be infallible, nor does it hold the press releases of the Vatican to be so. This doesn’t mean they can be dismissed with a wave of the hand, as some seem to believe.
    Let’s use Schiavo’s case again. Suppose the doctors attempted to give her water but she chocks and dies. Is that an act of euthansia? Suppose a person refuses a feeding tube and as a result dies when he attempts to eat without it. Is that a suicide?
    I do appreciate that the Pope set an example in his death but it was on in regards to suffering. It is impossible to avoid suffering at some point in our lives and he demonstrated the nobility in bearing it rather than flinching from it. As I pointed out, his use of a feeding tube was not analgous to Terri’s case. Additionally, he might have choosen to shorten his life by forgoing a trip to the hospital.
    The more that I think about it, I’m unsure whether your definition of heroic measures really works. For example, if it turns out the Pope refused antibiotics to fight a secondary infection caused by his feeding tube (BTW, feeding tubes are not just simple funnels you can put in someone’s mouth, they require sergury, can be uncomfortable and often cause infections and other complications) that would seem to fall under your definition as a ‘non-heroic’ measure.

  • Elwood

    Boonton: “He did not show that one should never refuse feeding tubes.”
    I agree. For instance, there are cases where at the end of life, the organs shut down and further hydration or nutrition would only “flood” the body because the organs can’t process it. There is no problem with removing a tube in that case. That was not Terri’s case.
    Please check out the new “off-topics” Joe has set up, as I’m about to veer off JPII.
    I agree with Rich’s post that followed yours and mine.

  • http://whenyoureturn.blogspot.com seeker

    As a Catholic convert, I am truly amazed at the touching comments that the evangelical Protestant bloggers I read are making about JPII. Perhaps it’s a surprise, because I grew up in a church like the one you did & still see much of that attitude IRL.
    Probably because this pope, unlike others, was more Christ-centered, that is, he was more biblically focused, and largely took biblical stands on issues, unlike papal and Catholic doctrines and emphases of the past.
    Protestants respect Christ-centered and biblical teachers, and despise those who say they come in Christ’s name, but preach unbiblical doctrines. Hence the reformation. Most contemporary Protestants save no special ire for the Catholics, though, any more than they do heresies that arise from their own ranks.
    And the fact that the pope lived what appears to be an exemplary life of purity and hard work, in contrast to the many Catholic and Protestant leaders who have sexually or financially sinned, goes a long way with both Protestants and unbelievers.
    PJII is also benefitting from the “Islam Effect.” The ugliness of islam has pushed Protestants and Catholics into seeing what they have in common, rather than focusing on their differences. We have a new, powerful ideological enemy out there, one which espouses violence and murder in the name of God. Our modern day Catholic/Protestant brothers (excepting the political parties who associate themselves with a specific religion but who do not know Christ) don’t look so evil compared to Islamic jihadists.
    NOTE: For those who want to bring up the crusades, don’t bother.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    With all due respect, if you look at the end of the page of the link you have there, and read the sentence following it, you quickly realize that the writer of that document forgot the bit about Jesus saying

  • Gene Branaman

    “Probably because this pope, unlike others, was more Christ-centered, that is, he was more biblically focused, and largely took biblical stands on issues, unlike papal and Catholic doctrines and emphases of the past.”
    Um . . . no. I’d invite you to familiarize yourself with the writings of other popes, Seeker. Or at least specify the “doctrines and emphases of the past” you personally find so un-Biblical, please. I, as a Catholic, can defend my faith Biblically & I’d be willing to charitably answer any specific questions you might have in that regard. You may, though, wish to read the works of the earliest Christian writers such as Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon, Clement of Alexandria, & Justin Martyr – men taught by the Apostles themselves, or their deciples. (Rod Bennett has an excellent book out on these 4 specifically called Four Witnesses I’d heartily recommend.) And for an example of how the earliest Christians worshiped, read the Didache – not much has changed in the Church for nearly 2000 years. But, respectfully, such blanket, non-specific statements as the one above border on the polemic & tend not to further discussion in productive ways. And a too-pithy phrase like “hence the reformation” is a too pat remark statement on an issue that was quite a bit more complex, on both sides, than it allows.

  • http://groups.msn.com/missionpoland joe losiak

    John Paul 2 – Karol Wojtyla
    Last summer I traveled through the small town of his birth and spoke to a group of Catholics nearby on the fifth chapter of Revelation and the evangelistic movement in Poland. It was in 1974 when I first met Cardinal Karol Wojtyla face to face and we met two more times after that. I was able to share my testimony and leave him with the Gospel. The story of his rise to the papacy is one that requires more space than we will take here. I did write about it years ago and will put it together again for our May newsletter. The story goes beyond those meetings and involves many other meetings with his associates. The entire world will be watching who will be the next Pope. In Poland, his legacy will include his critical look at the wrong actions of the Vatican over the years ( A book is being written right now on all the apologies he made world wide for the actions of the Catholic Church ) As a Pole, he knew full well how Poland suffered at the hands of the Church authorities over the centuries and it was no surprise to those who know Polish history That he would choose to examine the histories of all nations in relation to Vatican actions in years past. His legacy will also involve, in effect saying NO to the new Marian movement begun in Steubenville , Ohio to officially pronounce Mary’s equal role as Savior and Mediator. Something that was being done by many Catholics anyway.
    Since he first became the Pope, Protestants would ask me if I thought he was saved? It really doesn’t matter what I write or think. The Bible clearly teaches that all men are saved the same way, when the put their trust in the Lord and Savior alone. Any man who depends upon any other connections – personal or institutional or what they did in life for God and man is missing the Gospel. The dead faith James talks of is the faith which believes in God plus someone or something else and ends up producing an unstable person incapable of genuine good works which only come from the Spirit within a true believer. The demons believed in God, but became demons by believing in someone else also. ” The double minded man … Let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord ” says James. ” God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble “. Adam and Eve made the same mistake – trusting in someone else besides God. Eating the forbidden fruit came right after. God’s evangelistic message is to trust in Him alone and no one else. He alone is worthy of all honor, trust and praise. The Bible is crystal clear on this matter with the words of Jesus Himself ( John 10 and 14:6 ) and the words of the Apostles – Peter ( Acts 4:12 ) and Paul ( Galatians 1: 8,9 ). No living Catholic today had anything to do with his church history or doctrine which according to the words of JP2 “evolved” over time. We see a man’s faith by his works, says James. We who know his history from Poland will attest to his works which encouraged evangelical work among his people while he was there. After he left the scene in Poland, those who came after him often shut the door on the Gospel, fearing the growth of protestant churches. Catholic Bible study groups created in the mid-seventies and the early eighties in Poland were strongly discouraged in many places after he left for Rome. God is the final judge in all these matters. After his elevation to the papacy, many of us hoped for much more from him. However none of us really knows what he was up against within his own church. I will write about this more in May’s letter.
    The Scriptures give us the instructions we need to reach all men steeped in any kind of deviation from the original teachings, whether they call themselves, Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox or whatever. The heart and soul of the Gospel is that God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life, was crucified, buried and resurrected. All who come to him with childlike faith, trusting in Him alone for our full salvation will be saved. For information on these issues, I would recommend our self study by clicking here – Religious Seeker .
    And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. 2 Tim. 2:24-26
    In His Love, Joe Losiak
    Anna and Joe Losiak
    P.O. Box 163116 – Altamonte Springs, FL 32716

  • Elwood

    Hi Joe L.,
    As a former evangelical Protestant, now Catholic, I understand what you are saying. I know you are trying to be charitable both toward JPII and all Catholics, and simply trying to share what you believe to be the truth. The words in your post could easily have come out of my mouth 8 years ago. This probably isn’t the best forum for me to try to address all the things you raise, but I’ll pick just one.
    Joe: “His legacy will also involve, in effect saying NO to the new Marian movement begun in Steubenville , Ohio to officially pronounce Mary’s equal role as Savior and Mediator.”
    Even though I am not a proponent of the movement to declare Mary Co-Redemptrix, I must point out that even those Catholics who propose this do not mean by it that Mary had an “equal” role as Savior and Mediator. Mary herself needed a Savior. Even when you read the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, you’ll see it stated right there that Mary was saved by a singular (unique) grace of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that she was “redeemed in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son” (CCC 492).
    I’m not a good one to explain what the proponents of Co-Redemptrix do attest, but I don’t think they mean that Co- is the same as Equal. And just to clarify, as you indicated, Co-Redemptrix is more of a movement of the faithful, more than something the leadership of the Cath. Church is promoting.
    I challenge you, Brother, and myself, to match JPII in his imitation of Jesus’ humility, by the grace of Christ. Your view of him may change a bit as a result.

  • Septimus

    That someone can wonder if John Paul II, of happy memory, believed in, and followed, Jesus Christ, is a particularly stunning example of inattentiveness. It is amazing how “tone-deaf” some people can be. Or, as my mother (of happy memory) used to say, “none are so blind as those who will not see.”

  • Bill

    Elwood, if humility made us right then Gandhi, Budha and so many others would be in heaven. We must not replace actions for truth. Nor zeal for truth. Faith isn’t the issue but the object of our faith.
    Often we want to make judgments of a person’s spiritual condition based on our feelings. For example Terri Shiavo is in heaven because she suffered much and we think she deserves it. Or we look at someone who has done good things in life and say oh they must be in heaven because they helped others. Or even a person of faith – no matter what faith – but because they were true to the faith they held and were passionate about it we want to place them in heaven. BUT we must ask the questions, though tough, what does the Bible say, for that is the only place we see the words of Jesus and the apostles who wrote inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    There we find that it isn’t about our zeal for God, it is about the object of our faith. It isn’t about our appearance of holiness for Galatians tells us that even if an angel brings a different gospel he is to be accursed. It is only when one puts faith in Christ alone and his free gift of Grace. No church dispenses grace, only God, Father Son and Spirit. No one gets to heaven by being good or by being related to an institution or by receiving sacraments in protestant or catholic churches. Many of my relatives went to their graves believing that a church would protect them, they were ushered into their eternal rest by sprinkled water, masses said, prayers prayed and candles lit. Though many would reject the Bible as being true, Jesus as being the only way and other clear messages in scripture. Their church would protect them, their being baptized as infants would coven them. I wonder how many of my relatives who had little time for God except at mass ended up wishing they could take another look at the simple message of the empty cross. My question again is a tough one

  • Elwood

    Hello Bill,
    Ahh, but please notice that I didn’t say humility would make us right with God (although it is a virtue that can lead us to faith, which I believe you are stating is the only thing that can “make us right”). I was stating indirectly, that humility can lead us to truth. In this specific case, maybe an even more charitable view about JPII than Joe L. seemed to hold and a much more charible view than you seem to hold.
    In the larger picture, humility can cause us to say…”hey, maybe I don’t have all the answers.”
    If Catholics are wrong and you are right, humility is needed to step back and say what I believe about how to get to heaven is wrong and I should listen to Bill. If Protestants are wrong, it might cause them to step back and say, “Hey, maybe God has something for me in the Catholic Church and they have a better understanding of this or that Scripture than I do.” But both sides have a need for humility, for even if you are right about an issue, humility doesn’t hurt your efforts to persuade others.
    Do you think you know the exact correct interpretation of every last line of Scripture? Probably not, and that humility will allow you to be opened up to even more truth than you already have, even if you never change your stance on the Cath. Church. I’m just saying humility is something we can all strive for by grace and can lead us into Truth. Starting by not assuming you know what the other person is saying.
    The Cath. Church condemned Pelagianism as heresy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your post seems to be accusing the Cath. Church of teaching that very thing. It does not.
    Peace of Christ to you.

  • MP

    If the pope had full revelation knowledge of the scriptures on salvation would he not see that their interpretation of salvation was wrong? If an authority had the knowledge that the doctrine taught to all those under him was a false light of the gospel, would he not radically speak out? He was accountable for so many as an authority. Do many of them(Catholics) believe that a simple human ceremony once a year or a life time allows them entrance into heaven? If he was saved he would find knowledge in Christ. The knowledge would have shown him the truth about their doctrines. He would have then had to renounce his position or be a pure light for his massive congregation as he taught the basics of salvation that it not based on human tradition but the blood of Christ.

  • Septimus

    MP — you know, it is possible that YOU are wrong, and the pope (and the Catholic Church) is correct . . .
    Ah, but that’s impossible, isn’t it? I guess you’re infallible . . .

  • http://groups.msn.com/missionpoland joe losiak

    John Paul the Great
    The Apostle Peter told us to honor all men. Peter has two books that he himself wrote which will tell you more about Peter’s views than you will get anywhere else. I will honor John Paul the Great in my upcoming article and yet take a good hard look at the Christian Church as a whole. For Jesus, there is only one Church and He even named it. Jesus called it, ” My Church ” . Who would want to argue with Him? You will read things in my article which you may not read anywhere else. If you want a copy, please write to me at P.O. Box 163116 – Altamonte Springs, FL 32716 ( There is no cost ) We are full time missionaries to the Polish Nation worldwide. We will be in Poland again, Lord willing in November.

  • http://groups.msn.com/missionpoland joe losiak

    Dear Friends, A good Christian leader leads people to Christ and not himself. Only jesus was perfect according to Scripture ( Rev 5 ) and JP2 admitted often to being a sinner. His life is unique among Catholic Popes and I believe he deserves our respect and honor for many things. I would if I could ask him some questions which the Scriputes bring up. I do believe that he became a defender of the Roman Church and also tried to be evangelical to a degree. How does that play out? I don’t have all the answers, but the important ones are answered by the Scriptures and I will write on that topic by the end of the month of April. Until then I would ask all Catholics and Protestants to read the words of St. Peter which all churches agree are in the two books which bear his name in the New Testament. If you are open minded, you will see who the Rock is that the Church is built on, The title Peter had for himself and his position, the proper emphasis on Mary is found in all the letters of Peter, Paul, James, Jude and John . If folks would simply stop and ponder on the truth left for us by the LORD, this discussion would be a no-brainer. One example is the rule for Church leaders in regards to manditory celibacy is crystal clear in two places. All the other issues are addressed and made clear. The New Testament is the only book which contains the words of Jesus who is GOD and the only place that contains the words of the Apostles which He chose Himself to convey the truth. All of them warned us not to deviate and if you can’t look there then you are not being fair or even honest with yourself. Please write to me if you want more info. P.O. Box 163116 – Altamonte Springs, FL 32716

  • http://www.secretcanyons.com/ lake powell

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