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Canonization of Relativism

Atila Sinke Guimar√£es

The simultaneous beatification of Pius IX and John XXIII is the canonization of relativism. This can be concluded from the words of Daniele Menozzi, professor of Church History at the University of Florence, Italy. Until now, the Catholic Church has canonized only two Pontiffs of the modern and contemporary age: Pius V in 1712, the most rigid interpreter of the Counter-Reformation - it was not by chance that St. Pius V became the patron of the Inquisition; and Pius X in 1954, protagonist of the battle against Modernism. Menozzi notes:
"The logic was clear: the Popes who fought with the greatest resolution and tenacity were made Saints .... because they tried to defend the Church like a besieged citadel."
There was a policy [in determining] the sanctity of the Popes, thus revealing a precise and coherent political line of Church government.

With John Paul II, explains Menozzi, things have become confused with his plan to simultaneously beatify two Popes, Pius IX and John XXIII, who incarnate two visions of the world and two models of the Church that are profoundly different from one another:
"On one hand, the Syllabus and the fight against modernity of Pius IX, and on the other, the visualization of John XXIII of the modern world as a bearer of positive values. There is the temporalism [the influence of the Church on the temporal order and her corresponding possession of earthly goods] of Pius IX - and the Poor Church and Church of the poor of John XXIII; the principle of just war that conforms to the Catholic doctrine of Pius IX - and the Pacem in terris and repudiation of all war of John XXIII; ..... the dogma of infallibility and the primacy of the Pope proclaimed in Vatican Council I by Pius IX - and the valorization of local churches and episcopal collegiality affirmed in Vatican Council II by John XXIII."
Is it possible to point to a logic underlying the beatification of the two Popes who seem absolutely irreconcilable? After raising less probable solutions, Menozzi inclines toward a "more subtle" hypothesis, which would be the following:
"The perception, on the part of Roman Curia, of an irremediable contradiction that defies any logic in the beatification of the duo Pius IX-John XXIII" could be explained by the "desire - that comes from above - to create a coherence at all costs, even where it seems impossible." (Adista, Rome, July 1, pp. 4-5)
Or, to present it in clearer terms, if Rome wants to impose two blatantly contradictory beatifications, we are facing the canonization of relativism.


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From Bird's Eye View, October 15, 2000

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