The Caressing Pope - I
Another novelty of John Paul II in Morality was to frequently caress young women.
In the picture above a young lady kneels before the Pope to pay her respects,
and the Pontiff takes the opportunity to bestoy a warm caress.
In the picture below, he caresses two other ladies in similar situations.
Catholic Morals was always very strict regarding intimacy between ecclesiastics and women. In his book Homo Apostolicus [The Apostolic Man] giving orientation to ecclesiastics, St. Alphonsus de Ligouri stresses that great care should be taken regarding familiarity with women. He quotes St. Thomas Aquinas, saying:
"Licit carnal affection is always dangerous, if not pernicious. When conversing with a woman who is receiving spiritual direction, however much it might seem pure in the beginning, as it becomes more familiar, the first motive weakens and purity is stained"
(St. Alphonse of Ligouri, Homo Apostolicus, Paris: Mechilinae, 1832, vol. 3, p. 156, quoting St. Thomas, Opusculae 6, Per famil.)
Pope Wojtyla, however, publicly transgressed this traditional precept of Catholic Morals in such a way as to establish the contrary.
Was he giving free reign to his affection?
Was he fulfilling an item on the progressivist agenda?