Sunday, May 3, 2015
I've been exploring the theme that what Rome does under the title of the "God of surprises" isn't all that surprising. Keeping in mind Pope Francis's canonization of Pope John XXIII, his canonization of Pope John Paul II, his beatification of Pope Paul VI, and his recent announcement of a Jubilee Year (complete with Indulgences and everything), consider the following journal entry written by Yves Congar OP on 18 November 1965:
[Pope Paul VI] gave a speech in which . . . [he] spoke, in a fairly developed fashion, about what will come after the Council. He also announced a Jubliee Year, and the opening of the beatification process for Pius XII and John XXIII. This announcement saddened me. Why this glorification of popes by their successors? Are we never, then, to get out of the old Roman habits? At the moment when aggiornamento is announced, things are done that do not accord with it.
Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council 845 (Eng. trans. 2012). Congar, who was impressive in many respects, gave himself no little credit for much of what he thought was the good stuff that happened at Vatican II. One wonders, therefore, what Fr. Congar would make of Pope Francis's fulfilling to the letter the pattern he criticized, and by which he was "saddened," already in 1965? Is it a "surprise" that Pope Francis has given what are, at best, elliptical accounts of why the beatification cause of Venerable Pius XII remains stalled?