Monday, October 20, 2008

Joe Biden Says He is NOT a John Paul Guy

What I mean is that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (I Cor. 1:12-13)


Whispers in the Loggia has an interesting quote from VP Candidate Senator Joe Biden:

"To sum it up, as a Catholic, I'm a John XXIII guy, I'm not a Pope John Paul guy." Ironically, St. Paul had to contend with the same kind of nonsense two millennia ago when some Christians claimed they were Apollos' guys, some were Cephas men, and some were even Pauli's boys. One cannot be a J23 but not a JP2 guy, or be a P6 and not a B16 guy. All popes are true Bishops of Rome and as such all are Vicars of Christ and Supreme Roman Pontiffs. Whether St. Peter himself or Pius XII, all of them are Vicars of CHRIST and therefore represent HIM and not themselves. Senator Biden appears to be clueless to this aspect of Petrine Ministry. Catholics do not pick and choose the popes they like and only follow that one's teaching. All popes have the charism of infallibility and all possess universal primacy. We don't have 'conservative' popes and 'liberal' popes. We just have popes. Each pontiff has full, universal, immediate and supreme jurisdiction over the entire Church. (CCC #937 and CIC #331) The faithful are asked to obey each and every pope, not just the ones they 'like' or feel an affinity toward. This is not a matter of opinion or taste, as one would prefer the Philosopher Aristotle over the Philosopher Plato, or a contest between Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth. Popes have the fullness of authority in doctrine, liturgy and discipline (canon law) regardless of their personality or even popularity. Joe Biden should know better.

12 comments:

Clavem Abyssi said...

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was referring to John XIII, the 15th century anti-Pope.

Padre Giovanni Trigilio said...

Do you mean Baldassarre Cardinal Cossa, known as anti-pope John XXIII ? He was the last Pisan anti-pope of the Western Schism in the 15th century. When Angelo Roncalli was elected pope to succeed Pius XII, he intentionally took the name John XXIII to emphasize that Cossa was not a legitimate pope.

Ponte Sisto said...

What a jerk!

Baron Korf said...

Either way neither Cardinal Cossa nor Bl. John XXIII would be so obstinate in the face of the slaughter of innocent babies.

I really don't get his point.

Nancy said...

Liberal "Spirit of Vatican II" types for some reason like to invoke John XXIII as the patron of their revolution, presumably because he was the one that called the Council. Somehow I doubt His Holiness would have been amused.

Needless to say, those folk don't care very much for John Paul II and Benedict XVI who have been endeavouring to put the true interpretation of the Council into effect.

Clavem Abyssi said...

Cossa would make sense, given the Senator's known love for pre-15th-century theologians. Of course, as was said, neither Roncalli or Cossa were anything but anti-abortion, so the only logical conclusion would be that Biden rejects the Council of Constance, which would explain why he condemns Pius IX as an innovator of doctrine and considers the debate on abortion as still open.

Kit said...

He's no Pope's guy, now:

http://catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1497

radio45 said...

Well, I'm a Pope Leo XIII kind of guy. Rerun Novarum was quoted by both St. Pius X and PJP. Read it and then ask yourself who would Leo vote for. As I have always said, politicians as theologians is as awkward a situation as theologians as politicians.

opey124 said...

Fr., we (I'm 35) have been referred to as the John Paul II generation. Not trying to defend him, but we have had this term (JPII generation) given to us as an insult and praise.
I guess our children could be loosely referred to as B16 generation.
Those are given to us, not that we chose them. So would we fall under the same as Biden?

Anonymous said...

If you read Pacem in Terris para 157 it should be obvious that the Senator is no more a "John XXIII guy" than he is a Thomist

Padre Giovanni Trigilio said...

opey124, I think there is a distinction between a JP2 'generation' and being a JP2 'guy' in that the former is a coincidence of history while the latter is a matter of choice. In other words, when we are born is not of our choosing but admiring a personality and embracing a philosophy is a deliberate act of the will.

Even that being said, because all popes are infallible on matters of faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra and they possess full, supreme, immediate and universal authority (papal primacy), then it matters not who is the reigning pontiff. We must respect and obey all popes, regardless of their 'popularity'.

I was born under John XXIII (1962), grew up under Paul VI and entered high school seminary during his pontificate (1976), and continuned seminary and was ordained under JP2. I celebrated my 20th anniversary of priesthood under B16. I definitely consider myself a JP2 vocation but I did discover my vocation and enter seminary under P6 and remember the turmoil and crisis the Catholic Church in America was experiencing. Every pope I have lived under I have loved and obeyed. I have deep affection and admiration for JP2 even more so after writing a biography on him (JP2 for Dummies). I met both him and B16 and while different personalities, I also understand and feel simpatico with Pope Benedict, especially his love of theology and liturgy, his orthodoxy and his impeccable taste in vestments (thanks to Msgr. Guido Marini).

So, not to make it too serious, I have no problem with people having a 'favorite' pope any more than they would have a favorite 'saint' or a favorite 'Marian apparition' DE GUSTIBUS NON DISPUTANDUM EST.

What I fear is latent in Sen. Joe Biden's remarks, however, are more than mere opinion. US Presidents do not have primacy nor infallibility. Hence, my like for Ronald Reagan is a personal matter. Some Catholics, however, extend that into religion and especially THEOLOGY. John XXIII was not a 'liberal' anymore than was Paul VI and likewise John Paul II and Benedict XVI are no more 'conservatives' as was Pius XII. Different styles of leadership and different personalities, YET, every one of them was the VICAR OF CHRIST ON EARTH and retained full papal authority in doctrine and discipline. Often, when baby-boomers call themselves John XXIII 'guys' it implies more than at face value.

Secular media have misrepresented John XXIII as a liberal who opened the windows (aggiornamento) of Vatican II while Paul VI closed the doors through Humanae Vitae and John Paul II bolted and locked the doors with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. ALL CARICATURES and false representations.

John XXIII was on the same page as P6 in terms of artificial contraception. Both espoused the same dogmas of Holy Mother Church. J23 opened the Council, P6 closed it and began to implement it while JP2 matured and fine tuned the implementation. B16 is now exposing the continuity of everything that went before with what we have now and what will be in the future.

Bottom line is that I fear that statements like Sen. Biden's show a political view on the role of the Pope and as Catholics we must resist that since every pope is our Vicar of Christ no matter who he is.

opey124 said...

Thank you. I understand it better now.

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