John Paul the Great

August 25, 2009

com0309kThe picture shows John Paul II kissing the Qur’an. For some Roman Catholics he went too far doing this. It has surprised me reading some traditionalist websites that they oppose his canonisation – being made a Blessed and then a Saint – because of his acceptance of other religions. I find their argument very hard to accept, in fact I have been hard pressed to find an argument other than what might be called Tridentine rhetoric but even that is to do disservice to the Council of Trent. From a very young age John Paul defended many of his Jewish friends, his home town Wadowice had a disproportionately large Jewish population. There should be little surprise that when he became the Successor of Peter that he continued to affirm the truthfulness and sacred that can be found in other religions. Indeed we should celebrate and protect those religions which speak of the primacy of prayer and meditation. John Main OSB said, “unity among different creeds and races rests upon our finding the inner principle of unity as an inner experience within our own hearts” (Word into Silence, ix).

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