The purpose of this brief document originally was to come to the defense of a man who, against all odds, has tried to lead by example as Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us. The man: His Holiness John Paul II, Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter.However, on August 24, 2003, we had to rethink coming out in his defense.
It is becoming harder and harder for us to sustain a logical defense of H. H. John Paul II. In an interview with Cardinal James Francis Stafford, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and conducted by Antonio Enrique, director of the Archdiocese of Boston's weekly newspaper, The Pilot, and published by ZENIT on August 23, 2003, we read:Question: You work very closely with the Holy Father at the Vatican. Can you tell us how aware the Holy Father is of the crisis of the Church in Boston and in the United States in general?As if that was not enough to question what is being done under the apparent leadership of H.H. John Paul II , we further read:
Cardinal Stafford: The Holy Father himself initiated the meeting in April of 2002 between the American cardinals, himself and members of the Roman Curia. He was present for each of those meetings and heard it firsthand. Cardinal [Bernard] Law frequently brought the Holy Father up to date, together with other members of the Roman Curia. Bishop Lennon did the same, especially through Cardinal [Giovanni Battista] Re, and through the apostolic nuncio here in the United States.
My sense is that the Holy Father and the membership of the Curia, the leaders of the various Roman dicasteries, are very aware of what has been happening in the United States and, more specifically, in Boston.Question: The Pontifical Council for the Laity is working to give formal recognition to some of those new movements and ecclesial communities. Among them, your dicastery has recently given formal recognition, for the first time, to a post-baptismal catechumenate. How useful can the Neocatechumenate be as a tool to bring that renewal into the parishes?The question we must ask ourselves is: "Is it him, the original Karol Wojtyla, who was elected as John Paul II who is consciously allowing all of this to take place or we are witnessing a Vatican fraud that makes the Constantine Donation pale by comparison?"
Cardinal Stafford: There are many lay movements within the Church that have been called by the Spirit to bring about a renewal of communities, of parishes. They may not call it "mystagogia" but, nevertheless, it is a "mystagogia," it is a catechesis in the forgiving love of Jesus, a catechesis in which the parish learns to be a community of loving forgiveness.
In my judgment, and I've been a bishop now since 1976, the Neocatechumenate is one of the strongest expressions of that capacity within the Church that the Spirit has given to us that has the ability to create a forgiving community, the capacity to create a community of tough love that is rooted in the cross of Jesus.
I have known the Neocatechumenate since 1980. I invited them into the Archdiocese of Denver and we established a Redemptoris Mater seminary there. I have become much more familiar with the Neocatechumenate since I have gone to Rome. In my judgment, it is one of the best expressions, one of the best proclamations of the paschal mystery that the Spirit has given to the modern Church.
We continue to hear about his trips scheduled well into the future, and yet he appears to be more dead than alive. We do not believe in miracles, we know miracles, but this certainty in the planning ahead of his activities has all the makings of the proverbial "bait and switch".
May those who have Ears, Hear and those who have Eyes, See.
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us nearly 2000 years ago of what would take place at the End of These Times. While addressing Peter He said:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hand, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go" [John 21:18]