Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Was Pope John Paul II a Unitarian Universalist?

"On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and to return to the ways of peace....Violence only delays the day of justice. Violence destroys the work of justice...Do not follow any leaders who train you in the ways of inflicting death. Love life, respect life, in yourself and others. Give yourself to the service of life, not the work of death...Violence is the enemy of justice. Only peace can lead the way to true justice."

Pope John Paul II.

He sounds like a Unitarian Universalist to me in this quote.

This is article #9 in a series on Unitarian Universalist Roman Catholicism.


  1. No, UUA despite it's flaws would not have washed it hands of The Church's participation in the slaughter of Hutu's as JPII did http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/163/28715.html

    "The Holy See cannot but express a certain surprise at seeing the grave responsibility of so many people and groups involved in this tremendous genocide in the heart of Africa heaped on so few people." Navarro Valls thus indicates the Catholic Church's scepticism about a Belgian court 'picking on' two relative small perpetrators in the 1994 genocide, while key organisers still are not facing charges.

    The small Perps don't get a free pass...

  2. It is worth remembering that at a time when the world faced the biggest epidemic since the Black Plague of the 14th century, Pope John Paul II inveighed against condoms – the only known way of stopping AIDS being passed between two people having sex. We can be sure that of the 34 million people who have AIDS today, some of them are Catholics who got the disease because they obeyed the Pope’s injunction not to wear a condom.

    How many Africans died of AIDS, how many orphans created because of the John Paul's anti-condom policy? Millions. given what was actually done or not done in Africa on AIDS, I find it hard to take the view that Pope John Paul II left the world a better place.

  3. There are quotes and there are quotes. Here's what JPII had to day on one occasion on the subject of universalism, if you will, if through the back door of talking about the Church's long-held position encapsulated in the motto "extra ecclesiam nulla salus" - outside the Church there is no salvation.

    excerpt from: "All Salvation Comes through Christ," General Audience of Pope John Paul II, May 31, 1995:

    "Since Christ brings about salvation through his Mystical Body, which is the Church, the way of salvation is connected essentially with the Church. The axiom "extra ecclesiam nulla salus"--"outside the Church there is no salvation"--stated by St. Cyprian (Epist. 73, 21; PL 1123 AB), belongs to the Christian tradition. It was included in the Fourth Lateran Council (DS 802), in the Bull Unam Sanctam of Boniface VIII (DS 870) and the Council of Florence (Decretum pro Jacobitis, DS 1351). The axiom means that for those who are not ignorant of the fact that the Church has been established as necessary by God through Jesus Christ, there is an obligation to enter the Church and remain in her in order to attain salvation (cf. LG 14). For those, however, who have not received the Gospel proclamation, as I wrote in the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, salvation is accessible in mysterious ways, inasmuch as divine grace is granted to them by virtue of Christ's redeeming sacrifice, without external membership in the Church, but nonetheless always in relation to her (cf. RM 10). It is a mysterious relationship. It is mysterious for those who receive the grace, because they do not know the Church and sometimes even outwardly reject her. It is also mysterious in itself, because it is linked to the saving mystery of grace, which includes an essential reference to the Church the Savior founded.

    "In order to take effect, saving grace requires acceptance, cooperation, a yes to the divine gift. This acceptance is, at least implicitly, oriented to Christ and the Church. Thus it can also be said that sine ecclesia nulla salus--"without the Church there is no salvation." Belonging to the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, however implicitly and indeed mysteriously, is an essential condition for salvation."

    Certainly not as harsh as some Vatican statements on the non-Catholic and the non-Christian, but also not as open as Vatican II offered. Taken as a whole, JPII was not very universalist and not very unitarian - and even less UU, IMO. However, outside the official Vatican positions on things, RC certainly encompasses a wide range of positions. Nearly everything and its opposite are positions held by serious Catholics - extra ecclesiam, if you will.

  4. Ratzinger sounds closer,

    How many ways are there to God?

    As many as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one. We have Christ's word: I am the way. In that respect, there is ultimately one way, and everyone who is on the way to God is therefore in some sense also on the way of Jesus Christ. But this does not mean that all ways are identical in terms of consciousness and will, but, on the contrary, the one way is so big that it becomes a personal way for each man.
    p32, Salt of the Earth

    ...but Liberals don't like him.

  5. I can't imagine any U*U saying "On my knees I beg you" about *anything* David.

    "Only peace can lead the way to true justice."

    Perhaps, but I would suggest that only true justice can lead the way to bona fide peace. I think that Roman Catholics have a saying about that. I doubt I have to remind you that Catholic means Universal eh? ;-)


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