How Pope Saint John Paul II Saved the Church
God did so many beautiful things through Pope Saint
John Paul II. His love was tremendous. His had a willingness to offer
up so much suffering out of love of God and for holy mother Church. It
was both encouraging and consoling. His innovative ways of
evangelization brought new hope to a church that was being constantly
attacked by sins of every sort and from foes all around. But, it was
the Pope’s teaching that really saved the Church from pernicious error.
And it was especially the Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, “The Splendor
Of The Truth” that saved mankind from the ravages of sin. At least, it
saved those who wanted to be saved.
Dissenting theologians were justifying the sins of
our modern culture. This was especially dangerous because moral sins
are not just sins of disobedience. They affect our lives in disastrous
ways because they attack our relationships. And it is not just our
relationship with God and neighbor, but these sins attack our
relationships with our closest family members and even our very own
identity of who we are and our ability to love even ourselves.
These dissenting theologians were casting doubts on
moral laws that had been held since the beginning of
Christendom. A person might be strong enough, with the help of God’s
grace, to turn from serious sin if he is convinced that those sins will
lead to destruction. But very few people are willing to die to
themselves to a disordered passion if the certainty that it is wrong is
reduced to just a “maybe it is wrong” depending on to which theologian
one is listening. If the conclusion is only “maybe it is wrong” then it
will most likely be thought of as not all that bad even if it is wrong.
We need absolute certainty if we are going to have any hope of truly
dying to ourselves.
It was not enough for the Pope to just say that
these theologians were wrong. They would just respond that the Pope was
not as smart as they were with their sophisticated understanding of the nature
of man. And in fact, that is exactly what these theologians did say.
They even claimed that they were the intelligentsia of the Church, the new
Magisterium, and that their
insights and authority surpassed that of the Pope and the bishops
faithful to him.
No, a simple corrections was not enough. The Pope
had to meet them on their own battlefield, their own area of philosophy, and
prove that they were wrong. And that is what Pope Saint John Paull II
did in his Encyclical Veritatis Splendor. He went deeply into their
philosophy proved that their conclusions were based on faulty premises.
However, because this Papal Encyclical is steeped
in sophisticated and philosophical language this makes it inaccessible
to the average person. The average person would have to have a dictionary of
philosophy in one hand as he tackled this 80 plus page Encyclical with its 184 footnotes
and the actual document in the other hand. But it is the average person who
has had his certainty of what is right and what is wrong undermined by
the world and these worldly dissenting theologians. And it is the
average person that needs to hear with clarity and with certainty what
this life saving Encyclical has to say for us and to us.
That is why the English speaking world is indebted
to Very Rev. Kris D. Stubna, S.T.D. His summary and analysis of
the Pope’s encyclical is clear and succinct. It is available
in a short one page, double sided, pamphlet. It is simple and clear,
and a lot easier to get through than the 85 page encyclical. It also makes a great
study tool for the seminarian or student who wants to study the larger
See this one page,