Teachings of Pope John Paul II

Last updated
Pope John Paul II John Paul II Brazil 1997 3.jpg
Pope John Paul II

The teachings of Pope John Paul II are contained in a number of documents. It has been said[ who? ] that these teachings will have a long-lasting influence on the Church. [1]

Contents

Pope John Paul II's philosophical and theological teachings and writings were characterised by explorations in phenomenology and personalism. [2] He was influenced by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, Karl Rahner, his predecessors as Archbishop of Kraków Eugeniusz Baziak and Adam Stefan Sapieha, and his predecessors as Pope - John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul I. His closest theological adviser was Cardinal Ratzinger, who succeeded him as Pope. Stanislaw Dziwisz was his personal secretary for forty years and one of his closest friends and advisers, and became Archbishop of Kraków, John Paul's former post, and Cardinal. John Paul met regularly with the Cardinal prefects and presidents of Curial congregations and councils, and outlived many of them.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

John Paul II published the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which became an international best-seller [ citation needed ]. Its purpose, according to the Pope's Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum was to be "a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium." He declared "it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith" to "serve the renewal" of the Church.

Holiness and morality

Right after being elected as Pope, he told the cardinals who elected him that he saw that his main work was to implement the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, an important centrepiece of which is a universal call to holiness. This is the basis for his canonization of saints from all walks of life, as well as for establishing and supporting the personal prelature of Opus Dei, that teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.

His first encyclical letters focused on the Triune God; the very first was on Jesus the Redeemer ("Redemptor hominis"). He maintained this intellectual focus on God throughout his pontificate.

In The Splendor of Truth ("Veritatis Splendor"), a papal encyclical concerning morality, he emphasised the dependence of man on God and his law ("Without the Creator, the creature disappears") and the "dependence of freedom on the truth." He said that man "giving himself over to relativism and scepticism, goes off in search of an illusory freedom apart from truth itself."

Master plan for the new millennium

In his master plan for the new millennium, the Apostolic Letter At the beginning of the third millennium, ("Novo Millennio Ineunte") a "program for all times", he emphasised the importance of "starting afresh from Christ": "No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person." Thus, the first priority for the Church is holiness: "All Christian faithful...are called to the fullness of the Christian life." Christians, he writes, contradict this when they "settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity." He highlighted "the radical message of the gospels," whose demands should not be watered down. The "training in holiness calls for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer."

His last Encyclical is on the Holy Eucharist, which he says "contains the Church's entire spiritual wealth: Christ himself." Building on his master plan further, he emphasised the need to "rekindle amazement" on the Eucharist and to "contemplate the face of Christ."

Mariology

Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II. The letter M in the Marian Cross is for Mary, Jesus' mother. John paul 2 coa.svg
Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II. The letter M in the Marian Cross is for Mary, Jesus' mother.

John Paul II's strong Marian devotion was highly influenced by the Mariology of Saint Louis de Montfort. According to his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae , the pontif's personal motto "Totus Tuus" was inspired by St. Louis' doctrine on total consecration to the Virgin Mary, which he quoted:

“Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ.
Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ." [3]

In an address to the Montfortian Fathers, the pontiff also said that his reading Saint Louis de Montfort's work The True Devotion to Mary was a "decisive turning point" in his life. [4] On September 19, 1996, Pope John-Paul II made a papal trip to Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre to meditate and pray on the adjacent tombs of Saint Louis de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise Trichet, whom he beatified himself.

His encyclical Redemptoris Mater further emphasizes his focus on Mariology. [5]

Social and family doctrine

John Paul II also wrote extensively about workers and the social doctrine of the Church, which he discussed in three encyclicals and which the Vatican brought to the fore through the recently published Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Through his encyclicals, John Paul also talked about the dignity of women and the importance of the family for the future of humanity.

Other important documents include the encyclicals The Gospel of Life ("Evangelium Vitae") and Faith and Reason ("Fides et Ratio"), and the Apostolic Letter "Light of the East" (Orientale Lumen).

John Paul II reaffirmed the Church's clear opposition to contraception, abortion and homosexual activity. His book Memory and Identity said that the push for same-sex marriage might be part of a "new ideology of evil... which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man." He refined some of these positions in their theological context in his Theology of the Body lectures.

John Paul II, who was present and very influential at the 1962–65 Second Vatican Council, affirmed the teachings of the Council and did much to implement them. John Paul II continued to declare that contraception, abortion, and homosexual acts were gravely sinful, and, with Joseph Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI), opposed Liberation theology.

John Paul II's statue in Kosice, Slovakia. The statue was unveiled by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who had been Pope John Paul II private secretary. Papez Kosice1.jpg
John Paul II's statue in Košice, Slovakia. The statue was unveiled by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, who had been Pope John Paul II private secretary.
Monument to Pope John Paul II in Poznan JPII pomnik Poznan.jpg
Monument to Pope John Paul II in Poznań

He believed in the Church's exaltation of the marital act of sexual intercourse between a baptised man and woman within sacramental marriage as proper and exclusive to the sacrament of marriage that was, in every instance, profaned by contraception, abortion, divorce followed by a further marriage, and by homosexual acts. He explained and asserted in 1994 the Church's lack of authority to ordain women to the priesthood. This was deemed a repudiation of calls to ordain women to the priesthood. (Apostolic Letter 'Ordinatio Sacerdotalis') In addition John Paul II did not end the discipline of mandatory priestly celibacy, although he allowed a few married clergymen of other Christian traditions who later became Catholic to be ordained as Catholic priests.

John Paul II, as a writer of philosophical and theological thought, was characterized by his explorations in phenomenology and personalism. He is also known for his development of the Theology of the Body.

Philosophers and theologians influenced by him include[ citation needed ] his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, Jürgen Habermas, John Haas, Andrew Greeley, Rocco Buttiglione, Hans Köchler, George Weigel, Scott Hahn, Mary Beth Bonacci, Deirdre McQuade, Antoinette Bosco, Hans Küng, Yves Congar, Avery Dulles, John J. Myers, Raymond Leo Burke, Joseph Bernardin, Francis George, Timothy Dolan, Edward Egan, John O'Connor, Fabian Bruskewitz, Christoph Schönborn, Stanisław Dziwisz, Franciszek Macharski, Józef Glemp, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, Paolo Dezza, Pedro Arrupe, Óscar Romero, Mother Teresa, Walter Kasper, Michael Fitzgerald, Jean-Marie Lustiger, André Vingt-Trois, Jarosław Gowin, Christopher West and Elio Sgreccia.

See also

Related Research Articles

Rosary Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer

The Holy Rosary, also known as the Dominican Rosary, or simply the Rosary, refers to a set of prayers used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. When referring to the prayer, the word is usually capitalized ; when referring to the beads, it is written with a lower-case initial letter.

Virginis may refer to :

Catholic Mariology

Catholic Mariology refers to Mariology – the systematic study of the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, and of her place in the Economy of Salvation – within Catholic theology. Mary is seen as having a singular dignity above the saints. The Catholic Church teaches that she was conceived without original sin, therefore receiving a higher level of veneration than all other saints. Catholic Mariology thus studies not only her life but also the veneration of her in daily life, prayer, hymns, art, music, and architecture in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic devotional title of Mary

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a Roman Catholic devotional name used to refer to the Catholic view of the interior life of Mary, mother of Jesus, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus Christ, and her motherly and compassionate love for all mankind. Traditionally, the Immaculate heart is depicted pierced with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven dolors of Mary and roses, usually red or white, wrapped around the heart.

Veritatis splendor is an encyclical by Pope John Paul II. It expresses the position of the Catholic Church regarding fundamentals of the Church's role in moral teaching. The encyclical is one of the most comprehensive and philosophical teachings of moral theology in the Catholic tradition. It was promulgated on 6 August 1993. Cardinal Georges Cottier, Theologian emeritus of the Pontifical Household and Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Domenico e Sisto the University Church of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas was influential in drafting the encyclical, as was Servais-Théodore Pinckaers, a professor of moral theology at the University of Fribourg.

Munificentissimus Deus is the name of an apostolic constitution written by Pope Pius XII. It defines ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was the first ex-cathedra infallible statement since the official ruling on papal infallibility was made at the First Vatican Council (1869–1870). In 1854 Pope Pius IX made an infallible statement with Ineffabilis Deus on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was a basis for this dogma. The decree was promulgated on 1 November 1950.

<i>Totus tuus</i> "all yours", Latin motto used by pope John Paul II

Totus tuus was routinely used to sign off letters written in Latin, meaning "all yours", often abbreviated as "t.t.". In recent history Totus tuus was used by Pope John Paul II as his personal motto to express his personal Consecration to Mary based on the spiritual approach of Louis de Montfort and the Mariology in his works. The pontiff explained the meaning further in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope where he defines it as not only an expression of piety but also of devotion that is deeply rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity.

Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre Commune in Pays de la Loire, France

Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre is a commune in the Vendée department in the Pays de la Loire region in western France.

<i>True Devotion to Mary</i> Book by Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

True Devotion to Mary is a book by Saint Louis de Montfort on the Roman Catholic theme of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

<i>Rosarium Virginis Mariae</i>

Rosarium Virginis Mariae is an Apostolic Letter by Pope John Paul II, issued on October 16, 2002, which declared October 2002 to October 2003 the "Year of the Rosary". It was published by Pope John Paul II in 2002 at the beginning of the twenty-fifth year of his pontificate.

Theology of Pope Pius XII

The theology of Pope Pius XII is reflected in his forty-one encyclicals, as well as speeches and nearly 1000 messages, during his almost 20-year pontificate. The encyclicals Mystici corporis and Mediator Dei advanced the understanding of membership and participation in the Catholic Church. The encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu began opening the door to historical-critical biblical studies. But his magisterium was far larger and is difficult to summarize. In numerous speeches Catholic teaching is related to various aspects of life, education, medicine, politics, war and peace, the life of saints, Mary, the mother of God, things eternal and temporal.

History of Catholic Mariology

The history of Catholic Mariology traces theological developments and views regarding Mary from the early Church to the 21st century. Mariology is a mainly Catholic ecclesiological study within theology, which centers on the relation of Mary, the Mother of God, and the Church. Theologically, it not only deals with her life but with her veneration in life and prayer, in art, music, and architecture, from ancient Christianity to modern times.

Mariology of the saints

Throughout history Roman Catholic Mariology has been influenced by a number of saints who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation. The analysis of Early Church Fathers continues to be reflected in modern encyclicals. Irenaeus vigorously defended the title of "Theotokos" or Mother of God. The views of Anthony of Padua, Robert Bellarmine and others supported the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was declared a dogma in 1850.

Mariology of the popes

The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mariological papal documents

Mariological papal documents have been a major force that has shaped Roman Catholic Mariology over the centuries. Mariology is developed by theologians on the basis not only of Scripture and Tradition but also of the sensus fidei of the faithful as a whole, "from the bishops to the last of the faithful", and papal documents have recorded those developments, defining Marian dogmas, spreading doctrines and encouraging devotions within the Catholic Church.

<i>Le pèlerinage de Lourdes</i>

Le pèlerinage de Lourdes is the only encyclical of Pope Pius XII issued in French. It includes warnings against materialism on the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes. It was given at Rome, from St. Peter's Basilica, on the feast of the Visitation of the Most Holy Virgin, July 2, 1957, the nineteenth year of his pontificate.

Pope John Paul II bibliography Wikipedia bibliography

The Pope John Paul II bibliography contains a list of works by Pope John Paul II, and works about his life and theology. Pope John Paul II reigned as pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City for 26 years and six months. Works written and published prior to his election to the papacy are attributed to Karol Wojtyła. Additional resources can be found on the Vatican website.

The Rosary is one of the most notable features of popular Catholic spirituality. According to Pope John Paul II, rosary devotions are "among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation." From its origins in the twelfth century the rosary has been seen as a meditation on the life of Christ, and it is as such that many Popes have approved of and encouraged its recitation.

Louis de Montfort

Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was a French Roman Catholic priest and confessor. He was known in his time as a preacher and was made a missionary apostolic by Pope Clement XI.

Christi Matri is an encyclical by Pope Paul VI issued on 15 September 1966 to encourage the faithful to pray for peace by way of the customary special devotions during the month of October, traditionally dedicated in honor of the Most Blessed Virgin.

References

Notes
  1. Weigel, George (2001) [1999]. Witness to Hope . HarperCollins. ISBN   0-06-018793-X.
  2. Hans Köchler, "The Phenomenology of Karol Wojtyla. On the Problem of the Phenomenological Foundation of Anthropology," in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 42 (1982), pp. 326-334.
  3. Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/2002/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20021016_rosarium-virginis-mariae.html
  4. Pope John Paul II on de Montfort "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-12-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. Pope John Paul II's encyclical Redemptoris Mater http://www.cin.org/jp2ency/jp2mot.html