Everything is relative
Apparently the saying is indeed true. Everything is relative. Take, for example, Pope John Paul II. I would have labeled him a conservative. Why? Well, he shut down liberation theologians from teaching. He quashed any talk of women’s ordination or even easing up on celibacy for priests. Oh, yes, and he sheltered Cardinal Law in Vatican diplomatic limbo (ahem) rather than allow him to face scrutiny or criminal charges in the US.
Well, it turns out that some people think John Paul’s great downfall was that he was too liberal. I am not making this up, and it’s not satire. Sometimes reality defies the imagination.
The Telegraph’s Damian Thompson writes:
A leading liturgical scholar has just emailed me a list of 31 occasions on which John Paul supposedly gave a bad example to the faithful. They include the time he allowed an Indian woman to “exorcise” him with smoked herbs, the time he kissed a Koran, and his decision to give Holy Communion to Tony Blair.
I’ve been astonished by the intensity of some traditionalists’ dislike of “Wojtyla”, as they often refer to him. One popular priest told me recently: “I’m so glad that the nickname ‘John Paul the Great’ hasn’t caught on, because he wasn’t all that great – not compared to our present Pope.”
Ah, there it is. JP2 was liberal compared with Benedict 16. If Benedict is ever labeled a liberal, God help us all. That more conservative pope will surely be some kind of apocalyptic herald or James Bond villain or something.