The Great What?


Many in the Catholic world are already acclaiming John Paul II the title of “the Great” :bowdown2:
What are their reasons for doing this, especially in light of the egregious errors of his pontificate? I would like to hear both pros and cons.


Well, Benedict XVI and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus and Peggy Noonan and George Weigel (slightly influential people) are usually the people I’ve heard call him that. I don’t think they post here, so maybe you should write them and ask?

I call him that because I think he is. No one is perfect, no pontificate is perfect. In the BALANCE, I think the weight falls more on the side of “the Great.”

Also, “egregious errors” to one person is often “misstep” to another, esp. in these forums.


For many Catholics, before his death, he was the only pope they had ever known. He was a much loved prominent world leader and someone Catholics could look to with pride. He had his faults, sure (he was only human after all) but he had the toughest job in the world and he raised the profile of Catholicism, made the papacy more ‘real’ to non-Catholics, especially those who have been taught to despise it.:twocents:


Since Popes are not impeccable, it would be logical that they make errors from time to time. John Paul II was Pope for a very long time so statistically he had more chances to make a few mistakes and more media coverage than previous pontiffs.

I personally believe John Paul II is “the Great” by virtue of the great gift to the Church of his writings. His encyclicals and addresses will someday, IMO, lead to his being named a Doctor of the Church.

Not that that’s the only reason, just my own “pet” reason. :slight_smile:


I have heard good, bad, and very unusual events attributed to John Paul 2, and would also like to know how it is originated. Is there a formal investigatory process conducted or is it just tagged on? I am interested since his path canonization has accelerated it just seems all too abnormal.


Lets not get into this again…

Also, I think this could go into the Apologetics forum since the topic has no real bearing on traditional Catholicism.


Are you asking about the title “the Great?” The Church doesn’t bestow that. It’s sort of a comibination of historians and common usage.



Ummm, OK. So can you tell me why you think he deserves the title “the Great”? Sorry but I don’t think “because influential people think so” is a valid answer!


How did John Paul II raise the profile of Catholicism? I’m interested in knowing why, because I know the sex abuse scandal happened under his reign and many of his actions scandalized Protestants and Catholics alike. Anyway, isn’t it a bad sign when the world has a high opinion of us?



Because I want to hear traditional Catholic opinions on this subject. The topic has no real bearing on apologetics, IMO.




We got into this topic on another thread, which was eventually closed, and the only conclusion that we reached was, as Jkirk says so many times (;)), its all a matter of subjective opinion.

Besides, this topic is doomed from the begining to degenerate into uncharitable posts and personal insults.



Not if they have a good opinion of us for the right reason.

The argument of the sex abuse scandal being his fault is bogus. The John Jay Report shows that most of the priests who were predators were formed long before the pontificate of John Paul II, indeed, even before VII. Lots of those crimes took place before his pontificate as well. The media exposure and resultant lawsuits happened during his papacy, but popes don’t micromanage the Church (they almost never meet the men they appoint as bishops). They depend on information FROM those bishops as to the state of the Church in any given region. Who have been largely seen to be complicit in the coverups of these crimes against children? The bishops. Do you think they’re going to volunteer such information to the pope during their ad limina visits. And even if popes DID micromange the Church, the last few years of his reign were a time of sickness and disability for the old man.


Actually I think it is suitable in this forum since many Traditional Catholics might have a different opinion of the works of Pope John Paul 2. Truly I would like to understand how great he was, since I cannot see any comparison to Pope St. Leo I (reigned 440–61).


I watched a lot of the news coverage when JP2 passed away, JKirk. One of the things the commentators kept saying about John Paul II was how he “reached out” to other religions, and would give numerous stories of him saying things to members of other religions that gave the impression that need not convert to the one, apostolic Roman Catholic Church in order to be saved. It seems that John Paul II encouraged a climate of religious indifference and even universalism. (He did suggest in a Wednesday audience that hell may in fact be empty! The constant teaching of the Church since Christ Himself is that the number of the saved is few while those in hell are many).

And your point about the sex abuse scandal is fair enough, although it is strange that he awarded Cardinal Law’s despicable actions by appointing him archpriest of one of the Roman basilicas.

Can you answer my other questions? Thanks.



Thank you! I agree! I think if I posted in any other forum I would only hear “pro” opinions.

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