Pope Paul VI was considered a weak Pope by many in Traditionalist circles in the Church – and not just because of the reform of the Liturgy. However, I think he’s given a bad rap in many respects. Check this out:
The word of God is the message that we proclaim; it is the criterion of our preaching; it is light and direction for the lives of our people. We have no hope outside of God’s word. Apart from it, there are no valid solutions to the problems of our day. The faithful preaching of God’s word-in all its purity, with all its exigencies, in all its power-constitutes the highest priority of our ministry, because all else depends on this. Aware of its relevance in our day, we do not hesitate to repeat the solemn charge Paul made to Timothy with apostolic seriousness and with great simplicity and confidence: “Before God and before Christ Jesus . . . I put this duty to you . . . . proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience-but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching” (2 Tim. 4, 1-2). And with a realistic awareness of certain challenges today to Catholic teaching, not least of which is in the field of sexual morality, we add: “Far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and them, instead of listening to the truth they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service” (2Tim. 4, 3-5).Brethren, these words are a whole program of apostolic charity. They are the expression of love, and when followed, they constitute a great pastoral service to our people. They were an inspiration to John Neumann; they were a holy challenge to every Bishop who ever lived. They represent fidelity to Jesus Christ, and to all his words, which are indeed “spirit and life” (Io. 6, 63). The most profound pastoral understanding, the deepest human compassion exist only in fidelity to God’s word. There is no division, no dichotomy, no opposition between God’s commands and our pastoral service. If all the exigencies of the Christian message are not preached, our apostolic charity is incomplete. (Source)
The bishops of the Church should heed well Pope Paul VI’s admonition as they gather in Rome to discuss marriage and the family later on this year. In particular, they should pay particular attention to the Pope’s teaching that there is no division between doctrine and “pastoral service”. How could there be? The fact that we are even contemplating this BS as a legitimate option is completely idiotic. This is particularly important given the ruminations of Cardinal Kasper who wants to drive a Mack truck through them and separate doctrine from practice. Don’t buy the pastoral solution baloney. John Paul II condemned this idea in Veritatis Splendor:
A separation or even an opposition, is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid in general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called “pastoral” solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a “creative” hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept. No one can fail to realize that these approaches pose a challenge to the very identity of the moral conscience in relation to human freedom and God’s law. Only the clarification made earlier with regard to the relationship, based on truth, between freedom and law makes possible a discernment concerning this “creative” understanding of conscience. (VS, 55)
Bishops! Remember your promise to hold fast to the Gospel!