Blessed Paul VI

With the beatification of Pope Paul VI upon us, I wanted to point out just a few posts from this blog in which this fascinating Pope is featured.

1. I did a series of posts to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. One of them took a look at the previous papal encyclical that Benedict intended to commemorate by publishing it, Pope Paul VI’s historic Populorum Progressio. I noted:

CiV was intended to mark the fortieth anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s landmark 1967 encyclical on human development, Populorum Progressio. This is itself noteworthy, since almost every social encyclical prior to that was published on an anniversary of Rerum Novarum; for tradition-minded Benedict, the departure was certainly a deliberate choice. Why make it?

That full post is here.

2. During my John Courtney Murray research, I offered a post about the events of one particular day at the Second Vatican Council, under Paul VI’s leadership. It’s a window into the Council’s deliberations on the topic of religious freedom.

This one is especially relevant right now because it’s helpful remedial history to anyone who thinks what happened in Rome these last three weeks is not a lot like what went on for four years at Vatican II. And it’s a helpful theological-doctrinal-pastoral lesson to anyone who thinks that taking the most hardline, conservative approach to any doctrinal question is always the one most faithful to authentic Catholic tradition. Does this paragraph from that post, for example, have a familiar ring to it?

Despite these dramatic statements, there still was a great deal of disarray on the issue among the bishops and theologians at the Council. Several interventions were highly negative. Archbishop Lefebvre — who was then the superior general of the Holy Ghost Fathers, but later excommunicated from the Catholic Church — bitterly condemned it the schema, saying that the principle of religious freedom “is not one conceived … by the church.” The sharp conflict even generated some apathy on the part of some Council fathers. Many of the official Protestant observers began to sense that the schema might not succeed. Historian Gilles Routhier has written of this point, “The debate seemed to have bogged down, and no one could find a way of ending it.” The next morning’s headline in the New York Herald Tribune would read “Vatican Council near Crisis over Religious Liberty Issue.”

The full post is here.

3. Finally, when Pope Francis released his remarkable apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium last year, I pointed out the appearance in it of a significant quotation from Pope Paul VI’s apostolic letter Octogesima Adveniens. In a post titled “Octogesima Adveniens is Back,” I commented:

Among the (ever-growing) list of “firsts” ascribed to Pope Francis, we can add: first Pope to quote section 4 of OA in a papal document. (Not as sexy, I’ll grant you, as first Pope to be named Esquire magazine’s Best Dressed Man of the Year. But interesting at the very least.)

Find out why the quotation is both unique and perhaps quite important in the full post, here.

These are not the only places Paul VI has been brought up on this blog. All my posts related to Paul VI are here.


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