Saturday, April 26, 2014

Polish Jesuit Unhappy With Polish Cardinal

Krzysztof Madal, an influential Jesuit priest, slammed plans to include the ampoule in the altar of a new church saying it was returning the "Catholic Church to the medieval practices of the past". "In medieval days people didn't read and write, and knew little about the world so the Church needed stimuli," he added. "But times have changed and using blood as a relic is not a good idea." The blood was taken by doctors at the Gemelli Clinic in Rome during a tracheotomy operation, carried out shortly before the pope's death. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul's former secretary, would like to incorporate the blood into an altar in a new church at Lagiewniki, the town near Krakow that will house a planned John Paul II Centre, dedicated to the work and memory of the late pope. "He would like it placed in a special crystal in the altar so it is clearly visible to the faithful," said Father Jan Kabzinski, who is working on the centre.
Link (here)


Joseph Fromm said...

This is an interesting story to me for many reasons. First I am of Polish ancestry and have visited a few Jesuit missions in and around Krakow. What is Medieval? Relics have been a part of the Church since the beginning of the Church. Their is a great desire of the Poles to have John Paul II buried in Wavel Castle in Krakow. However John Paul II is the Pope of all. Jesuits are the Spiritual directors of the St. Faustina's order at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in the same hamlet were the John Paul II Center is going. A first class relic of St. Faustina is in prominent place at the communion rail in the Church on the grounds shared with the Jesuit rectory at the Divine Mercy Shrine. A public ampule of blood from JPII is no different than a display of bone from St. Faustina. The Jesuits in Poland all wear cassocks in public and some would I am sure, call that practice Medieval. I think this story has more to it than meets the eye and I am sure somethings have been lost in translation. The Jesuits since their founding have supported pilgrimages and the spiritual aspects of relics and other sacramentals.

From the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius on Rules of Right Thinking with the Church.

To approve of the veneration and invocation of saints, respect to images, processions, pilgrimages of devotion, indulgences, jubilees, the custom of lighting candles and burning lamps before altars, and other practices of this kind useful to piety.



Anonymous said...

Relics at St. Faustina's shrine are one thing, but giving them (an ampoule of blood!) a place of prominence at a shrine for a Pope is a bit Harry Potteresque.

TonyD said...

On one hand, transcendence is real. And since John Paul II is a saint (even if the Church has not decided that yet), a symbol of JPII will certainly be transcendent.

At the same time, some may dislike using blood as a symbol, and thus dislike using it as a transcendent object.

Really, when one considers the limitations of transcendence (it cannot replace true internal change and it cannot, by itself, “save” you), then this conversation becomes less about “blood” and more about “how to resolve contention in a religious community”.

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