Pope John Paul II kissed a book, to be polite.
Pope Alexander VI kissed a bunch of women, out of lust.
Pope John Paul II prayed with Muslims.
Pope Urban II preyed on Muslims.
The Church and history tells me the Crusades were “just wars.” I believe it. John Paul tells me that there’s a higher standard of behavior, and war is always a failure of humanity, and I believe that, too.
The Church tells me that the sins of Rodrigo Borgia do not constitute a violation of the Papacy because his personal sins do not constitute heresy. Yet the Sedevacantists would have me believe that the alleged personal sins of John Paul II–which may or may not even have been sinful in his case–constitute acts of heresy.
Now, it’s important to observe the caveat that they may or may not have been sins in his case: after all, intent is a key element of mortal sin, and those who judge these acts to have been mortal sins on JPII’s part are thereby judging his intent.
What I don’t get is why the sedevacantists tell me to honor the papacy of Alexander VI and not that of John Paul II? Why does some corrupt Medieval pope who lived in luxury and filth merit my respect, but John Paul–whose life exhudes evidence of living the Beatitudes–does not?
If I were to hold up the two and say, on the basis of actions, “Which is obviously an invalid Pope? Which of these is not living according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” The answer would not be John Paul II.
If sedevacantism is possible–and I’ll grant it’s theoretically possible–then there are a lot more presumptive popes throughout history who have been invalidated than just John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.