Friday, 16 February 2007

The Last Days of Paul VI

A rather poignant video of the last days of Paul VI. I've often read about the 'dark night of the soul' that characterised the end of his Pontificate, but it's fascinating to see footage, much of which I hadn't seen before.



We often forget that Paul VI was the first global Pope, visiting the Holy Land, Asia, Africa, Australia, America, etc. Here is footage of the Pope's travels, including the assassination attempt at Manila:


Labels:

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Fr Nicholas, for posting this moving video of the last days of Pope Paul VI. I hope it will help a younger generation understand the difficulties he had to endure. I believe history will see him as one of the greatest popes of modern times a) because, despite his own doubts, he saw the Second Vatican Council through to the end and b) because he kept the Church together in the troubled years of the immediate aftermath. For him this was a crucifixion, few popes have suffered so deeply. He had none of the glamour of his immediate predeccessors or successors, no charismatic charm, but he had fortitude and his palpable suffering might one day see him canonised. I hope none of your regular commentators will make unpleasant comments about him. Neither he nor the Church were prepared for the explosion that followed the Council and it broke his heart. The Levebvrists are only part of the story. What grieved him more was the defection of so many priests and religious due to the availability of dispensations and the negative over-reaction to Humanae Vitae by the laity. We live with the consequences of their refusal to accept its teaching in a depopulated Europe. Combined with the destructive politics of the Left and the murder of Aldo Moro there is little surprise that he felt abandoned. Yet from his fidelity and endurance came the stirring years of Pope John Paul II who at last steered the Church into the start of the true fulfilment of the Council. The explosion was inevitable. It will take centuries before the full effects are mediated but it was the suffering of Pope Paul that made Pope John Paul's reign possible. And it is the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI that will consolidate the foundations laid down by his four predecessors.The Church in Europe is having a tough time, but it is no longer a European Church. Its vigour now lies in the Southern hemisphere and in the United States and both will have serious consequences for the future.

9:55 pm  
Anonymous Peter said...

Watching this interesting video had a strange effect on me. I wasn't around when it was made but I don't think I have seen anything which so strongly conveyed the bleakness of that period. When old people talk as if the sixties were a load of fun this points to a different reality. I was interested in the long comment on Pope Paul posted above and had no idea he went through a really bad time. It makes the present seem more optimistic.

11:14 am  
Anonymous Peter said...

Watching this interesting video had a strange effect on me. I wasn't around when it was made but I don't think I have seen anything which so strongly conveyed the bleakness of that period. When old people talk as if the sixties were a load of fun this points to a different reality. I was interested in the long comment on Pope Paul posted above and had no idea he went through a really bad time. It makes the present seem more optimistic.

11:14 am  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...

This might sound trivial but, despite the austerity of the papal ceremonies in this clip, it shows how effective the sedia gestatoria was in enabling people to see the Pope. I remember going to an suidence in the early years of Pope John Paul II; it was in Pope Paul's audience hall. As he entered the Roman crowd starting slow hand-clapping and chanted 'Sedia gestatoria' in a monotonous rythm. The Pope leapt onto some moving steps, waved his arms dismissively at the crowd and angily shouted 'No sedia gestatoria' at which point the commotion subsided. Great though he was I am sorry he banned it. The popemobile is a poor substitute. I don't expect it wll return but the present Holy Father would look marvellous sitting on it and the crowds would be thrilled to see him carried in.

12:43 pm  
Blogger Moretben said...

Dear Anon

I really do despair.

12:43 pm  
Anonymous Nicholas said...

Oh dear! The second clip underlines even more the bleakness of poor Pope Paul's reign. But the contrast between his reception abroad and the reception of Pope John Paul II in all countries he visited bar Holland show how necessary Pope Paul's early visits were as a preparation for the Church's opening to the world in his successor's time. I am beginning to see that he might be a saint. The Australian Evangelical reaction to him would now be unthinkable, praise God!

2:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He wasn't a saint. He tried to destroy the Church!

6:29 pm  
Anonymous Bernard said...

Don't you think there is something odd about the first clip? It starts with a long introduction about Marcel and his frockies, goes on to a potentially nasty accident when Pope Paul opened the sealed door at the beginning of the Holy Year, switches to the Red Brigade and Aldo Moro's funeral, shows a few clips from conventional papal activities and bleakly concludes with the Pope's funeral on a note that he is negligible historically and best forgotten. No mention of Humanae Vitae or his confrontation with the Jesuits, nothing about his visits to the Holy Land and Turkey, both of which were triumphs, nothing about his pain at the erosion of Catholic values. I am very pleased you've shown it but I suspect its a piece of right wing propaganda disguised as objective reporting. And the music is pure Fellini. Pope Paul VI deserves better.

7:10 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Bernard - Yes, the music is unsuitable! The clip comes from the end of a documentary - I'm sure the earlier parts covered his travels, Humae Vitae, and may eventually be uploaded to YouTube. In fact, the second clip may also be from the same series.

8:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcel and his frockies! Nice one!

8:11 pm  
Anonymous sacristan said...

Nice one indeed! It looks as if the frockies are making a comeback.

11:39 pm  
Anonymous sacristan said...

Nice one indeed! It looks as if the frockies are making a comeback.

11:39 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

hi Father,

You know, these videos must be part of a series. Is your Italian good enough to sleuth out which?

Mark

12:45 pm  
Blogger Moretben said...

What does a modern Pope have to do to get a bad reputation? Is election to the Apostolic See really always nowadays the first step to automatic canonisation?

There is no doubt that Montini suffered, which should elicit our prayers and our pity; but we have to recognise that this same suffering was shared by millions of souls, as a consequence of the policies and prudential decisions of a colossally damaging pontificate.

2:48 pm  
Anonymous Peter said...

I'm amazed that Paul VI has attracted so much interest. He is emerging as a more interesting Pope than I imagined but I can't help agreeing that he lacked the charisma we got used to in Pope John Paul II's time and which, in an entirely different way, is found in Pope Benedict XVI. Poor Pope Paul's appearance was against him. As for the 'frockies', I can't help laughing at that description. Every time I see a young priest in a cassock I'll think of it but I hope it doesn't catch on as it will upset them.

3:10 pm  
Anonymous cynic said...

When you compare these clips of Paul VI with those of Pius XII and his predecessors you can see how the Catholic Church changed from being a Rolls Royce to a T-model Ford.

10:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating ... where did such footage come from? Do people really spend their time searching the archives of RAI? In any case it was worth it.
-TonyM

3:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although this is now an old post, I have just read it for the first time. Yes, appalling things happened in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II but none of them can be blamed on Paul VI. Hailed at first as a 'progressive' he quickly disenchanted his progressive supporters and earned their angry contempt for not following their agenda. The Church's troubles in the Sixties were attributable more to universal social trends (eg the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro by the Red Brigade) than to the policies of Pope Paul. The progressives wanted him to sanction contraception, divorce and abortion, abolish clerical celibacy and ordain wives as well as their husbands. None of this happened because Pope Paul held the indefectible Catholic line. How can people think that he tried to destroy the Church? Yes, there is the liturgy, but he retained the Roman Canon and was as scandalised by the barbarism of many who desacralised the Mass as any of the traditionalists.

12:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although this is now an old post, I have just read it for the first time. Yes, appalling things happened in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II but none of them can be blamed on Paul VI. Hailed at first as a 'progressive' he quickly disenchanted his progressive supporters and earned their angry contempt for not following their agenda. The Church's troubles in the Sixties were attributable more to universal social trends (eg the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro by the Red Brigade) than to the policies of Pope Paul. The progressives wanted him to sanction contraception, divorce and abortion, abolish clerical celibacy and ordain wives as well as their husbands. None of this happened because Pope Paul held the indefectible Catholic line. How can people think that he tried to destroy the Church? Yes, there is the liturgy, but he retained the Roman Canon and was as scandalised by the barbarism of many who desacralised the Mass as any of the traditionalists.

12:46 pm  
Blogger Moretben said...

"...none of them can be blamed on Paul VI."

None of them? Are you serious? Given that he remained on the right side of the bare irreducible bedrock of faith and morals, he's not to blame for anything? How about the truly scandalous circumstances in which the Novus Ordo was promulgated, over his own signature, prefaced by a wholly Protestant definition of the Mass? His unbelievable performance at the United Nations? His practical encouragement of the wolves in sheeps' clothing?

I'm speechless.

9:19 am  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I'm sorry to say this but his pontificate was a disaster for the church - no doubt in the end he had good intentions but it was little too late.

He really opened the windows to allow the "somke of Satan" (to borrow a quote from a certain pontiff in the 1970s) to flow into the church and still 45 years after the council, we're feeling the aftermarth.

12:34 am  
Blogger lauberd said...

Are you all kidding me. Paul VI was a modernist. He was not even catholic. What ever happened to outside the roman church of Christ no salvation. How about the one true roman rite of mass most venerable in the church with universal jurisdiction. I know all the BULLONEY about other apostolic rites. That is like saying all the apostles are equal with none the visible sign of unity and univerdsal jurisdiction but we know 1 is the visible sign of unity with universal jurisdiction. this is no intention to change the historical liturgical context and roman dogmatic canon the center of the mass and the dogmatic perfect sacrifice of Christ is the center of all creation. He wanted to weaken the sacrifice and liturgy for false ecumenism for so called reformed mass. Paul VI rite was never an accepted sacramental as such. It was a new rite he tried to pawn off as the reformed roman rite. He willed to destroy the intention of the mass. Modernists only believe they must obey rare infallible decrees if these to reform the church based on man. Secular humanism.

4:43 am  
Blogger Liberator_Rev said...

[What is with these blogs that display the time of day of comments, but not the DATE ?!?
This is 7/27/08.]

Pope Paul VI's legacy is very confusing because he went from being a rather conservative churchman in his early days to a very liberal pope in his last days (despite Humanae Vitae).

The 2008 edition of Lucien Gregoire's book, "Murder in the Vatican" argues very convincingly that Paul VI was poisoned to make room for a much more conservative pope, and when Luciani was elected instead, he too was poisoned after just 33 days as John Paul the First, so that the very conservative runner up could be crowned as Pope John Paul the Second. See the outstanding preview of the book at http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/murderedpope.

2:55 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>