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Saint of the Day: Pope St. Martin I
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How the New Pope-Saints Embody the Two Key Principles of Vatican II


Fr Dwight Longenecker - published on 04/30/14

Resourcement without aggriornamento, on the other hands is a riverbank with no water. To give another analogy, the two together are like a vine and the trellis. Without the trellis the vine would be just a ground weed growing across the earth unchecked and unfruitful. With the trellis the vine can grow up into the sun, be pruned and ordered so that it produces a good crop.

St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II reveal the balance and complementarity of the saints. Both men so different in background, training and formation and yet both wearing the white and bearing the weight of the papal office. Both of them succeed Peter in different ways. John XXIII shows the Peter of Pentecost, full of the power of the resurrection and life of the Spirit, while John Paul II show Peter the apostle, the preacher, the missionary and the martyr.

Finally, these two together not only reveal the complementarity of the saints, but they reveal the true power of the papacy. The papacy is strong when it expresses the variety of the saints and the varied giftedness of the universal people of God. We see this same complementarity in Pope Francis and Pope Benedict. It is in this balance that we see providence play its part for the good of the church and the proclamation of the gospel of Christ’s redemptive love.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s latest book is The Romance of Religion. Visit his blog, browse his books and be in touch at

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