I don’t often speak on the news, figuring that better and more knowledgeable commentators have beat me to it, and are generally prettier than I am. However, I can’t resist this item. Since people are speculating wildly on the motives of unknown persons who might have occult connections, I feel the need to add to the confusion, or perhaps, give a my 2 cents.
My reply to this news item. Here’s what the National Catholic Register has to say.
Here’s the thing. Devout Catholics know better, for the most part, than to commission theft. It is always a possibility, but a remote one. Most satanists or pagans would not find a stolen relic terribly interesting. Satanists do like to mock the church, but this is a bit much effort for religious mockery. It would require a fair amount of research to figure out where this is, all by itself. Let’s face it, there are so many easier, more absurd and less risky ways to humiliate us. Most of media will cheer them on. I think this is wishful thinking on the secular media’s part. Europe needs it’s thrills to raise their collective blood pressure to feel alive.
But Blessed John Paul II did not just appeal to devout Catholics or miff satanists. He also miffed communists, Nazis, and a whole host of other unsavory characters. But would they do this? is there a reason to go through so much effort over someone already dead? He impressed a whole lot of people during his reign, too. He was a larger than life persona that was widely misread, though understood on sight as holy. Atheists at the time were jealous of his leadership. The media was almost worshipful at the sight of him.
I think the commenter Dominic has a point. I think there are people who believe in some supernatural aspects of Catholicism but who may not reflect what “Devout Catholic” means to us.
Think about it. This will become more valuable– but you can’t sell it, you can’t show it off lest you get into serious international legal trouble. That sounds to me exactly like the theft of famous art. You often find that there are motives that go well beyond possessing art even in those cases. This is undoubtedly bizarre, and it’s easy to understand the temptation to go over the top in speculation. I’m a writer. I make money speculating on these sorts of things, or at least, it’s an option.
So… I’m not buying that the blood and reliquary was pinged for the sake of the reliquary only. Other valuable works were right within reach– why not collect the whole set? Of all the things those European sources said, that’s the one I’d agree with. The only other factor is the added dimension of spiritual power. It’s possible that there are people out there who have a cult of sorts of PJ II that has little to do with the church. Perhaps they are staking their claim on him.
There are also people who fit the pagan mold from a Christian standpoint but who are not pagan, qua neopagan, but believe in “holy men” or “spiritually advanced elders”. Some people in this category believe that you get things done by any means necessary– or that the laws of men do not apply to them or their situation. They often practice the occult and put The Will ahead of everything.
Remember, the first grimoires were written by defrocked catholic priests. The occult craze in those earlier centuries were the molestation scandals of their day. You can still buy them in printed form in occult shops. There are all sorts of possibilities in this area. It is clear that this was a valuable and important thing considering the effort and the legal implications. The mores they recommended, and the techniques they fit with this sort of crime. But it would take a particular person with a particular bent. I’m not saying that every person with these qualifications would do this thing, just that a particular one might.
Another thought– there are also so-called prophets making pretty presentations and spreading them on Youtube– all saying various things about JPII. These go all the way from adulation –declaring him an Ascended Master (like Cardinal Newman before him)– to stating the church is lying about JP II’s disposition vis a vis Heaven. I strongly doubt, considering a few unhappy accidents I’ve had on Youtube, that their followers resemble Devout Catholics.One last option occurs to me. Perhaps this crime has a completely hidden motive, dealing with Karol Wojtyla the man. Perhaps there’s a medical/political reason somebody wanted the blood, and the crucifix was either convenient to take with them, or a low investment feint. It’s hard to know what reason that would be. I’m not sure it’s fruitful or healthy to speculate too much in this direction. I’ll save it for my next book. 😉
The motive may have been as simple as to deny future generations the opportunity to test his blood. Perhaps someone wants to prevent his impending sainthood by stealing it, so they cannot make the tests needed for a given incident. Then, there’s always they are just crazy, angry, and needed to steal his blood for reasons we couldn’t understand.
Who ever they are, whatever they are doing, pray for them.