The Forgotten Pope

Just posted to our Web site, a call for the canonication of Pope John Paul I: 

On the Third Sunday of Easter, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed John Paul II a blessed, a milestone in the late pope’s journey to sainthood. The speed at which Karol Wojtyla’s cause for canonization has progressed is singular. Under the church’s rules, the process cannot begin until a candidate has been deceased at least five years, but Pope Benedict dispensed with that requirement in this instance.

Advertisement

Not so with John Paul’s namesake and immediate predecessor, Albino Luciani, whose own cause, initiated nearly eight years ago, still sluggishly wends its way through the labyrinthine Vatican bureaucracy, its ultimate resolution still in doubt.

For those whose faith was rekindled by that gentle pope, the lingering uncertainty about his canonization is disheartening. Albino Luciani’s life was so exemplary that it could inspire a world grown weary and cynical and yearning for the “greater gifts” and a “more excellent way.”

“He passed as a meteor which unexpectedly lights up the heavens and then disappears, leaving us amazed and astonished,” Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri aptly observed at the pope’s funeral Mass in 1978.

Read the rest here.

Tim Reidy

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
we vnornm
6 years 7 months ago
So good to remember him and keep him in mind. I was still a student and remember his joyful smile, quite a contrast to the world- and Church-weary Pope Paul. (Hebblewiaithe's excellent bio offers much insight into Pope Paul's many inner burdens). But Albino Luciania offered us all a glmpse of another path....
david power
6 years 7 months ago
Bill,

Pope Paul had lived through the War and had spent many many years in the Vatican.
The book by Hebblewaithe showed us many sides to Pope Paul but did not show so clearly  us that no other Pope had lived through such a turbulent time.
His 15 years were from 63-78 and in that period all of the problems of the sexual revolution and the falling of the old order came to light.
He would never by temperament have been a happy Pope but he served the Church perhaps better than anybody.He poured himself into running the curia and to finishing the council.
Those who prize the texts of the council owe a debt to Montini.Luciani though, I think had his priorities  more in place.
Most Popes can speak of God all day long and nobody bats an eyelid but when Roncalli or Luciani spoke of him it was so real as to be astonishing.This was not a   suffering God.This God was not hung up about our moral failings but was loving and bigger in heart than us and our failings. Someday God may let us see the path of Luciani more closely.I hope so .......   
we vnornm
6 years 7 months ago
David,

What you wrote is indeed good and puts focus on a great man. I sometimes think Montini was the kind of Pope that was needed 63-78. There were so many tensions and cross-currents in the Church and I think Montini's own personality absorbed these and in many ways helped to contain the various "factions" which were emerging and struggling. Perhaps a pope as confident and sure of things as JPII would have led to some schisms? I don't know. But I think Montini had accurate empathy with even the positions he disagreed with and I think even those who disagreed with him knew that and gave him credit for working to keep the Church together. I suspect he suffered keenly internally/psychologically. (And let's remember how communism was an immiennt and brooding force across the world and in his own Italy).  Perhaps in fututure centuries he will be looked back on as being a heroic kind of Pope-a saint? bill
we vnornm
6 years 7 months ago
Some of you may find comments #25/#26 on the "pro-life" question relevant to PJPI! bvo
6 years 7 months ago
I remember John Paul I very well.....his joyfulness and humility were inspiring and welcome during turbulent times.   Has there been a miracle attributed to him?  I don't find tht mentioned in the article, but a miracle is required for progress to be made in his canonization.  Since God is in charge of saint-making, it behooves those of us who admire him to pray for miracles  attributed to his intercession.  Thanks for a wonderful article.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump, administration officials and members of Congress.
Altar servers lead a Palm Sunday procession March 25 in Youtong, in China's Hebei province. (CNS photo/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)
The pope appeared to be alluding to the fact that since February there has been a crackdown by the Chinese authorities on religion in the mainland.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 23, 2018
Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo in Rome, May 2. The three met Pope Francis individually at the Vatican April 27-29. The Vatican announced on May 22 that a second group of abuse victims will visit the pope in June (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
The encounters will take place from June 1-3 at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as they arrive for a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
Righteous call-outs should be patterned after Cardinal O’Malley’s rebuke of Pope Francis on sex abuse.
Simcha FisherMay 22, 2018