John Allen on the 'Rushing' of John Paul's Beatification

Here's another take, or at least different perspective from the John Thavis piece below.  John Allen, NCR's Vatican correspondent is writing in Newsweek on the question of whether the Vatican is "rushing" the beatification process of Pope John Paul II.  (Although one could argue from a theological perspective: the miracle of the French nun from Parkinson's disease has been accepted, so perhaps God is not opposed to the rush.)  Here's Allen:

...John Paul’s cause is also a reminder, at least for some, of why waiting a little while isn’t always such a bad thing.


In theory, sainthood is supposed to be a democratic process, beginning with a popular grassroots sentiment that a given figure was a saint. Six years ago, the evidence of that conviction vis-à-vis Karol Wojtyla, the given name of John Paul II, seemed like a slam-dunk.

This was, after all, the pope who brought down communism, who was seen in the flesh by more people than any other figure in human history, who reinvigorated Catholicism after a period of doubt and confusion, and who gave rise to an entire “John Paul II” generation of young priests and bishops eager to take the church’s message to the street.

Crowds chanted “Santo subito!”—“Sainthood now!”—at his funeral mass. The cardinals who gathered to elect the next pope signed a petition asking whoever it might be to waive the normal five-year waiting period to launch a cause, which Benedict XVI swiftly did. Adulatory coverage in the global media amounted to a sort of secular canonization, making the formal ecclesiastical process seem almost anticlimactic.

Today, however, that enthusiasm has been tempered by revelations about the role of the late pope and his aides in the sexual-abuse crisis—by any reckoning, the most destructive Catholic scandal in centuries, and one that critics say metastasized on John Paul’s watch.

The signature case is that of the late Mexican priest Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the controversial conservative religious order the Legionaries of Christ. John Paul II was a great patron of Maciel, admiring the religious order’s unapologetic fidelity to Catholic teaching, its loyalty to Rome and the papacy, and its success in generating vocations among younger Catholics.

Read the rest here.

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7 years 11 months ago
@ Anne; I too wondered about the sexual abuse scandal and wondered how all of this factored in determing his canonization. Fr. Martin helped me with this. As Fr. Martin indicated, he was old sick. When the abuse scandal came to us in 2002, he was 84, suffering from Parkinson's. And, remember,  it is not his Papacy that is being canonized. He is canonized for how he lived the heroic virtues. He so loved children. Check this out:
Matthew Pettigrew
7 years 11 months ago
John Paul II's attributes that might be seen as saintly are overshadowed by his relationship with Marcial Maciel Delgollado. If his canonization proceeds then it will be very difficult to argue that the Church does not err in the canonization of her saints.
david power
7 years 11 months ago

Thanks for posting this. I have read many books by Fulton Sheen and also the autobiography of Cizcek. The unfortunate thing is that they were raised to the title of servant of God when the standards were abysmally low.
Literally every Tom,Dick and Harry was in on the game.Now i find myself wondering what we dont know about these people and the very worth of the entire process.Is it the glorification of God or the Church?
In Rome under a supposedly saintly Bishop for 27 years which witnessed a billion canoniations et al there is zero interest in God.Less than 10% of people attend Church or go to Mass on Sunday.The streets spill over with priests but nobody but the pilgrims looks on them as men of god.
I think there is a latent "will to power " in all of this.
There is a lot of self-promotion that goes on and the saint game is big business in Italy.In one the main tv programmes here called "Striscia la Notizia" they do exposes of frauds and conmen.
There is always an image of Padre Pio on the office wall of these people.In Napoli in the heartland of the Mafia it is overflowing with shrines .The Church plays this game exquisitely.    The Italian church spent millions on the advertising firm called saatchi and Saatchi to show off it's sanctity and keep the optional tax money of Italians.It worked a charm.This is the true gift of Wojtyla.Know how to fake it well.He was only outdone and outfoxed in all of this by the truly great Maciel.
Maria ,we should not be scandalized by knowing how corrupt these people are (no different to oursleves!) but that we once thought they were good.Christ came not for the healthy but for the sick.

Jerry Slevin
7 years 11 months ago
OVERALL PAPAL STRATEGY- Please see my extensive comment to John Allen's above column in the April 18 National Catholic Reporter article of Tom Fox entitled, " Why the rush to the beatification of John Paul II?". My comment is entitled "Hans Kung: It's a Farce" . In the comment I explain how this hurried beatification is part of an overall papal strategy aimed at returning the Church to the style of a pre-Vatican II absolutist monarchy. Clearly JP II was, and B XVI is, very intelligent and presumably well intentioned. They have an evident strategy, as I explain in my comment at NCR. According to their strategy, the exodus from the Church of tens of millions of Catholics and the expenditures of billions of dollars to protect child abusing priests and bishops are acceptable costs to achieve their evident goal of a smaller, but tightly controlled, Church. My analysis is not some conspiracy theory-it is based on the actions of the papacy in recent years. If you have a better explanation that explains their conduct, many sincere believers would appreciate very much hearing it. Pax.
Eric Stoltz
7 years 11 months ago
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."

- Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
Peter Lakeonovich
7 years 11 months ago
Thanks, Fr. Jim.  I read Allen's piece.  By the way, does anyone under the age of 50 years (or anyone at all) still read Newsweek?

In any event, I did not see anything in the article that should disqualify JPII from sainthood, even if it is on the so-called "fast track."

First, I don't know that it is a fair characterization that the abuse crisis "metastasized on John Paul’s watch."  Certainly it metastasized during his Pontificate, but not what we would ordinarily refer to as "his watch" - who would seriously suggest that the abuse in Ireland, the United States, and the rest of world were his responsibility?  The Church has cleaned this up, and whether he could have done a better job or not does not go to the point of his sanctity.  Anybody remember our first Pope, the one not selected in conclave but rather by our Lord?  St. Peter had many shortcomings in personality and character, none of which detracted from his holiness.  Same with JPII.

Secondly, how can we blame JPII for Maciel scandal?  There are many good, faithful, young preists even today within the Legionaries of Christ who, like JPII, were also fooled by the founder.

Seems like Allen is looking for a dragon to slay where there isn't one, only shadows.
Eugene Pagano
7 years 11 months ago
Can Deacon Stoltz (or Maria Byrd) provide a translation of Father Hardon's Latin in comment 2?
Anne Chapman
7 years 11 months ago
Would those who believe that Holy Spirit selects the pope explain why God chose some of the men who have held that office?  Popes such as Alexander VI - who bought the votes at the conclave with his personal fortune.  Read the history of many of the midaevil and Renaissance popes and perhaps explain how the Holy Spirit could have gotten it so wrong. Some might include Pius IX in the list of men who definitely was neither holy nor saintly - a man who persecuted Jews, kidnapped a Jewish child from his parents and refused to return him to his family, a master of political manipulation known for egomania.  And yet he is on the road to canonization. The entire concept has become meaningless.  From the actions taken in recent decades to canonize popes, it now seems that just holding the office of pope is enough to guarantee that title ''saint'' down the road.  John XXIII, Pius IX, Pius XII (the latter two should be dropped from the list of candidates), now John Paul II, and I'm sure that not too many years down the road, Benedict XVI.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit does whisper guidance to those who vote in conclaves, and those who live in the Vatican - but it does not mean that willful, fallible and sinful human beings listen.

John Paul II was fully informed of the charges against Maciel but did not want Cardinal Ratzinger to pursue them. Cardinal Ratzinger, being an obedient employee, dropped the case, even though he and others in the CDF had become convinced the charges were true. He did not have the courage to stand up to his boss, apparently.  Maciel worked hard to maintain support in the Curia -sometimes by outright bribery, giving lavish and expensive gifts to those with influence with the pope. Some of those men still hold important positions in the Curia.

Is this truly what the Church wants in its leadership?
Jack Barry
7 years 11 months ago
The Vatican offers the argument that John Paul II deserves to be beatified because his particular holiness outweighs any negatives including, in particular, his widely deplored approach to clerical sexual abuse of youngsters.
Six years of Benedict XVI's papacy have been time enough for his standards to be demonstrated.   He has spoken words of sorrow, lamented sin within the Church, and met handfuls of abuse victims.  Sometimes, credit is given Benedict for having done better than others in confronting clerical sexual abuse of youngsters and its coverup.  That is certainly damning with faint praise when the deeds of the ''others'' to whom he is compared are considered.  
Meanwhile, Bernard Law continues helping this Pope to select new bishops and serving as honored arch-priest of his own basilica.   Resignations of 2 Irish bishops, offered to the Pope because of their involvement in Irish abuse scandals, were not accepted.   Bishop Vangheluwe publicly disclosed his lengthy sexual abuse activity a year ago and was apparently ignored until he unwisely aired his views on TV and was ordered by the Vatican to move out of Belgium.  Bishop McCormack, well-documented principal collaborator with Law in the activities that forced Law out of the US, is retiring with institutional Church honor.  The list goes on.  
It is painfully obvious that Benedict XVI does not share the deep revulsion of many around the world reflected in words of John Paul II himself in April 2002:  ''Labeling child sexual abuse an 'appalling sin' and a crime, John Paul II told U.S. prelates there is no place in the priesthood and religious life 'for those who would harm the young'.'' (Sex Abuse an ''Appalling Sin'' and a Crime, Says Pope) .  The imminent beatification is telling us as much about Benedict XVI and his views on harming the young as about John Paul II.  The tradition goes on. 
david power
7 years 11 months ago

Cardinal Schoenborn said that Cardinal Ratzinger asked for an investigation into the pedophile activities of Cardinal Groer but that he was blocked by Pope John Paul who thought of childrape as a harmless vice.
He had the entire curia against him including Sodano who was the secretary of state and who was bribed by Maciel as was Dwiszis.
 Cardinal Ratzinger knew that it was mission impossible and so he bided his time. 
He was obviously not a hero in this but I think you have to make a clear distinction between the coverup of the truth that Wojtyla ordered and those who did not support it.
Eventually Cardinal Estevez in Chile helped one of the victims meet Ratzinger in Rome and the Priest said that Ratzinger promised him"I will act,I promise you".This was late 2004 and he knew that the man who feared the truth was about to die.

I understand if you think he should have stopped the beatification until we know all of the evidence and I think it is ridiculous to imagine that a man who placed appearance over the safety of children could be considered a saint.But Ratzinger at that stage really was standing alone.Cardinal Schoenborn said as much.
The argument of many that because Pope Wojtyla had a laundry list of devotions he was a saint is terrifying.At that rate every priest is a saint as they all have their rituals which often act as a narcotic against reality.
    Ratzinger or Pope Benedict started straight away to clean up the mafia left for him.He sent Cardinal Sepe to Napoli where he is now under investigation for bribing Italian politicians.And he intentionally did not choose anybody associated with the omerta group to head the secretary of state but instead opted  for the incompetent Bertone.

I think that Pope Benedict needs our prayers and that he will see the spiritual hollowness of this occasion on the 1st of May.The victims and all of those who suffered in the recent past are an elephant already planted in that room. 
7 years 11 months ago
"Would those who believe that Holy Spirit selects the pope explain why God chose some of the men who have held that office? "

Hello again, Anne!  I suppose questing the process of beatification is a fine thing in theory; however, cynicism and a critique of history will only take you so far.

If you really want to get to the root of why fallen men in the service of God, perhaps you could explain why our Lord Jesus Christ chose apostles who would constantly misunderstand him, let him down at almost every turn and then abandon him - one even handing him over to his enemies - the crucial hours that are approaching us this Holy Week...

Of course, this is a mystery neither you or I can even begin to approach.  I am not taking away from your critque, just something to consider to help temper the tendency towards puritanism.
7 years 11 months ago
"Cardinal Schoenborn said that Cardinal Ratzinger asked for an investigation into the pedophile activities of Cardinal Groer but that he was blocked by Pope John Paul who thought of childrape as a harmless vice."

"The argument of many that because Pope Wojtyla had a laundry list of devotions he was a saint is terrifying.At that rate every priest is a saint as they all have their rituals which often act as a narcotic against reality."

Wholly apart from whether the beatification should proceed, these 2 comments seems completely beyond the mark to me.  They are blatantly unsubstantiated, and grossly unfair.
Anne Chapman
7 years 11 months ago
Thank you, David. I do not speak Spanish, however!   I agree that Benedict is an 'improvement'' over John Paul II, but just barely. I had real hopes for him in the early months of his papacy for two things he did.  One was to invite Kung to lunch and not excommunicate him as many of the conservatives in the church had hoped.  Second, was his swift action sending Maciel into ''exile'' so to speak.  But then he stopped.  He joined in the chorus blaming everyone and everything for the ''scandal'' EXCEPT those responsible for faciliating the rape and molesting of children and young teens (the majority of victims were 14 and under - prepubescent).  He continues to honor men who were among the worst offenders (Law, McCormack etc). He blames the culture, he blames the media, he blames Vatican II it seems. He asks that the laity do penance instead of asking for resignations and acts of penance from those guilty of protecting criminals.  He could reassign bishops at the very least, depriving them of some of their luxuries, paid for by the people in the pew (He could even follow the example of his predecessor who exiled Jacques Gaillot for his all-too-liberal views to an extinct diocese in northern Africa (Gaillot proceeded to create a virtual diocese!).

 Benedict has made the most of his photo ops, tearing up on camera.  He meets with a handful of victims, then the press, expresses his sorrow, and does absolutely nothing to hold those responsible, responsible, nor has he ordered the writing and implementation of policies that would state in no uncertain terms that bishops who enable child molesters will be asked to resign, and they will be forcibly laicized. He has done nothing to ensure that bishops won't continue to act as they always did - protect the institution and not the children.  How many Philadelphias will there be in the future?

 The actions of the authorities against Fr. Roy Bourgeois indicate where the Vatican's priorities lie - it wastes no time whatsoever in excommunicating an ordinary priest, and forcing his laicization for the ghastly sin of saying that women are equal to men in the eyes of God and should also be in the church.  Yet Cardinal Ratzinger refused the two pleas of a bishop to remove and laicize a priest who abused almost 200 deaf students in a Catholic school for the deaf. Is Ratzinger a real improvement over John Paul II?  His exile of Maciel seemed to offer so much hope - but it seems that he also is too entwined in protecting the ''institution'' and its hierarchy to do more than make token, and ulitmately empty, gestures.
Anne Chapman
7 years 11 months ago

I do not disagree with the reality that Jesus chose weak, cowardly human beings to be his disciples. I do object to calling weak people ''saints'' or ''holy'' whose personal failures led to the ongoing horror of sexual abuse of children and young teens by priests - criminals who were protected by the hierarchy of the church.  Yes, one of Jesus disciples handed him over to the Roman soliders - and Judas is not in the calendar of ''saints'' either.

''Sainthood'' should not be trivialized in order to be an expected, long-term (so to speak) perq of being pope. It is not an automatic honor due to those who have suffered illness, or political oppression, or who chose to dishonor their bodies by inflicting pain on themselves, risking mutilation, simply because they occupy the ''throne'' of Peter (a very telling word for those given to reflection - those who think about the contrast and messages of the lives of Jesus and the apostles and disciples with those who live in the splendor of the Vatican.)

 I have been personally blessed to know a number of people who deserve to be called ''saints'' - however, none of them will ever be recognized because they are neither priests nor religious women. They are ordinary laity, men and women, married and single, who are Christ's hands and hearts in the world.  They do not live in the mansions of the bishops, nor wear the silken garments and jewels of the hierarchy, they do not ask people to bow to them and kiss their rings (nor did Jesus), and they do not reside in the palaces in the Vatican. Yet they are truly saints.

Men whose positions gave them the means to stop criminals from molesting the young and did not do so, are not worthy to be called ''saint'' when those who are truly saints are ignored by Rome.

Matthew Pettigrew
7 years 11 months ago
Pope Benedict's problems include, among other things, obtuseness. Just this week he appointed Cardinal Rigali to be his representative at a ceremony this summer in the Czech Republic. It's hard to find anyone in Philadelphia these days who is held in lower esteem than Cardinal Rigali because of his mishandling of the child abuse scandal. Why isn't the Pope aware of this? Do no other cardinals or bishops have any free time in June?
Jack Barry
7 years 11 months ago
Getting an episcopal malefactor out of his country is not a new technique for the Vatican.   Bernard Law fled just in time in 2002 and remains safe in Rome.   Bishop Vangheluwe was ordered by the Vatican to leave Belgium this month, a year after his public disclosure of abuse activity.   For Cardinal Rigali to go to the Czech Republic at the Pope's direction about the time of the next court hearings for the indicted in the Philadelphia Archdiocese would get him conveniently out of town.   Esteem may have nothing to do with it.  
7 years 11 months ago
# Eugene:

Lorem ipsum? LOL. Here you go:
Anne Chapman
7 years 11 months ago

The ''quote'' from the oft-quoted on this site John Hardon, SJ. is a nonsense paragraph often used in publishing for lay-outs, testing fonts etc. The paragraqph is a lot of impressive sounding words that actually mean nothing. Perhaps that is why it was attributed to Father Hardon?
7 years 11 months ago
An intended insult, but I accept it as a compliment. No matter.
david power
7 years 11 months ago
I have read some of Fr Hardon's works and altough I find him a little dry  he reminds me of some good and hardy priests that I knew in Ireland.
I think that the Church and all of us who live from her spiritually could benefit from more priests like this Jesuit. 
Men who know right from wrong and are more interested in Jesus Christ than tv cameras or power would be a breath of fresh air.
Another great Jesuit was Alberto Hurtado who put Christ first and built a great community for the poor in Chile.The Church is not only egocentric and narcissistic priests but also good and holy people both lay and clergy.I sometimes forget this and no matter what the current play is we can all be very confident that God will have the final word.      
7 years 11 months ago
@ David: He was the real deal and a very humble man. He battled pride and in the end he won the battle. David. I am frequently ridiculed because of my great love for Fr. Hardon; however, you cannot magine what joy I experienced as I read his works and in so doing discovered the deposit of the faith. I remember thinking why didn't anybody tell me this???? Instead, my parents where discussing Hans Kung in the living room after dinner parties with the Padres from Woodstock, lol. Theological debates never converted anybody's heart.

I am convinced that people have left the Church because no one will tell them the Truth. As he was fond of saying: you do not remain faithful to the Savior without paying the cost and he paid dearly. He was ostrasized. As the result of his courage in proclaiming the Truth, he has helped me save my soul. I was lost and mired in sin for forty years. Now, I just want others to know this God of love and mercy he helped me discover. Thanks for your kind words.
Eric Stoltz
7 years 11 months ago
Maria, meant not as an insult but as more of a wink and a nudge among family.

You said "Theological debates never converted anybody's heart." How true. Speak with your own voice more often rather than copying and pasting others' words, you have things to say that are worth hearing!
7 years 11 months ago
@ Deacon: Aren't you sweet. Wink and a nod- I get you. Not to worry. I will try to use my own words more, but Hardon just seems so able to cut right through to the Truth in a way I can't, but I will try. 
david power
7 years 11 months ago

I dont think there is an inch of footage of the Late Pope that I have not seen. The problem ,as with all actors,is when the cameras stop rolling.
 Also you must remember chronologywise the USA was a long way behind Ireland in terms of telling the truth.
It was first known as the "Irish" problem.
This was in the early 90,s and the Vatican quitely backed this interpretation knowing that the Irish were in fact not the exception but the norm. 
He was of course out of it in his later  years as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Irish president both testified on meeting him but then we have the situation where his handlers were telling lies claiming that he was "fine from the neck up".But he knew of Cardinal Ratzinger's "friday penance" and when Tom Doyle started his work in the mid-eighties he knew as did all bishops of what was happening to kids but never raised the alarm.
Instead he paraded himself before youth and offered the Church as a safe haven for the confused young.  
I have no doubt that he was not a bad man but the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that his values were upside down and that if it was a choice between the kids and the good name of the Church he would always side with the latter.The victims were a very unfortunate piece of collateral damage.I think what Anne Chapman and I are saying is basically
what Vittorio Messori is saying "The God of Jesus Christ does not need our lies and omissions, 
and the Church is full of true saints we dont have to invent them" 
Eric Stoltz
7 years 11 months ago
I don't think loving children is a heroic virtue.

This is still my problem: I have not heard anyone state what heroic virtue he embodied that can be imitae by an ordinary Christian. Maybe I'm just being dense, but "he wrote an encyclical I really liked" is not a heroic virtue. "He was an actor as a young person" is not a heroic virtue. "He was pope for 25 years" is not a heroic virtue.  

7 years 11 months ago
Eric, my first two thoughts were that (1) the Church probably cannot make a mistake in this reagard and (2) the saint making process requires miracles. Turns out the my first supposition was correct. St. Robert Bellarmine says: "
We hold that the Church does not err in the canonization of her saints. Proofs for this are not difficult to find. If we were ever granted the privilege of doubting whether a canonized saint is really a saint or not; we should also have the liberty of doubting whether he has to be worshipped or not. But this, to borrow a phrase from Augustine, would be dogmatic suicide because then we should be allowed to call into question whether we have to do anything that the whole Church of Christ is doing

I remember reading the book "Making Saints" many years ago. The process is incredibly rigorous. Do we question miracles? He does not get there without them. 

HEROIC VIRTUE. The performance of extraordinary virtuous actions with readiness and over a period of time. The moral virtues are exercised with ease, while faith, hope, and charity are practiced to an eminent degree. The presence of such virtues is required by the Church as the first step toward canonization. The person who has practiced heroic virtue is declared to be Venerable, and is called a "Servant of God." Modern Cathlic Dictionary

SAINTS. A name given in the New Testament to Christians generally (Colossians 1:2) but early restricted to persons who were eminent for holiness. In the strict sense saints are those who distinguish themselves by heroic virtue during life and whom the Church honors as saints either by her ordinary universal teaching authority or by a solemn definition called canonization. The Church's official recognition of sanctity implies that the persons are now in heavenly glory, that they may be publicly invoked everywhere, and that their virtues during life or martyr's death are a witness and example to the Christian faithful. (Etym. Latin sanctus, holy, sacred.) Modern Catholic Dictionary

If we look at these definitions, can we say that he has not met these criteria? Why don't we wait and let Pope Benedcit explain the reasons that Holy Mother Chuch, in her wisdom, is raising  JP II to the altar?

7 years 11 months ago
He forgave a man who shot him. This demonstrated heroic love.  His struggle to help end communism , despite all the boulders in his path, required heroic faith and hope. He taught us the meaning of redemptive suffering. In humility he showed us the suffering Jesus who loves "to the end"  as he stood before us, shaking with Parkinson's, sometimes unable to speak, sometimes unable to walk, sometimes drooling,  as he reached out in love to his sheep. He was indefatigable in his unwavering defense of life and and his battle against nihilsim and secularism. He showed us how to hope, how to believe and how to love in the face of persistent obstacles, with grace, over an extended period of time.
Molly Roach
7 years 11 months ago
He enabled the rape of children in the name of preserving the good name of the Church and the voices of those who were harmed and all who love them cry out for mercy, justice and compassion.   It is an omission of unfathomable scale with anguished consequences.  This cannot be holiness.  There is nothing heroic about it.
7 years 11 months ago

@ Molly: Pope John Paul II broke his right  femur and right shoulder in 1993 and rarely walked after this In November 1993. He had diffuculty hearing and slurred speech, even then. He died in 2005 at just shy of 85. So, in 2002, he was about 82 when the abuse scandal hit. What would you have had him do? 

Is it possible that your codemnation of Pope John Paul II is tied to other matters? Citations from Wikipedia:

1. John Paul II's defense of traditional moral teachings of the Catholic Church regarding gender roles, sexuality, euthanasia, artificial contraception and abortion came under attack. Some feminists criticised his traditional positions on the roles of women, which included rejecting women priests.

2. unbroken opposition to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage.

3. John Paul's position against artificial birth control, including the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV.

4. He stated that "there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young".[16] The Church instituted reforms to prevent future abuse by requiring background checks for Church employees[17] and, because a significant majority of victims were teenage boys, disallowing ordination of men with "deep–seated homosexual tendencies"

5. Eleven dissident theologians, including Jesuit professor Jose Maria Castillo and Italian theologian Giovanni Franzoni raised seven points, including his stance against contraception and the ordination of women as well as the Church scandals that presented "facts which according to their consciences and convictions should be an obstacle to beatification".[26]

Aren't these the really the reasons that you object to his canonization?

david power
7 years 11 months ago

It is a form of blasphemy to consider human persons as perfect.Each has their defect.
I have no doubt that many who comment against Wojtyla do so from ideological grounds.
I am not one of those.
For me marriage is sacred and should never be violated.Wojtyla made an exception for the Prince of Monaco ,urging the sacra rota to give his daughter a divorce.
I think those who espouse abortion and gay marriage should not be given the Holy Eucharist and again Wojtyla disagrees .He gave the body of the Lord to Tony Blair .A man who espoused war,abortion and all the rest.Why?Power speaks !
I hold the Gospel to be the revelation of the Universe and what all men seek in their hearts.Wojtyla may have had a liking for it bit felt that the Koran (a book which refutes the Virgin birth and the ressurection of Jesus Christ) was well worth a kiss.
One cannot be a moralist and a Christian too.
One cannot hold fast to ideals that are not the love of the person of Christ and remain a christian.
If the Communists had cut a deal with the Church he would never have opposed them.This was why all fascist governments ran smoothly with the Church.They knew how to kiss the ring.It is a power game.The opposite of Jesus Christ.The one who attracts us all is so much more than what we are being given.Christ died almost alone because he did not entertain the lies that pour forth from humans.
Christ is so much greater than we imagine and so much more to be loved than any mortal.Those who seek human admiration as Wojtyla did so assiduously must be seen for what they are.Let the idolatry stop and all of us return to a simple and intimate love of Jesus         
Anne Chapman
7 years 11 months ago
Thank you, David Power.

One more thing - John Paul II turned saintmaking into a political tool.  He seldom visited a country or people without announcing that Rome was beginning the canonization process for a local saint, and some of them may have lived heroic, saintly lives, but the process he came up with trivializes this.  Many of those with knowledge and experience in validating the ''miracles'' have reported that the process does not meet accepted scientific standards. 

It is sad that it has come to this - who are the real saints?  Mostly they are unknown, unheralded and simply quietly follow Christ.  Everyone knows a saint or two - recognize them, and count yourself blessed.  There will be no statues, no ''relics'' and no feast days or shrines, but most of us are blessed in having a saint in our personal world of family, friends, and acquaintances, if we will just look for them.

I have a friend (a saintly man himself) who once told me about the murder of his niece and her fiance.  His niece's ex-husband (she divorced him because he was abusive, an addict, and had violent tendencies) shot them to death shortly before their wedding.  The mother of the victim, my friend's sister, has visited him in prison regularly for many years - she forgave him for murdering her daughter and her daughter's fiance, and through her loving forgiveness, the murderer, her former son-in-law, came to an honest remorse, a recognition of his horrible sin, and faith in God.  Does anyone think that this woman will ever be beatified in Rome? 

You don't need to look to Rome to find true saints.  Give thanks for those who are in your own life.
7 years 11 months ago
"It is sad that it has come to this - who are the real saints?  Mostly they are unknown, unheralded and simply quietly follow Christ". 

@ Anne: Isn't this to set oneself outside the Church and determine for one's self who is, and who is not, a Saint?
david power
7 years 11 months ago

You are contradicting yourself.First you speak about the canonization of Wojtyla when it is just a beatification.
The judgement of the Church is not that he is a Saint.If you claim otherwise you will be guilty of the sin you have just invented.
Secondly, I would ask you if you think Fr Hardon was a Saint?If you judge in the positive you too will be outside the Church.
You will be long dead before Fr Hardon is raised to the altars.

 St Paul said that all baptized are Saints and now the Church refutes him. 
Pope Benedict spoke of those who are guilty of Magisterial postivism.This is a truly grave sin that afflicts many today.It is to replace Christ with a servile and often infantile pseudobelief in ecclesiastical pronouncements.
It is pseudo because real belief requires reason and those who critique others for retaining reason (possibly as a sign of pride) are in opposition to the Logos.The Lord of Reason of which Ratzinger speaks so often.I too was once very guilty of the sin that Ratzinger speaks of.It falls under the first commandment.You need to find a really good priest and confess it.Open your heart to Jesus and he will forgive you and lead you onto greater life.
The encounter with Jesus should not be formalized in any way.     

This is my little Easter gift to you ,it was written by the man who most inspired Pope Benedict in his spiritual life. Read it carefully and let the Holy Spirit cleanse you of any doubts.

Happy Easter
Anne Chapman
7 years 11 months ago
I'm so sorry, Maria.  From your comment it would seem that you don't know any saints. At least you don't think you do.

But,  I would be willing to bet that if you open your eyes, and open your mind,  and open your heart and your soul and your spirit you will realize that you too are blessed to have  (or have had at some time) some saints in your life.  Saints are not ''made'' by Rome - saints are made by God!

 And when you realize that indeed you have been blessed by having a saint in your life sometime, somewhere, now or long ago, give thanks!

7 years 11 months ago
@ David: You are so right, David. I get ahead of myself. Beatification and not Canonization. Certainly we have come to conclusions, on our own, about the Saintliness of others. This is how a cultus grows around a Saint. I belive Fr. Hardon to be a very holy man. Perhaps I believe him to be a Saintly man;however, it is not for me, individually, apart from the church, to decide for myself. I don't think it is for me to say, no, this man, this woman should not be Saint. Magisterial positivism? I don't even know what that is. David, I am not a theologian. I am just a Catholic who loves God and His church. My sin is " always before me". If I am guilty of some sin in reasoning or judgement, I will ask the Lord to send someone to staighten me out! Thanks for the article. I promise to read it.

Anne: When I was a child, the nuns would always tell us that holiness was being "close to God". I have known very, very holy men and women. Right you are, God first makes Saints. Rome merely confirms.

Happy Easter to both of you! "He is risen, as he said," and of whom St. Matthew
remarks, "His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment
white as snow" (Matt. 28:3). Alleluia!
7 years 11 months ago
@ David: Thought you might be interested in this: 

List of American Servants of God

The only other Jesuit on the list is Fr. Cizek, I believe. Fr. Hardon is in pretty good company.


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