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.