Santo Fairly Subito: John Paul Beatified in 2011?

John Allen, as usual, has the goods over at NCR: 

According to a report by veteran Italian Vatican writer Andrea Tornielli, a miracle attributed to the late Pope John Paul II has been approved by both the medical and theological consulters of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. In effect, that clears the path for the beatification of John Paul II sometime in 2011. Tornielli suggests that the most likely dates would April 2, the anniversary of the pope’s death; May 18, his birthday; or October 16, the anniversary of his election to the papacy in 1978. Although Benedict XVI typically does not celebrate beatification ceremonies himself, preferring that they be led by the local bishop and staged in the saint’s local diocese, in this case the beatification would be held in St. Peter’s Square in Rome and is expected to draw a vast crowd. Before a date is set, the full body of cardinals and bishops who make up the Congregation for the Causes of Saints must approve the miracle and then submit their recommendation to Pope Benedict XVI. The miracle claim in question concerns a 49-year-old French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease in 2001 and whose order prayed to John Paul II after his death in 2005 for help. Reportedly, after writing the late pope’s name on a piece of paper one night in June 2005, Sister Marie-Simone awoke the next morning cured and was able to resume her work as a maternity nurse.


Read the rest here.

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david power
8 years ago
What is the essential difference between beatification and Canonization?Is it a slam dunk from one to the other? I would imagine that beatification does not require a very thorough examination of the person's life,is this correct? Pope John Paul was complicit in the cover up of sexual abuse and there  is also the possibility of simony being prevalent during his reign  ,does this not enter the process? I am not sure it is wise of the Church to return to its triumphalist mode so quickly.Why the  hurry?Newman had to wait for over 110 years and Oscar Romero still has not even got underway.  Last year was supposed to be the year of the Priest and we know how that turned out. This could be another example of the Church getting more than it bargained for.
I hope that Tornielli is wrong (he is usually right!).We need to speak more about Jesus and less His servants.       
8 years ago
I think the sex abuse victim comunity will be deeply upset by this.
I think many Catholics of a liberal bent will see the process as another "bull in a china shop" move to glorify hierachs, especially popes, evn though  they moved the Church to a far more rigid structure.
Undoubtedly many will also exalt and proclaim many good things JPII did.
But it wil be just another divisive top downer to many.
Winifred Holloway
8 years ago
John Paul conferred sainthood on so many people during his pontificate, mostly the ordained and religious, that it left me feeling vaguely discomforted.  The Church has possibly diluted the  brand.  Perhaps popes should not be declared saints under any circumstances.  I have my special saints, but this rush to sainthood for the connected is embarrassing and smelly.  And if a virtuous and heroically Christian life is to be celebrated with canonization, we can do that without declaring "miracles."
Jim McCrea
8 years ago
Is there no shame left in the Vatican?  This is simply adding to the sham nature of this entire process.

Santo Subito?  I think not, no matter WHAT those who were appointed by him think.
david power
8 years ago
Thank you Fr Martin,

What Winifred wrote is worth repeating but moreso worth reflection.Is it possible that there is something diabolical in all of this?I know people will laugh but it seems that in a time when so many are far from Christ and the Church is more a sign of scandal than anything else this beatification will give more scandal to the victims of abuse and a false idea of holiness to the world. I pray that the deciding body including the current Pope will see that April 2005 was a false dawn and that April 2010 was where God finally spoke.  
8 years ago
Geez, tough crowd. 

The man, along with Mother Theresa, is THE face of Catholicism for a generation, like it or not.  More than that, it is clear that whatever weaknesses he had, he was primarily a mystic and a profound thinker, particularly with respect to human dignity and freedom.  It would be a shame to allow relatively insignificant internal Church politics to frustrate what by all indications has been a fair, if speedy, process.  I think there's a certain wisdom in affirming what most people already think.  I was there at World Youth Day and saw the impact the man had.  Of course it is now clear that he was essentially a "hands off" ecclesiastical administrator and perhaps allowed his Polish clericalism to blind him to certain unfortunate realities.  That does not deny the impact he had on the age and that he continues to have.

I'm also saddened to see our Church striven by such internal strife: communities against communities, as if we were just another political entity.  His death seemed for me a moment where we transcended that and were proud that he represented us.  At least some of us felt that way, and those that didn't are beyond our generation.
david power
8 years ago

You should go to a U2 concert and see the effect Bono has on that crowd. It would be beautiful if what you wrote was true.If he was simply ignorant of what was going on around him.Hands  off?

 Here is where he was hands on.This is the tip of the Iceberg.I agree that he was THE face of Catholicism for decades .Consider that for a while. I remember when he died and I was swooning from his effect and I read  an obituary by Clifford Longley who is a great English catholic writer and he finished off by saying about the papacy of JP"It was magnificent but was it christianity?". Demagogory was a powerful factor in the 20th century and in Cuba they would no doubt canonize el Che and gladly overlook his killing of so many  .Jeez tough crowd  etc! This is a test for the current Pope and the Church.Are we simply a sociological phenomenon? Determined by public opinion ? Is Mass popularity our sole criteria?  A Beatification now would be a very unholy thing I am convinced.Maybe in another time ,down the road when the Church has taken full stock of everything it may be possible.But Canonizations under the influence of Kool-aid are not prudent.
8 years ago
Mr. Power -

My point is not that "mass popularity" should determine sainthood (although in fairness that is the Church's ancient tradition to an extent) but neither should internal Church politics squabble what is clearly a powerful spiritual leader.  I have looked at your links; of the 4, only 1, that re: Maciel, details any troubling behavior.  I acknowledged that JP II's attitude toward the Legion is extremely concerning.  But, I think to ignore the impact JP II had on the Church and the World over that, at least with what we know about the matter now, would be a mistake.  I think to do that would, indeed, render the church simply, to use your words, a "sociological phenomenon".  JP's death was a moment of grace for many people, yourself included it would seem.  We should focus on that.  I have said my piece.  I respect your right to hold a different view.
Bill Mazzella
8 years ago
The apostles were such flawed people so what is the need to canonize people when with many of the saints there is clearly doubtful behavior. Jesus said "Only God is Good." Those who become holy certainly owe it all to God. But our need for ways to feel good about ourselves has led to the creation of the Holy Man. It is clearly a fourth century phenomenon accelerated at the time around Martin of Tours of whom it was claimed by each town that it had his incorruptible body. The practice is good fodder for shrines, pilgrimages and novenas. Saints became ubiquitous at a time when many forgot about the Way and Christianity became politically correct. Here is what the Antiquity scholar Marcus has to say about that time: 
       “As saints became ubiquitous, they also changed their functions. In the
early Christian community the living faithful prayed to God for their dead;
now the dead saint is asked to pray for the living: a whole new liturgy came
into being. As the martyr is , literally, detached from the place of his
martyrdom and made present wherever his relics have become the center of a
cult, so relics began to be seen in a new way…..relics soon became
themselves, the seats of holy power, God’s preferred channels for miraculous
action. A new nexus of social relationships centered around their shrines;
their cult provided ways of securing social cohesion in the locality, and
one of the means on which bishops depended to consolidate their authority.”
The Oxford History of Christianity.pg90.
david power
8 years ago

In the first link Fr Tom Doyle states that in 1985 he handed the Pope a dossier detailing the problem of pedophilia in the Church ,that is to say the rape of children.His reaction:nada.This is not troubling to you?

In the second link Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos stated that the Pope supported his letter to a French Bishop  which commended him for covering up for a pedophile priest  .This is not troubling behaviour?

In the third link Cardinal Schoenborn stated that the then Cardinal Ratzinger wanted to investigate the Groer case as it was reportedto run into the hundreds the amount of seminarians he had abused. The Pope used his position to stop any such investigation.Nor did he ever inquire about the victims or meet them or show any interest in the spiritual welfare.Not troubling for a spiritual leader?

The fourth link is where Jason Berry states that the legion bought off the Pope via his secretary and also his secretary of state.The crimes of the "efficacious guide to youth"  made it onto the pages of the Hartfod Courant in 1997 but as of April 2005 the case lay dormant in the Vatican due to the will of Pope John Paul. No pastoral care was given to the victims or no interest shown by the Pope in them. Troubling? 

His death and the media hoopla that went with it was a moment of cheap grace for me and many others. Achieved by closing our eyes and ears to the suffering of others in the body of Christ. Was Jesus Christ the centre then? Not for a moment. 

We do have to respect the views of others and I respect yours and all those who think like you.

Craig McKee
8 years ago
So THE GUARDIAN was lying last spring?
Molly Roach
8 years ago
I think this beatification is scandalous and "feeling good about ourselves" as noted above, has become a signature of the work of our hierarchs.  It's a shame.


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