After a number of unofficial rumors leaked last month, the Vatican has confirmed that both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized sometime later this year.
I do not wish to get into great detail about the nature of these canonizations, specifically that of the late John Paul II. In March 2011, the Remnant posted a very in depth and at least compelling (in my mind, indisputable) case for why John Paul II should not be beatified.
That article, recommended, can be found here:
This may come to a shock to many that anyone would dare to claim that he was NOT a saint. A simple review of the comments under videos of him on YouTube will reveal comments like the following:
1. “Such a holy man! Loved everyone regardless of their beliefs!”
2. “I’m Muslim, but he was a good man.”
3. “I’m an atheist, but there was really something special about him.”
4. “I met him once…I could feel his holiness!”
5. “BEST. POPE. EVER!!!”
It’s not that I expect to find any kind of theological depth on comments open to the general public and limited to 500 characters or less, but these comments are extremely revealing. We see how and why people loved him:
- 1. For his tolerance of their false beliefs and refusal to concretely declare any measure of theological absolutism (yes he spoke out on moral issues, but never definitively gave any impression that the Catholic faith was the one true religion or that others need convert).
>> Pope Pius XII, Menti Nostrae (Thoughts for the Clergy of the World – 1950), #63 “Let your apostolic zeal shine with benign charity. If it be necessary -- and it is everyone's duty -- to fight error and repel vice, the soul of the priest must be ever open to compassion. Error must be fought with all our might, but the brother who errs must be loved intensely and brought to salvation….he who to please men would gloss over their evil inclinations or be indulgent about their incorrect ways of thinking or acting, thereby prejudicing Christian teaching and integrity of morals, would be betraying his ministry…”
- 2. Even those of heretical belief systems or no theistic belief whatsoever pledge a love for him; as mentioned in my last post, it seems that only the far left liberals hated him (for his, thank Almighty God, strong stance on abortion, contraception and women’s ordinations) while the rest of the world loved him.
>> John 15:18 “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.”
>> Matthew 10:22 “And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”
>> Luke 6:26 “Woe to you when [all] men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets.”
3. People who would be so bold as to go on the march to hate God and subscribe to the ideologies of the “Four Horsemen of New Atheism” (Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins & Dennett) even go so far as to claim they liked him. They would crucify our Lord all over again, but they love his Vicar on Earth…
>> 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined.”
4. The sentimentalism which is so rampant in the last 50 years ever since the wily errors of Pentecostalism crept into the Church known as the “Charismatic Movement,” one which in fact had the full blessing of Pope John Paul II, leaves people constantly validating their own behaviors based on how they “feel.” This topic is for an entirely separate post, but it suffices to point out that one cannot simply discern his or her life path based on emotions and “warm and fuzzies.” I remember when I saw George W. Bush speak as President at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. I certainly could feel a presence of power. That certainly doesn’t mean he was a saint (far from it).
5. Finally, perhaps my favorite, when people who probably do not even know the name of a single Pope prior to John Paul II declare him to be the best ever. Really? How about Pope St. Peter? Pope St. Gregory the Great? St. Leo the Great? St. Pius V? St. Pius X? Perhaps the most appalling part of these declarations is that, strictly statistically speaking, many of them did not adhere to half of his teachings on basic Catholic morality as some 80-90% of Catholics still openly practice contraception and do not believe they need to adhere to Church teaching on the matter.
The point I am trying to make is that the papacy has become a position of popularity and public appearance more than the role of the chief defender of the immutable teachings of Jesus Christ. John Paul II went to 110 countries and traveled enough miles to have gone around the globe 28 times. He welcomed political figures of all sides of the spectrum to Rome with open arms and a warm embrace…even the ones watching Christians being slaughtered in their home lands. He allowed rock concerts in the Vatican and special Jewish holiday memorials in St. Peter’s Square. He canonized some 500 people and 1300 beatifications, more than all his predecessors combined. Everybody loved him. And that is precisely at the heart of the problem.
During his pontificate, John Paul II removed a number of the long-standing requirements to declare someone Blessed or Saint. The number of miracles required for the former was reduced from two to one, and the nature and validity of that miracle much less rigorously investigated. In addition, the Church ALWAYS used to allow for a person to present a “Devil’s Advocate” case for why someone was potentially not a man or woman of “heroic virtue.” This was removed in 1983…and then came the wave of declarations of sanctity.
These lessened restrictions paved the way for his own canonization after he had died, and the Vatican continued to break all the rules by waiting just a few weeks to begin the case rather than the prescribed 5 years held in long-standing by the Church.
An article from National Catholic Register (NCR) attempted to justify this with the following quote from Angelo Cardinal Amato:
“St. Anthony of Padua was canonized by Gregory IX on May 30, 1232, less than a year after his death, which took place on June 13, 1231.”
Are we seriously comparing St. Anthony of Padua to Pope John Paul II? Seriously? The saint known as the “Miracle Worker,” with arguably more miracles performed than any other saint in the history of the Church, close follower of St. Francis of Assisi…who had more than enough reasons during his life to not even need to second guess his sanctity…and we are comparing that to the sole purported miracle of a woman who allegedly had Parkinson’s disease being cured with no explanation?
It would have been more honest for His Eminence to just declare, “the people have been asking for this for years. Pope Francis is finally going to give them what they want.”
During the week after his death, could be heard constantly chanting in St. Peter’s Square, “SANTO SUBITO! SANTO SUBITO!” (in English, SAINT NOW, SAINT NOW!) These movements have been ongoing since that time, and just 8 years later, the official announcement has come announcing the canonization of both John Paul II and, in his shadow, John XXIII.
And that’s where the rules continue to be stretched and broken.
Also from NCR:
“The Holy Father had approved a ‘favorable vote,’ taken by a commission of cardinals and bishops, ‘on the canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII.’
Pope Francis has agreed to skip the usual second miracle required for canonization, as a second miracle attributed to his intercession has not been forthcoming.”
So, the last remaining piece – the miracles required as proof from Heaven that this person is with God enjoying the Beatific Vision and ready and willing to intercede for those of us still here below – has been now waived because popular vote now apparently supersedes any possible Divine or Supernatural sign of approval.
Canonizations used to be considered infallible declarations of Holy Mother Church. But the changes in the last 30 years, the continued lessening of requirements to declare someone a saint have left many legitimately doubting who is or is not actually in God’s presence hearing their prayers.
One final quote from NCR from the neighbor of one of the women supposedly healed:
“The whole neighborhood is very happy because we always believed in John Paul II. You can see the nobility in his face.”
I’ll let the readers be the judge of that:
You can read the full article here:
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." - Dante Alighieri
A truly disconcerting thought.
~ Pax Christi sit Semper Vobiscum