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John Paul II Beatification Set for May 1 as Vatican Confirms Miracle

3 years ago
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The late Pope John Paul II, whose death in April 2005 prompted a global outpouring of grief and demands that he be made a saint on the spot -- "Santo Subito!" as mourners cried -- will move a step closer to canonization when he is beatified on May 1, the Vatican announced Friday.

As expected, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the judgment of Vatican medical experts and theologians that a French nun's neurological disorder had been miraculously cured after she prayed to the memory of John Paul in June 2005.

Vatican policy requires that a miracle, usually an unexplained healing, be officially attributed to the intervention of a deceased person before he or she can be beatified. A second miracle is required for the final step to sainthood, which is canonization. Those who are martyred for their faith can be declared saints without attributing miracles to them.

(According to Catholic doctrine, all Christians in heaven are considered saints; canonization is the church's formal declaration that a person is indeed in paradise and that their memory is worthy of veneration, and that Catholics may pray to that saint to intercede with God on behalf of some cause here on Earth.)

Some have raised questions about the healing of the nun, Sister Marie Simon Pierre, and others say recent revelations about the John Paul's poor management of the clergy sexual abuse crisis should cause Rome to go slow on sainthood for the Polish pope.

"This is madness," wrote Michael Sean Winters, a columnist for National Catholic Reporter, a leading Catholic periodical. "After years of being frustrated at the slow pace with which the Vatican embraces change, in this one instance where haste could spell disaster, they appear to be rushing."

And Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), said pushing ahead with John Paul's beatification would be like "rubbing more salt into these wounds" of sexual abuse by clergy that was covered up during John Paul's reign.

"There's a reason we usually move slowly in honoring public figures," Dorris said. "Often, some of their unsavory actions and inactions surface years later. That's slowly happening with Pope John Paul II. The prudent course is to slow down this unwise and frantic rush."

"When we honor those who ignore or conceal wrong-doing, we essentially condone wrong-doing."

But such warnings are not likely to be heeded. While the Vatican on Friday insisted that all proper procedures had been followed in this process, it noted that for John Paul's cause for sainthood, Benedict XVI had waived the mandatory five-year waiting period after a person's death because of the "great fame of sanctity" John Paul enjoyed during his lifetime.

Moreover, the Vatican is moving to canonize popes with increasing regularity. That was not the case throughout most of the church's history, but popes have become so central to Catholic identity in the modern era that declaring deceased popes as saints is almost a requirement.

NCR's Vatican analyst, John Allen, said that Vatican officials "did not offer any response to substantive criticism of John Paul II."

But Allen explained that "in past cases when popes have been moved along the sainthood track, they generally insist that beatifying or canonizing a pope is not tantamount to endorsing every policy choice of his pontificate. Instead, they say, it's a declaration that this pope lived a holy life worthy of emulation, despite whatever failings may have occurred during his lifetime -- including his reign as pope."

Benedict XVI will preside at the beatification in Saint Peter's Square, which is expected to draw the largest crowds to Rome since John Paul's death and funeral. There was some question as to whether the Vatican could prepare for the beatification by April 2, the sixth anniversary of John Paul's death, or if Rome would wait until October, the anniversary of his election as pope. The May 1 date seems to be a realistic compromise.

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Mr Hop

You Catholics should be "up in arms" about this?

February 11 2011 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bostonpadre

David Gibson wrote, "Those who are martyred for their faith can be declared saints without attributing miracles to them." If that be taken literally then all victims of clergy abuse can be declared "martyred for their faith" in that they placed their whole beings in the care and trust of the Church in the person of the priest/sister (or whomever) and their spirits were destroyed. I call on the declaration that ALL victims of abuse be declared saints -- and the first among them should be those who did not survive the shame and succumbed to suicide.

January 17 2011 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
whatsupcastleman

The Roman church that is in babylon reminds me the Jewish priests, the pharisees, and the temple during the time of Christ. They are all about pedigrees, rituals, and decor. The term saint used is scripture has way less human baggage attached to it. It simply means a believer in Christ, a member of the church, by faith, called by God's grace. All those who God justifies, he glorifies. They nullify the word of God for the sake of their traditions.

January 16 2011 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lawlpfphd

I observed a lot people have given their opinion in different ways. First of all I give my Thanks to the Good Lord for giving each and every one the freedom to comment. I thought of expressing my view on this matter as well, although I do NOT have a PhD in religious affairs. Any way to remind everyone, it is the same freedom in the first place that allowed the man/woman to commit the first sin. Due to the limitless Kindness and forgiving nature of our Lord, he sent his own son as a sacrificial lamb to redeem the man kind from sin. This is the origin of Catholic religion and with time has deviated to other Christian religions to satisfy individual preferences.
Once the Catholic religion was established a leader called “Pope” was appointed to perpetuate the teaching of our lord Our Savior Jesus, and tailor the church according to the changing needs of the human society within the context of the teaching of our lord. There are many individuals that held this leadership. Pope John Paul II was one of them. He was just a human being like us, but blessed to be one of the leaders of the Catholic Church. During his leadership according to the legal investigations/media reporting, sadly there had been sexual abuse of children by priests of the Catholic Church. It is reported in the media these incidents were known by the pope and yet he allowed these priests to continue in their service. While I feel extremely sorry for the abused individuals and their families, for my analysis his decisions may have been based on the concept of forgiveness. However, his decisions in some cases with regard to these incidents did not give the anticipated results. This does NOT mean Pope John Paul II encouraged these priests to go on abusing children. It is reported that these abused individuals were financially compensated though money can NOT correct the wrong done on these individuals. I do NOT know as human beings how many of us make the correct decisions 100% of the time? Since the establishment of the church nearly 2000 years ago the Catholic Church had been challenged many times in many ways which I am not going to detail in here. The sexual abuse is the major challenge that the Catholic Church faces at the present time. As in the past I am confident that the Catholic Church will overcome these challenges with time because Our Savior Jesus had promised that he will stand behind the church till the end of the world.
Pope John Paul II and Saint Hood:
Due to the unlimited rewarding nature of the Good Lord on us, special places have been created in heaven for individuals who have contributed immensely to the welfare of the church or who followed the teachings of Our Savior Jesus. Once dead and taken into heaven in order to establish an individual as a saint there are established protocols in the Catholic Church. Performance of a miracle with the intersession of an individual is a key requirement for consideration of an individual for sainthood. Catholics try to follow the good deeds of the saints as well as honor the saints and request special blessings through these saints intersession for their needs. The saints can perform miracles according to the degree of faith of an individual. Faith is the key to miracles as once Our Savior Jesus himself has said “faith healed you “after performing many miracles.
I am very thankful to the Good Lord to hear this great news of Pope John Paul II coming close to receiving saint hood. I have been praying for Pope John Paul II’s sainthood and to invoke his blessings in my life matters. When I made the most wrong decision in my life and lost my job and subsequently my faith, and finding a job appeared to be an insurmountable task through the intersession of these prayers I was able find a decent job and my faith back. More ever, I feel that I am being guided by the saintly power of Pope John Paul II in my day to day matters. The most memorable and joyous day in my life will be the day when I can write” Saint John Paul II.”
I hope this explanation may help to understand the functioning of the Catholic Church and overcome some of the myths surrounding the Catholic Church.
Sincerely,
Lawrence

January 15 2011 at 7:18 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
homebull

It is pure BS!!

January 15 2011 at 6:50 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
diluccabron@aol.

as far as im concerned when i say gn to all in my prayers i always say gn ST JOHN PAUL ever since his passing apr 2nd 2005 jean dilucca

January 15 2011 at 4:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sashajjjj

Oh brother. These people are right out of the "dark ages."

January 14 2011 at 8:20 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Apelcart

I know it took a Pope until just a few years ago to admit that the Sun did NOT rotate around the Earth and that the Earth is not the center of Creation. But the Church still expects us to believe in "Miracles". That is, things that violate the Laws Of Physics and of Nature. Hey Papa--Not even God can do that. Any violation of any of the basic Laws Of Nature will result in the immediate disappearance of everything. Gone: Capput; Dissapears: Aint no more: By By;

January 14 2011 at 8:13 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
dkurtz628

What is the vatican's biblical reference for all of this? The Bible says that all who have accepted Christ for the forgivness of sins are saints and priests. There is no other criteria for sainthood other than repenting of sin and being born again. The catholic church should move away from their vain man-made religious traditions and embrace scripture.

January 14 2011 at 8:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dmainswo

Since the bible says "thou shalt have no other gods before you", is that saying there are other gods?

January 14 2011 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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