John Paul II and John XXIII: A rush to sainthood?

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(1978) Pope John Paul hugs a Mexican youngster during a visit to Cuilapam, while attending the CFLAM III meetings. Religion News Service file photo

(1978) Pope John Paul hugs a Mexican youngster during a visit to Cuilapam, while attending the CFLAM III meetings. Religion News Service file photo

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The fast-track canonization for Pope John Paul II, and the bend-the-rules process for Pope John XXIII, have raised questions about a rush to sainthood for the two most influential popes of the 20th century.

  • Atheist Max

    Sainthood is completely meaningless.
    They would be equally benighted as “Mighty Leprechauns”.

    And you wonder why people are abandoning religion?

  • JP2’s papacy was much more controversial for far different reasons that we’re not willing to acknowledge, yet:

  • Atheist Max

    “The Vatican reportedly had documentation with credible allegations that Maciel was a pedophile with a questionable spiritual life.”

    If Pope John Paul had information like this and and failed to deal with it publicly what then is the meaning of ‘sainthood’?

    Isn’t ‘Sainthood’ just another way to set up a wall around questionable characters?

    The Vatican is knowingly sanctifying obstruction of Justice and it wonders why support is dwindling.

  • gilhcan

    Certainly too soon for John Paul II, and too questionable a procedure given his inaction in the midst of the explosion of the worldwide sex scandal by clergy, including its brazen cover-up by his bishops. Consider how John Paul II rewarded Cardinal Law of Boston for his protection of pedophiles by moving him to a pompous sinecure in Rome out of the reach of our civil justice system.

    There was only good that came out of the papacy of John XXIII, especially his grand effort to freshen the stale air of the church with Vatican Council II. Considering his time, just after a long line of very monarchical popes, even if John XXIII was not a saint, he was certainly a super-hero for true goodness in a dictatorial system.

    Another fault of John Paul II and his managed successor, his grand inquisitor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Josef Ratzinger as Benedict XVI, was the non-stop work of the two of them to “reform the reform” of John XXIII’s great council. They damaged the church immensely by those actions.

    Contrary to their plans and wishes, they got modern people to begin questioning many of the ancient, dictatorial ways of popes and bishops and the church at large. Contrary to their hopes and plans, they caused people to start thinking for themselves, questioning, and making their own decisions. That was a good and unexpected side benefit of their autocracy

    There are no two Catholics, any more than there are any other two Christians or any two religious people, whose belief systems are the same. It is the nature and the right of people to form their own beliefs. It is long past the time to be accepting catechisms, encyclicals, or any other proclamations that presumptuously attempt to dictate belief for people. Study and learn and think. Decide for yourselves.

  • gilhcan

    All very true, Max. And is even the “infinite heaven” big enough for all the “saints” that have been sent that way?

  • gilhcan

    Cosmostheinlost: Anyone who has studied the history of religion or the Christian church–or almost all other religion, for that matter–should know very well all those very evil “far different reasons that we’re not willing to acknowledge yet.”

  • Noel

    When I came to this site I thought it was going to be a humanitarian site of working towards unity, but you are all just a bunch of bigots. If you were once baptized Catholics, you know nothing about the faith and are very corrupted – get a Catechism of the Catholic faith and study instead of promoting such ignorant lies. Guess what if you have been baptized into the catholic faith when you die, you will die a Catholic whether you believe the faith or not.

  • martin gran

    An atheist trolling the internet in order to insult theists with his uncivil comments is also meaningless.

  • martin gran

    Noel, a great comment. In reality this site provides very few balanced articles and nothing but a collection of closed minded hateful comments.

  • Atheist Max


    You said, “if you have been baptized into the catholic faith…you will die a Catholic whether you believe the faith or not.”

    A Priest’s incantation and a drop of water seals one’s fate?
    Fatuous, superstitious, fascist, totalitarian, authoritarian nonsense.
    No grown up should be told by another how they ‘must think.’

    Of course I must reject this claim with a big laugh.

  • Atheist Max

    @Martin gran,

    Me? Uncivil?

    “About heretics there are two things to say. Their sin deserves banishment not only from the church by excommunication but also from the world by death.”
    – St. Thomas Aquinas

    It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle
    than for a Saint to be civil.

    I do not think these are trivial matters. When a criminal organization such as the Catholic Church elevates to its highest pantheon those who call for murder we should all be on watch!

  • Atheist Max

    @martin gran,

    Pope John Paul:
    “Aids is bad, but condoms are worse”

    And 20 million Africans died.
    Across Africa, The Catholic clinics refused to hand out condoms to women who begged to be saved from their AIDS infected husbands.

    They died of AIDS instead.

    All the while, The Catholic Church KNEW AIDS could be prevented with condoms but they refused to help those women. I cannot measure the disgust I feel.

    Almost 3 times the size of the Jewish Holocaust – and much of it was preventable with condoms. We can only marvel at the ignorance of Catholics.

  • Rev. Larry Hansen

    If I were Dictator/Pope, I would set a 50-100 year bar between anyone’s–even the Pope’s–death and any formal recognition such as sainthood, which has become even more of a politically-driven popularity contest in recent years. When John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, some folks thought HE was the equivalent of a Christian martyr. The intervening years seem to have proven otherwise. My sense is that, when the smoke (incense or otherwise) clears and the evidence is in, John Paul will be seen to have been a great Actor on the world stage (Central America a notable exception), but small-minded in his pastoral theology and in matters of the heart–not to mention woefully (and perhaps willfully) ignorant on matters of concern to 50%+ of the human race; i.e., women.

  • Noel

    Well, Mr. Rev. Larry you are definitely not a roman catholic priest, so your opinion, which it surly is …is there. If you are a Roman Catholic priest you are a heretic or schismatic one. This little corner of the world is not a proper place to debate your opinion of Blessed John Paul ll. There is not enough room to have a normal discussion. They say ignorance is bliss but it is never bliss for the one who has to live with the ignorant — not bliss at all. The reason it is not bliss is education takes time, work and the willingness to do research–

  • Conrad J. Noll

    Noel, you rightly call out ignorance. But I wonder how well informed you are about your church?

  • noel

    Greetings Conrad Noll: Well, I am never informed totally regarding the mystery of the Church, so acknowledging a huge amount of ignorance I work to acquire more knowledge by studying and going beyond the poorly clad main stream media . Yet, I find ways to discover the churches beauty and mystery. Since I believe in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Teaching magisterium guided by the Holy Spirit, I have a wealth of avenues to walk through and study. The Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. “These 4 characteristics are linked to each other. They indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
    The Church founded by Christ in his preaching of the Good News, … the coming of the kingdom of God, —in the fullness of time God sent his son to redeem humanity. His miracles demonstrate that the kingdom has already come to earth.
    It is amazing that God, knowing how ignorant I am of this mystery of the Church, has given me such a gift through the sacraments and He gives this gift to all who desire it or not. this is a great link about atheism, I wonder if any of the atheists above would have the courage to go to this link and argue their points?

  • noel Max if you have the time, see if you can argue within this site of theists and atheists.

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  • Re: “If you were once baptized Catholics, you know nothing about the faith and are very corrupted – get a Catechism of the Catholic faith and study instead of promoting such ignorant lies.”

    Have you actually paid attention to some of the comments? Or are you merely sanctimoniously enraged that people dared make unflattering comments about your Church?

    If the latter, then you missed comments concerning Pope John Paul II’s purposeful choice to allow priests in his service to molest children and to allow the bishops over them protect them from prosecution. You missed the part where the Church refused to distribute condoms to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa and by doing so condemned millions to illness and death. You missed the part where John Paul was good friends with a priest, Marcial Maciel Degollado, whom he had been told was a philandering pedophilic con-man running a sham clerical order, but chose to do nothing about it.

    Are these things not significant? What part of the Catechism permits any of these behaviors? Why would reading the Catechism convince anyone that John Paul was not guilty of, at best, dire neglect of his duties?

    Re: “Guess what if you have been baptized into the catholic faith when you die, you will die a Catholic whether you believe the faith or not.”

    I was baptized into the Church but am Catholic no longer. By the Church’s own definition I am an apostate. Look that up in your Catechism, if you wish.

    Given what the R.C. Church has done through history … a history that I know very well, having earned a degree in medieval studies, so don’t begin to suggest I’m ignorant of it. … and given that it has so many militant apologists who absolutely refuse to accept that it might have done anything it needs to atone for, and who instead get their knickers in knots when someone says anything negative about their Church … I’m happy to have left it behind. Good riddance.

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  • Jenny

    Totally agree and I’m a Christian albeit I’m not RC as I left because of the hypocrisy and the cover ups but saying that Atheistic groups secular organisation not fair any better if anything there worse. So it’s not right for us to adopt a greater than thou stance without realising for every finger pointed at religious organisations secular organisation have 3 pointed at them too for their sheer lack of incompetence in protecting the vulnerable

  • Jenny

    I agree and having a B A in theology etc I can say that when you stop believing in transubstaniaton the sacrifice of the mass and reject the papacy as having authority you have very much left the Catholic Church as I have done and happy I have and follow Christ alone

  • oscarlidox

    God have mercy on this soul

  • Walter Fischer

    Since John Paul II. has canonized more people then all other popes together before him, the value of canonization is like money after an hyperinflation. It´s meaningless. About John Paul II himself and his faith: I don´t know what a man believes who kisses the Koran.

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