Pope John Paul II has been brought a step closer to sainthood, Guardian reports.
“From now on Pope John Paul shall be called ‘blessed'”, [Pope] Benedict proclaimed in Latin, establishing that the late pontiff’s feast day would be October 22 – the day of his inauguration in 1978….
Beatification is the last step on the road to sainthood, though not all those who are beatified are finally canonised. Before conferring the title of “blessed”, the Roman Catholic church requires evidence of at least one miracle….
John Paul is accused by victims’ groups of having turned a blind eye to sex abuse by his clergyman. Some traditionalists believe he made unacceptable compromises with other religions; many progressives argue he fatally weakened the innovative legacy of the Second Vatican Council.
That last paragraph is typical. Plenty of news reports have ended the same way. Here’s another example:
The beatification, the fastest in modern times, is a morale boost for a church scarred by the sex abuse crisis, but it has also triggered anger from victims because the scandal occurred under his 27-year watch.
But the late pope has critics as well as supporters, particularly among those who accuse him of not doing enough to stop the abuse of children by Catholic clergy.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) vowed to protest at 70 churches in seven countries Sunday…
The group calls the fast-tracking of pontiff’s sainthood “a callous PR juggernaut honoring the man who presided over much of the ongoing crisis.”
So, in other words, there’s this one item still hanging about – a sexual abuse scandal. That one item may be bigger than this one pontiff, but it’s also a more-than-minor characteristic of his time as his time as pope, and his judgment concerning what do about it will continue to be called into question by faithful people.
What do you think? Is John Paul’s sainthood a foregone conclusion, or does the scandal simply cast too long a shadow? I suspect the answer to both is Yes.