Why Pope John Paul II's canonization has been speeded up

Prompted by DocCathode’s questions in posts 86 and 89 of this thread, I would like to post why the canonization process for His Holiness Pope John Paul II was sped up by the Holy Father, His Holiness Benedict XVI.

This is simply an explanation: I am not interested in debating whether this is good, bad, right, or wrong.

For many Catholics, Pope John Paul the Second - called John Paul the Great by many - was not only the only Pope they knew but one who was dramatically different from Popes before him. He traveled around the world - permitting more people than ever access to their Holy Father. He also spoke soundly, solidly, and firmly in defence of traditional Catholic teachings, values, morals, and standards, in face of increasing criticism from those who disagreed - from within and without - with traditional Catholic teachings, values, morals, and standards. And yet he also made sure the reforms of the Second Vatican Council were implemented. He was also seen as a gentle, caring, loving man, who loved everyone in the world. He forgave even his would-be assassin. As such, he is seen as a model of how a Christ-like person (faithful to Catholicism) would be.

Upon his death, Catholics who loved and cherished him for the above reasons felt that there was no doubt that Pope John Paul II was saintly while alive and is a saint in Heaven now. From the perspective of faithful Catholics, the case can certainly be made that he was, undoubtedly, Venerable (that is, that he demonstrated what Catholics have classified as heroic virtues).

During the funeral of Pope John Paul II, many people were seen with signs saying, “Santo Subito” which means “Sainthood Now.” The movement for the swift canonization of Pope John Paul II is widespread amongst Catholics. I might dare say, more widespread than the sentiment that existed when Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta died. This was an expression by the people that they believed Pope John Paul II is a saint, which should be recognized and formalized as soon as possible.

Of course, the Holy Father, being the Supreme Pontiff, has the prerogative to dispense with any part of the canonization process as he sees fit. Nevertheless, he would not make any decision regarding Pope John Paul II’s canonization process lightly.

Let us examine some of what the Holy Father has said (bold-face in any of the following are added):
“After the holy death of my Venerable Predecessor John Paul II, the traditional Wednesday General Audiences are resuming today” (audience on April 27, 2005, from the Holy See’s website). He has called Pope John Paul II “Venerable” even before the canonization process started. (One is a Servant of God when the process starts, Venerable when the candidate is found to have heroic virtues, Blessed when miracles are found through the candidate’s intercession, and Saint when more miracles are found through the candidate’s intercession.)

“We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father” (homily as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at the Funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005, from the Holy See’s website). In saying this, he basically said that Pope John Paul II is in Heaven.

From these two examples (and I am sure there are others), one is able to see that the Holy Father himself believes that Pope John Paul II is in Heaven, and one can also see from the reception of his comments - always received with applause and other expressions of joy - that faithful Catholics agree with him. In response to what he believes and what the people of the Church are expressing (originally saints were declared by vox populi or the voice of the people, so the people’s voice cannot be ignored), the Holy Father decided to dispense with the five-year waiting period. (He could have dispensed with the entire process, but decided to dispense only with the waiting period. The rest, it seems, will go forward as usual.) Even though I am sure many Catholics, including the Holy Father, would like to see him canonized immediately, the Holy Father has decided to permit the process to continue as usual, unless otherwise determined at a future date.

The entire decree dispensing with the five-year waiting period is as follows (from the Holy See’s website):

Again, whether right, wrong, good, or bad, this is what a large number of Catholics believe and want, is consistent with Catholic procedures, beliefs, and theology, and within the Supreme Pontiff’s prerogatives.


Other than simply not responding, which would leave me with many questions unanswered, I don’t see how we can avoid one.

How many popes before him had lived in an age of jet planes, telephones, or with so many countries that can be relied upon not have sudden revolts, or to sieze the Pope and demand ransom?

Who was Pope when Martin Luther was disagreeing with the Catholic church? Who was Pope when the Cathars and Albigenis were creating schisms? Are these men saints?

So, the formal canonization process is only for those who lack popular acclaim? If the voice of the people determines canonization, why have a formal procedure governed by rules at all?

I disagree. Sure, he think’s John Paul is in heaven. I don’t see that belief as good enough reason to rush the process. If he’s in heaven now, he’ll still be there in five years.

I’m cannonizing this to Great Debates.

(Get it? Like shooting it over? I can’t help it. Auntie Em says I’m only allowed to pun on the weekends.)

Canonization shouldn’t be a popularity contest, WeRSauron. At least not entirely.

Yes, many things were declared by the people once. If we’re going to go back to that, I suggest starting with having the people ELECT church leaders, such as the bishops.

::: snerk :::

::: notes that every Episcopal Church bishop was elected, and that, while the Episcopal Church does not canonize, it does add deceased worthies to the calendar as “lesser feasts,” à la the celebrations awarded the minor saints in Catholicism :::

Geez people…read your bible. No one goes to heaven before judgement day. Not even the late great pope.

Which version of the bible?

King James version…
II Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

For Luther, it was Popes Leo X, Adrian VI, Clement VII and Paul III. None of them were canonized. The Cathars existed for about two centuries, so there were a number of Popes. However, none of the popes who engaged in active suppression of the Cathars were canonized either, however, Eugene III was beatified. If we assume the Cathars to have started appearing somewhere around 1020, the following popes were canonized or beatified in that time period.

St. Leo IX, St. Gregory VII, Bl. Victor III, Bl. Urban II, and Bl. Eugene III.

Well, the Douay-Rheims version says:

But, while both translations speak of a personal judgement, they don’t say whether the judgment will take place uipon death or sometime later.

Catholic (and other Christian) thought on Resurrection and the Last Judgment have always struck me as rather confused. On the one hand you have Paul’s statement, but you also have Christ’s statement to The Good Thief (from, I believer, Luke) that “I say to you, this day you will be with me in Paradise”, which strongly suggests an immediate and personal judgment. You can work around it with sufficient verbal gymnastics, but you can wormk around anything with sufficient gymnastics.

Why the BFR to get JPII canonized? Ratzi wants it done before a subsequent pope whose personal beliefs are a bit less in lockstep with his can say, “Gee, a lot of folks admired him and he had some good qualities, but a saint? I don’t think so.”

“Who was Pope when Martin Luther was disagreeing with the Catholic church? … Are these men saints?” (looking at the list and shuddering at the mention of two Medici) Not bloody likely.

Hey** Skippy!** Check out today’s Wizard of Id when they post it online. (For some reason they have next Sunday’s up now.)

Here’s the link.

**SkipMAgic, **this one’s for you.

I must be right since in the two days since posting my explanation all you people can do is post links to comic strips.

Proof positive!

Who you calling you people? :slight_smile: The link didn’t work until today.

Dropzone I object to your calling the man “Ratzi”. If you want to debate whether Benedict is (or was) a Nazi, start a new thread.

WeRSauron If you’re still reading this thread, could you start responding? I have questions I’d like answered and points I’d like adressed. I don’t see this thread that differently from one in which **Zev]/b], Alessan, CMKeller and I debate a point of Talmud. It will certainly be a debate, and GD is certainly the right forum for it but I’m not planning on cursing, ad hominems etc.

Frankly, it’s because of the Talmud that dispensing with the five-year waiting period confuses me so much. I’ve mentioned this story before, but there’s a tale of two sages debating a point of Talmud. I can’t remember just which sages they were, so lets go with Aleph and Bet. Aleph has cites from the Torah. Bet knows he’s right, but can’t prove it. Bet says ‘If I’m right, that tree will get up and walk.’ G-d makes the tree get up and walk. Aleph says ‘A walking tree is not an acceptable cite!’. Bet says ‘If I’m right, that river will change its course!’. G-d makes the river change course. Aleph says ‘A river is not an acceptable cite!’. It goes on like this. Finally, G-d shows up and says ‘Bet is right.’. Aleph says ‘You are no longer an acceptable cite, according to what You’ve said in these passages-’. Then, Aleph reads his cites and G-d has to admit he’s got an unbeatable argument. Later, an angel spots G-d laughing and saying “My children have defeated me. My children have defeated me.”

So the Pope waiving the waiting period and saying ‘I’m sure he’s in heaven.’ is strange and foreign to me. If he’d explained it by citing verses from the Bible, or ancient Catholic laws and procedures, then I could understand.

“You people” refers to you and Skip. The rest are too cowardly to address my statement because, in their hearts, they know I’m right. :smiley:

However, I did leave off Ratzi’s other motive: to cash in on JPII’s popularity and let the reflections of his glory blind the public to Benny16’s resemblence to Simon Bar Sinister.

In fact, that is exactly the answer to the question, it is in fact a popularity contest, and all the paperwork, and petitions in the world will not change that. It is like finding secular reasons to keep <snip> laws. There is no reason not overwhelmed by reasons for a change, outsider of a desire to keep things the way they are.

Well, I’ll take a shot at it:

What is the purpose of the five-year waiting period?