Saturday, April 16, 2005

Saint John Paul II

The debate over whether to make John Paul II a saint almost immediately after his death has garnered widespread coverage as cardinals prepare to pick a new pope. Under procedures established by John Paul himself, a person must be dead for five years before he or she can be canonized. Of course, rules are made to be broken since John Paul began the process just one year after Mother Teresa died.

Whatever the merits of John Paul as a saint, I do not believe that the process should be accelerated for him. I like the idea of a five-year waiting period because there can be an upsurge of emotions when a person dies and there is no doubt that this grief can color the decisionmaking process, perhaps causing people to exaggerate how wonderful a person was or to go about the canonization process in semi-irrational fashion. This is not to say that John Paul was not a wonderful person or that he should not receive consideration; only that the canonization process should follow thorough investigation.

The question of investigation brings me to another point; for a saint to be anointed, he must have performed a miracle. Perhaps the word 'miracle' could be used in its broader sense to refer perhaps to the miracle of a Polish pope that spoke forcefully against communism, but as far as I know, the Catholic Church is looking for real miracles in the biblical sense. Maybe it is just me, but if John Paul really performed that kind of miracle, don't you think we would have heard about it while he was still alive?


Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

Yea 5 year waiting period before consideration of Hall of Fame; perhaps St. Roger? (assuming he ever "retires"?)

4/16/2005 09:33:00 PM  

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