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July 5, 2013


Popes to Be Canonized Together

CNN reports that Pope John Paul II will be declared a saint later this year along with Pope John XXIII:

The Roman Catholic Church will declare the late Pope John Paul II a saint, the Vatican announced Friday.

Pope John XXIII, who convened the Vatican II council in the 1960s, will also be declared a saint, the Vatican said

In 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI approved John Paul’s first reported miracle: a French nun supposedly cured of Parkinson’s disease.

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, a nun whose order prayed to the pope after he died, said she was cured of the disease, an ailment that also afflicted John Paul.

The second miracle reportedly occurred in Costa Rica, where a woman said she recovered from a severe brain injury thanks to the intervention of John Paul, sources told CNN Vatican analyst John Allen.

The Associated Press reports that John XXIII’s case is a bit unusual:

In a major demonstration of his papal authority, Francis decided to make John XXIII a saint even though the Vatican hasn’t confirmed a second miracle attributed to his intercession. The Vatican said Francis had the power to dispense with the normal saint-making procedures to canonize John on his own merits.

There’s already a lot of speculation about why Pope Francis decided to dispense with the second miracle, but for the moment he’s not talking, and probably never will give the press the political answer it wants. In any event, later this year, there will be a canonization ceremony that I suspect will be a tough ticket.


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18 comments

Supposedly cured? Those healed “said” they were healed? I think not.

These purported miracles are thoroughly investigated by qualified medical people. You don’t have to believe that the intercession of a saint was involved, but people got well, by whatever means. That is a medical, not a theological issue.

[1] Posted by Words Matter on 7-5-2013 at 12:38 PM · [top]

Why would an order, or indeed anyone, pray “to” John Paul II?

[2] Posted by helpmelord on 7-5-2013 at 01:09 PM · [top]

“Why would an order, or indeed anyone, pray ‘to’ John Paul II?”

Well, maybe to ask for healing from Parkinson’s Disease or a brain injury.

[3] Posted by slcath on 7-5-2013 at 01:26 PM · [top]

It is clever to canonize them together, though. John 23 is an icon of the left, who live in a fantasy world where Vatican 3 is going to ordain women, the gay thing, juridical dancing, and Giant Puppets of Doom. That’s the “Spirit of Vatican 2”, you see. In their world, John was a harbinger of all things leftist. John Paul II was the great satan that thwarted their plans. So the Catholic left is in a double-bind. You have to love it.

[4] Posted by Words Matter on 7-5-2013 at 01:42 PM · [top]

I am a big fan of JP2, considering him with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher the architects of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But his actions concerning the pederast scandals within the Roman church and financial corruption within the Vatican were hardly saintly.

And I don’t see any reason to pray to him.  Skip customer service and go straight to the CEO, my grandpa always told me.

[5] Posted by James Manley on 7-5-2013 at 02:36 PM · [top]

Umm, my Catholic friends might disagree with me, but the only One that I pray to is God Himself, and no one else.

[6] Posted by cennydd13 on 7-5-2013 at 03:10 PM · [top]

Why would an order, or indeed anyone, pray “to” . . .

I guess I can’t speak for others, but it seems to me that this question has been answered over and over again, quite adequately too.  The more important question is why it continues to come up.

[7] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-5-2013 at 06:39 PM · [top]

Here’s my take on praying to the saints. To pray is to ask something of someone. To pray does not necessarily imply worship. We ask friends, relatives, etc., for help all the time. We ask them for favors, for comfort, for a sympathetic ear, whatever; or we ask them to intercede for us with someone to whom they may be close or with whom they have an association. Praying to the saints, in the sense of asking them for help on our earthly journey, doesn’t mean that we worship them. We don’t pray to them in the sense that we pray to God.

[8] Posted by Nellie on 7-6-2013 at 10:49 AM · [top]

Nobody has to ask anybody else to pray for them. Whether the askee is alive or dead. The end. I wish.

[9] Posted by Ed the Roman on 7-7-2013 at 08:42 PM · [top]

Nikolaus at #7, why would anyone be surprised that such a question continues to come up?  It is the most natural thing in the world to ask, at least for the hundreds of millions of protestants in the world.

Mind you, I am not terribly concerned about the issue: If Roman Catholics want to pray to saints, that is a matter for them and I have far more important things to worry about.  I wouldn’t normally bother to bring up the issue.  But since the issue has been raised, I am happy to put two cents in.

[10] Posted by MichaelA on 7-7-2013 at 09:00 PM · [top]

I never said I was surprised.  Why is it natural to ask a question over, and over, and over again when the answer has been given again, and again, and again?  I think it’s especially nonsensical to show up on an Anglican blog.

[11] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-7-2013 at 09:22 PM · [top]

Back to the actual topic, there is a lot of controversy about these two being canonised together (also the founder of Opus Dei, but that doesn’t rate in the media!). Some think it is directly related to the status of the Second Vatican Council, and that could explain why it is all being so rushed, by Vatican standards.  On this theory, Francis is confirming Vatican II and defending it against its many critics from the commencement of his papacy. 

Pius IX was beatified on the same day as John XXIII, but has been left behind for the time being - interesting omission of the man who pushed forward the concept of Papal Infallibility, and who fought (unsuccessfully) to retain the Papacy’s temporal power in Italy.

[12] Posted by MichaelA on 7-7-2013 at 09:23 PM · [top]

Nikolaus at #11, because the “answer” is not in the least convincing.

[13] Posted by MichaelA on 7-7-2013 at 09:23 PM · [top]

Sainthood only means that the Catholic Church believes that the person is in Heaven, not Purgatory.

[14] Posted by Temple1 on 7-7-2013 at 10:44 PM · [top]

Nellie -

That was not only an accurate reflection of Catholic doctrine (which I learned as an Anglo-catholic), but also beautiful as well. You captured, I think, the essence of what The Communion of Saints is about.

Thank you.

[15] Posted by Words Matter on 7-8-2013 at 01:09 PM · [top]

Actually, the answer is convincing for myself and apparently for Nellie, Words Matter, and for millions more.  The answer doesn’t change so asking the question repeatedly becomes an exercise in insanity.  I suppose it is difficult to convince those who won’t hear what is being said.

[16] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-8-2013 at 07:11 PM · [top]

Nikolaus, all I am saying is that the fact that the answer is convincing to you is not relevant to your own point.

Your complaint at #11 was that certain people hold a different view to yours and therefore question your view of the communion of the saints.  You asked how that could possibly be when an answer had been given (which you find convincing).  The short answer is that those people don’t find that answer convincing.  That being the case, the question will keep getting asked.

[17] Posted by MichaelA on 7-9-2013 at 02:49 AM · [top]

By all means be my guest.  I’m not questioning at all how some don’t see the issue as I do.  There are many things obvious to me that are not obvious to others.  The converse is equally true and I fully accept that.  Just don’t expect the answer to change.

[18] Posted by Nikolaus on 7-9-2013 at 07:39 PM · [top]

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