Beatification of Pope John Paul II Proceeds Amid Criticism

Catholic faithful look forward to Sunday and the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The Catholic News Service explains that after the festivities, his exhumed remains will be reburied in the chapel of Saint Sebastian. Critics of the beatification now speak out.

The Road to Beatification: Too quick?

The former Karol Josef Wojtyła, better known as Pope John Paul II, was a beloved pontiff and defined the face of the papacy for many contemporaries. Yahoo! News points out his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, chose to waive the customary five-year waiting period before beginning the canonization process, which put the late pope on the fast track to sainthood.

It is this very rush, coupled with the lingering priest sex abuse scandal, that puts the process in question for some onlookers. “It is all being done with unseemly haste,” opines the conservative blogger who writes under the moniker of Archbishop Cranmer.

Pointing out that there is yet to be a conclusive decision to be reached about the late pontiff’s knowledge of — and/or possible involvement in — a pedophile priest cover-up, should not these questions be answered first? While an examination of records went ahead in a search for saintly acts, these more pressing questions were left out.

Or not quick enough?

Then again, if MSNBC is to be believed, the finer points of canonization and beatification are of little interest to the Catholic faithful in the late pope’s native Poland. There the believers view is that the gradual induction into the Catholic faith’s hall of fame is a foregone conclusion. Terming him “John Paul the Great,” they remember a young Father Wojtyła who took up the collar in the wake of a Nazi occupation and who continued to minister to the flock in spite of the later communist threat.

Is quick beatification a legacy of Pope John Paul II?

It is well known the late pontiff canonized more Catholic faithful than his predecessors; a case in point is the speedy beatification of Mother Teresa. Cutting down the customary waiting period from five years to only three, the late Pope John Paul II accepted a disputed miracle as the catalyst for the well-respected nun’s beatification.

Time Magazine asserts that pressure from Catholic organizations sought to bring medical officials in compliance with the needed assertion of her posthumous miraculous intervention. Are the questions surrounding the beatification of Mother Teresa and also Pope John Paul II justified?


Catholic News Service: “Pope John Paul II’s tomb opened ahead of beatification”
Yahoo! News: “Beatification of Pope John Paul II: Q-and-A on the Process”
Archbishop Cranmer: “The Beatification of Pope John Paul II”
MSNBC: “Poles joyful over beatification of John Paul II”
Time Magazine: “What’s Mother Teresa Got to Do with It?”