Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday: and it's also the day that Pope John Paul II is scheduled to be formally beatified. I think it's a pretty big deal - and other folks seem to have the same opinion.
Two Millennia of 'On This Rock' - and CountingNot that everybody's quite on the same page, about whether or not John Paul II should be beatified - and why it's being done. I've gotten the impression that some folks strongly disapprove of the former Pope because he didn't do what they wanted him to: legalize homosexual marriage, repeal Vatican II, or whatever.
'You can't please everybody,' and that's not what the Catholic Church is about.
In my personal opinion, Pope John Paul II did a good job of carrying out the commission that my Lord gave Peter, about two thousand years back now. (Matthew 16:18-19)
Much more to the point, my spiritual leaders in the Church followed the procedures we've been developing: and found that Pope John Paul II did a good job of being a Christian. That, and a verified miracle, qualifies him for beatification.
Will Pope John Paul II be canonized? I won't be surprised if he is - but I am also a practicing Catholic, and leave the decision-making for that to the Holy See.
That doesn't mean that I stopped thinking when I converted to Catholicism. Some religious groups may require members to check their brains at the door - the Catholic Church doesn't work that way. I've opined about that before. (January 15, 2011)
On the other hand, I've long since decided that I'm not smarter or more powerful than God. I've also decided that the simplest way to explain why the Catholic Church is still around after nearly two thousand years is that what they've been claiming all that time is true: Jesus, the Son of God, gave Peter authority to run His Church - and God has been backing Peter and his successors ever since. (August 18, 2010)
John Paul II's LegacyIt's true: Pope John Paul II didn't rub a lucky rabbit's foot, or sprinkle pixie dust, and fix all the ills of the Catholic Church. He didn't part the Red Sea, either. Neither did Moses, for that matter. (Exodus 14:21) And that's another topic.
I read, in yesterday's news, about one fellow's opinion of what Pope John Paul II left for the Catholic Church. He could be right:
"Pope John Paul II's teachings will take centuries to fully explore and understand. That's according to his official biographer, George Weigel.Pope John Paul II, doctor of the Church? Maybe - but like I said before, I'll let the Holy See decide.
" 'It's going to be several hundred years before the Church really takes on board the breadth and depth of this man's explication of the Gospel, and in that sense we're going to be thinking, and arguing, about John Paul II for hundreds of years,' Weigel told the Catholic Herald on April 28.
"The U.S. author devoted 15 years of his life researching his biographies 'Witness to Hope' and 'The End of the Beginning.' In that time he concluded that Pope John Paul was an 'utterly normal human being” but one who was radically open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
" 'I think everything he did, as a literary man, as a philosopher, as a priest, a bishop, a statesman, a pope, grew out of his radical Christian discipleship,” he said....
"...But 'every baptised person has the opportunity to live a life of radical discipleship. And that's our connection to him,' he said.
"Weigel suggests that the most obvious legacy of Pope John Paul is the generation of young Catholics committed to Christian orthodoxy.'..."
- "Pope John Paul II Beatification, and a Goldilocks Process"
(April 29, 2011)
- "Wow! Nobody Attacked the Pope This Year!"
(December 25, 2010)
- "The Pope and Condoms: It Made a Good Story"
(November 22, 2010)
- "A 'Traditional' Catholic? Yes and No"
(July 31, 2010)
- "Neighbors, Charity, and What the Pope Said"
(July 16, 2010)
- "Biographer says JP II's legacy will take 'several hundred years' to unpack"
David Kerr, CNA (Catholic News Agency) (April 29, 2011)