Tuesday, December 06, 2005

An Anti-Sainthood campaign

This is news to me.

Welcome to the modern era--where you can potentially boycott a cause for sainthood?!

From Yahoo! News (OK, it's long, but bear with me):

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Dissident theologians opposed to the beatification of Pope John Paul have issued an appeal urging Catholics critical of the late pope to tell the Vatican if they also think he should not be made a saint. The 11 Catholic theologians said Church officials who are reviewing John Paul's life and pontificate should also consider the "negative evaluation" liberal critics have of the nearly 27-year-old papacy that ended when John Paul died in April.

The Rome diocese has opened a beatification cause for the Pope. Church officials have asked all Catholics to come forward with personal experiences or evidence of possible miracles that could support a reputation for holiness.

In their appeal, which received wide play in major Italian newspapers on Tuesday, the theologians from Italy, Spain, Austria and Latin America said those judging the case should also take into account "negative" aspects of John Paul's papacy.

One of the best-known signatories was Jose Maria Castillo, a Jesuit professor who has taught theology at the University of Granada. Another was Italian theologian Giovanni Franzoni.

"We invite such persons (critical of the late pope) to overcome their shyness and timidity and formally express, with gospel freedom, facts which according to their consciences and convictions should be an obstacle to beatification," they wrote.


While the theologians acknowledged John Paul's papacy had "positive aspects," their seven-point appeal included criticism of his rigidly conservative stand on issues such as contraception, limitations on the role of women, and of scandals in the Church. (emphasis mine)

It included the sexual abuse scandal that swept the United States in 2002, when it was discovered that priests who had molested children were moved from parish to parish instead of being defrocked or turned over to authorities.

The appeal criticized what it called a lack of control over some of the Vatican's "murky financial maneuvers," specifically naming the Holy See's relations with Italy's Banco Ambrosiano, which went bankrupt in 1982.

Italian magistrates at the time said the Vatican Bank, which had a small stake in the Ambrosiano, bore some responsibility for the $1.3 billion in bad debts. The Vatican denied wrongdoing but paid $250 million to creditors in what it called a goodwill gesture.

The theologians said the Church's saint makers should also consider the "repression and alienation" inflicted on some theologians by John Paul, a reference to his moves to discipline promoters of Latin America's "Liberation Theology," which he felt was too close to Marxist social analysis as a way of helping the continent's poor.

Last May, Pope Benedict put his predecessor on the fast track to possible sainthood by dispensing with Church rules that impose a five-year waiting period after a candidate's death before the procedure that leads to sainthood can even start.

One miracle is required after John Paul's death for the cause to move on to beatification, the last step before sainthood. The miracle must be the result of prayers asking the dead pope to intercede with God.

Another miracle would be necessary between beatification and eventual sainthood. Miracles are usually a physical healing which doctors are at a loss to explain.

OK, let's acknowledge that this was written by Reuters, which is probably the most left-leaning of the major wires. But let's look at the points here:

1. Geez, let's not make JP The Great a saint because he actually embodied Catholic doctrine and theology! Ooooh, this makes me mad. Liberals are going to try to have their way with him even after he's gone. GRRRRRRR. But believe you me that if he had been a liberal, he would've been canonized as soon as possible.

2. Um, so there were some banking issues? And this is the pope's problem how? And it is a barrier to sainthood how ????

3. Liberation theology's problems weren't just based on the pope's "feelings". They were based on fact. They made Jesus into a liberator crusader that has no bearing on his gospel teachings. In some document on Liberation Theology, someone cool (It may even have been B XVI in his official document on the topic when he was head of the Congregation) said that Liberation Theology never quite comes back to the nub of "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again." The whole thing is about liberating you from oppression. While that's nice, that's not exactly the crux of Christianity. And it was Marxists/ Socialist in nature, which the Church is not. Study it, please.

All in all, I find this repulsive and gag-inducing. Instead of people who are against JP the Great sending emails, those of us who support his canonization should email, sending "facts which according to our consciences and reason" are for his canonization. But then again, the Left commonly supposes that the Catholic Conservatives don't have reason. We're just poor, dumb folks who blindly follow the Church's teachings and have babies in the woods, or something like that. We're too dumb to think. I'd really like to prove them wrong...

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