Tuesday, May 6, 2014

St. Pope and St. Pope

Last week--on April 28, to be exact--the Catholic church declared two recent pontiffs saints of the Church. I could here launch into a long disquisition about the very notion of sainthood, that some people can be so much holier than other people and how the Church for some reason ascribes this holiness overwhelmingly to members of the clergy and religious. Gee, I wonder why a hierarchical institution like the Roman Church would place priests, bishops, nuns, and brothers higher on the holiness scale than the rest of the poor shlubs out there having all those kids?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The two new saints are Pope John XXIII, who is most famous for calling the Second Vatican Council into session--most Catholics don't remember this since the Church has spent all the years since it closed trying to undo its impact--and Pope John Paul II, who reigned as pope longer than anybody else, and used his long pontificate to stamp out doctrinal dissent, appoint dogmatic troglodytes to the episcopate to ensure his conservative theology outlived him by many years, and of course, keep the lid on any information about the worldwide sexual scandal among the clergy. JPII was also instrumental in stifling liberation theology in Latin America and in shenanigans that ousted the communist government in his home country of Poland.

I'm much more inclined to give benefit of doubt to John XXIII, but he too was around when the sexual misconduct was raging in the Church . . . I would not have canonized the guy so quickly. Both these popes were brought to sainthood with unseemly haste. It usually takes decades, if not centuries. One wonders just what the rush was.

Here's another commentary on this subject, one that got me to thinking about it. This commentator is far gentler than I.
Just a thought regarding today’s news of the current Pope canonizing two former Popes.  This is rather like the chairman of a corporate board of directors giving a couple of former CEO’s huge retroactive bonuses. Source 

Oh, did I mention I was opposed to making these guys saints?
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