Is the Catholic Church so starved for saints that they have to rush the process through to canonize John Paul II? There was a time when the church canonized children who gave their lives in defense of their innocence. Now, they rush to canonize a man who did nothing to stop priests and bishops who stole that innocence from children. Has the moral compass of the Roman Catholic Church swung that far around? Sadly, the obvious answer is a definitive yes.
How must the sainted children who gave up their lives protecting their virtue feel as they look down from heaven at the impending sacrilege of canonizing Pope John Paul II? Children like St. Agnes of Rome who at age 12 or 13 was ordered to sacrifice to pagan gods and lose her virginity by rape. She declined and paid the ultimate price. Then there is St. Belina, A peasant girl who died in defense of her virginity when threatened with rape by the feudal lord of her district. The most famous of all children saints is Saint Maria Goretti. A farm hand tried to rape the girl who fought, yelled that it was a sin, and was stabbed fourteen times for refusing to sin and went so far as to protect her virginity with her life. Does it strike anyone how terribly wrong this is? How anyone could place John Paul II in the company of these children is both incomprehensible and the height of hypocrisy.
Incomprehensible is the fact that a New Hampshire legislator referred to a Catholic Bishop, John McCormack, as a "pedophile pimp"and the world knew immediately what he meant by that comment. The bishop had the unmitigated gall to pretend to be concerned about society's most vulnerable! For those who are not familiar with Bishop McCormack, he worked for the notorious Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston infamy and has been steeped in accusations regarding covering up and moving offending priests to new parishes without warning the parishioners of the danger they posed.
Benedict XVI has beatified the pope who whisked Cardinal Law out of Boston. According to some accounts, Law left Boston just hours before he was to be subpoenaed to answer for his dismal failure to protect the children of Catholic families in the Boston Archdiocese. After Law tendered his resignation, John Paul II appointed Law to a post in Rome. Not any position, but John Paul II put the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law in charge of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, with the title of Archpriest. This was a sacrilegious act of the highest order on the part of John Paul II. Pulling the protector of sexually abusing priests out of Boston to evade civil law is one thing, but to name that same man to oversee the largest Basilica in Rome dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, is affront to all that is holy.
Sainted children who died protecting their innocence pray for the soul of John Paul II for he does not deserve to be on the same platform with you.
The blasphemy of that appointment by John Paul II is compounded when one takes into account the special relationship that Mary, Mother of God has with children. Mary's visitations on Earth have mostly been to children. She is the Mother of God and therefore in the eyes of the church: mother to the children of the church. When one considers the vile nature of sexual abuse of children, it is not difficult to imagine the pain and agony inflicted on the mothers of victims. The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore was twice defiled by John Paul II. Once for placing vermin like Cardinal Law in the position of caretaker and twice for the insult because all Mary stands for is repudiated by the presence of Cardinal Law in the basilica dedicated to her holy motherhood.
One could wish that this was the only grievous error of John Paul II, but sadly, it is not. The list of his accommodations to those who have abused children is lengthy. Who can forget his incredulous statement about clergy abuse in 2002 when instead of ridding the church of priests who abused children, he called it a mystery of evil, mysterium iniquitatis thereby laying the blame on the evil in the world (Satan) and failing to recognize the evil within his own church. A scapegoat was offered which was homosexual priests, however the homosexual priests accounted for neither the abuse to females nor pedophilia. More importantly, it never addressed why bishops had forsaken Scripture, Canon Law and the Catechism by covering up for abusing priests and allowing them to remain in the priesthood.
Along with the above statement, Pope John Paul II wrote, "People need to know that there is no room in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young." By any standard this was an excellent condemnation. Sadly, the statement turned out to be mere words that never had the weight of the office put behind them. In fact, these words turned out to be a monstrous hypocrisy as the appointment of Cardinal Law just a few months later would prove.
Then there is the equally infamous case of Fr. Marcial Maciel and his Legionaries of Christ which predated the appointment of Cardinal Law. John Paul II consistently refused to acknowledge the mounting accusations against Fr. Maciel. Those accusations have now been verified and the body of evidence uncovered has become proof positive of the warped, insidious and demonic nature of Fr. Maciel. How ironic that once the Vatican looked for collaborating evidence of the accusations made in the 1990's, when JP II was pope, that they found it plus more than they bargained for.
Is this the stuff that saints are made of?
Nobody is denying the good that John Paul II did. The lives of most men are made up of good and bad things. In the end, we all hope that the good we've done outweighs the bad. However, one thing is conclusive: John Paul II's response to the rape, sodomization and molestation of children around the world by priests, bishops and religious was abysmal. The most vulnerable population of the church, the children, were sacrificed for the sake of the reputation of the church. This was a grievous omission that should disqualify him from the process of sainthood.
His error was compounded by appointing Cardinal Law to preside the largest basilica in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Does that make JP II an evil man? No, but maybe it speaks to what he really was: A man with all strengths and weaknesses of man.
Does it make him a saint? Not by the standards of the sainted children who gave their lives for their beliefs. In an irony that boggles the imagination, the man who did not have the courage, convictions or will to rid the church of either child abusing priests or those who protected them is to be elevated to a level equal to the sainted children who forfeited their lives rather than be violated. Compared to them, John Paul II's measure comes up short.