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Columnists' (favorable) opinions on beatification of John Paul II

Catholic World News - April 29, 2011

While some other columnists complain that John Paul II is being beatified too quickly, Peggy Noonan takes the opposite tack, arguing that the Church should move on promptly to canonize him.

Father James Schall remarks: "I have the impression that every man who ever met John Paul II, especially if he was a man of social, intellectual, or political stature, knew that he was meeting a greater man than he."

Quin Hillyer, in the American Spectator, agrees. After reviewing the life of the late Pope, he finds it impossible to resist the conclusion that he was "one of the greatest men not just of this age, but of any age in recorded history." (Hillyer seems to be under the mistaken impression that this Sunday's ceremony will be a canonization, but leave that aside.)

William Oddie, writing in the Catholic Herald, credits the Polish Pontiff with the beginning of a Catholic recovery from the unhappy fallout of Vatican II. Oddie believes that his most impressive achievement "was that he did more than any pope of the last century to defend and reassert beyond any doubt the stable and objective character of Catholic teaching."

Father James Martin, SJ, tells readers of the Washington Post that although he himself can be classified as a liberal, and was not enthusiastic about everything that Pope John Paul II did, he remains happy with the beatification, because: "We beatify a Christian, not an administrator."

And the ubiquitous John Allen, writing this time for BBC, points out that Pope John Paul II is not the first person to receive "fast-track" treatment from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. There are always reasons for that treatment, he explains, and they apply neatly to this case.

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 30, 2011 4:55 PM ET USA

    "We beatify a Christian, not an administrator." ---a good thing, since his administration left something to be desired. But nobody ever said saints had to be perfect. If they did, the Blessed Virgin would be awfully lonely, there in heaven. Separately: it would be nice if writers would stop saying John Paul was being made a saint. God makes saints, maybe with a little help from themselves. All the Church Militant can do is recognize and certify that He's done it in a given case.

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 30, 2011 1:27 AM ET USA

    Fr. Martin also wrote that John Paul II was suspicious of the Jesuits and their "liberation theology." Our current pope was (is?) too when he was a cardinal. What foresight both popes had...

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