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Matt: Secular press using JPII canonization to attack Church April 25, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, pr stunts, Saints, scandals, the return.

Michael Matt has been sounding the alarm about the upcoming canonizations of JPII and John XXIII, saying that the secular press, which has been a fair part of the drumbeat for canonization, is already starting to turn on those they previously venerated, and is going to use these canonizations to attack the Church over the priest-boy rape scandal.

He quotes some articles that have already appeared.  The secular press is now asking how can JPII be canonized when he apparently failed to deal with the abuse crisis?  The Vatican response…….well, it’s rather amazing. I’ll get to that in a moment.  First, the video, which is, I think, not overly excitable and mostly concerned not with trad prerogatives but with the damage that may occur to the Church at large as a result of this seeming rush to canonize:

That Lombardi quote is a stunner: “Sainthood isn’t a judgment on a pontificate, or even an evaluation on someone’s perfection in life.  The important thing is that the intentions were upright, and that there was respect!”

So, apparently, this canonization is not so much about a particularly effective pontificate, or even personal holiness, but is about popularity and intentions? That’s what I take away from that incredible quote.

You know – and this comment is not directed at JPII, it is directed at Fr. Lombardi – it is amazing that intentions are now being trotted out as a sufficient cause for canonization!  I am praying that is just Fr. Lombardi’s ludicrous, off the cuff remark, and not some considered talking point coming down from higher levels.

I think Matt is probably spot on in his concern that the media, having helped goad these canonizations forward, is now going to use them to attack the Church.  We will see lots of very difficult, essentially unanswerable questions – how could the Church canonize a man who……blank?  I think Matt may be overstating the impact of this negative coverage – he seems to think it’s going to blow up into a huge scandal that is going to severely wound the Church.  I think it  may be more of a short term black eye.  It could be Matt is just casting about for excuses to oppose canonizations he probably has never been terribly positive about.  But it does look like some negative coverage is already developing.

What say you? Will this be tempest in a teapot, black eye, or have the potential to severely wound the Church?

I don’t see how it’s possible to derail these canonizations, now so near.  As Matt says, short of an act of God, they are going to happen.  So I’m not sure what getting “neo-Catholics” on board is going to do, at this point.  I guess for team spirit, or whatever.




1. greatpretender51 - April 25, 2014

Intentions? Pardon me for stating the obvious, but we all know what the road to hell is paved with.

2. Greg - April 25, 2014

Let’s get over “Ourselves”! 🙂 Canonizations ARE Infallible Dogmatic Truths… There is No Argument, period. Maybe we just like to be “on-stage” to hear how bright & intellectual we think we sound?

tantamergo - April 25, 2014

You keep bringing up these non sequiturs. Did you bother to watch the video? Matt says, I have said, no one is questioning that a canonization is an infallible statement, what is being questioned is the process and whether these canonizations are prudent AT THIS TIME.

These are two entirely separate issues. Simply repeating, mantra-like, that a canonization is “infallible, dogmatic truth” isn’t material to the matter at hand.

Rosa - April 28, 2014

Did I read that right? Since when are canonizations infallible?

3. Dismas - April 25, 2014

Most of us are aware that there are special indulgences attached to praying for departed souls after Mass. Many of us have a list of those people for whom we pray right after Mass. Since he died, Pope John Paul II has been on my list, because I believe he is among those especially in need of prayer.

Does the current canonization process resemble in any significant way the manner in which Holy Mother Church has assured us in the past that a soul is enjoying the Beatific Vision? Many of us prefer not to ask the question, though it does linger in the mind: to what extent can churchmen gut a canonization process while leaving the infallibility of the process intact?

At any rate, I have a serious doubt. I honestly do not know what to do. Should I now remove John Paul II from that list for whom I pray after Mass? This is not a trick question. If the process remains infallible, then I am questioning an infallible declaration of the Church by continuing to pray for his soul. I do not wish to do that. If the infallibility is compromised and I cease praying for him – what a horrible injustice!

So let me ask those who are particularly confident that whatever is today called “canonization” remains infallible: do I quit praying for him now?

4. Terri - April 25, 2014

Get over ourselves?…..REALLY? Some “like to be ‘onstage’ to hear how bright and intellectual we think we are”? And you see no irregularities in process with all this? Maybe it’s just me and maybe I’m showing my age here, but I have never seen such a fast tracking to sainthood. Yes, it has given me pause. Maybe some just get caught up in the excitement of it all without thinking about it. Just sayin.

5. Observer - April 25, 2014

Perhaps I’m missing some subtle detail, but how can these declarations of canonization be examples of ‘infallibility’ when the process of ascertaining ‘sainthood’ has been compromised by political expediency?
I won’t repeat here the controversy surrounding John XXIII, because I have no way of determining if the ‘facts’ are true or false, but if there is some truth to the allegations then it calls into question the whole saint making investigative procedure.

Dismas - April 26, 2014

Correct. As you imply here these are different THINGS. The same name is applied to each (“canonization”) but are we dealing with the same THING? Objectively speaking, obviously not. So…again…if anyone is so firmly convinced that there can be no doubt here…please advise us to desist praying for the soul of Karol Wojtyla and agree to take responsibility for that advice.

6. c matt - April 28, 2014

Yes, they will probably be used to give the Church a black eye, to the extent the media can. But then, it seems the sole purpose for the media’s existence is to give the Church a black eye. I suppose it will cause some temporary damage, but I just don’t see any media storm having much lasting impact, particularly given our culture’s gnat-like attention span. That, and the general apathy toward the Church in general.

No doubt potential media flak is a big part of what is holding up Pius XII.

7. So the Church has two new Saints | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - April 28, 2014

[…] intercession.  But I still have reservations with the process and feel the timing was imprudent, for reasons discussed previously. One can accept a Saint is in Heaven, while believing that the timing of the canonization was not […]

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