National Catholic Reporter

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Madness in Rome

John Allen reports on the possibility of a beatification ceremony for Pope John Paul II as early as next year. This is madness. After years of being frustrated at the slow pace with which the Vatican embraces change, in this one instance where haste could spell disaster, they appear to be rushing.
As Jason Berry has demonstrated time and again, it remains an open question as to how Pope John Paul II dealt with the clergy sex abuse crisis and while no one has raised charges of personal corruption against him, those charges have been leveled against his top aides. Documents pertaining to such corruption as may exist could be in a courtroom near you any day if the Vatican continues to lose its law suits. It would be a shock to the very idea of beatification if, shortly after Pope John Paul II was beatified, especially damning evidence of corruption close to the papal throne emerged.
Last year, Pope Benedict beatified John Henry Newman, who had as profound an impact on the Church as John Paul II and was able to wait for a hundred years to receive his due.
I admire much in hte legacy of Pope John Paul II. As a fellow Pole, I always felt pride in his accomplishments. But, the verdict is out on whether or not he was a saint. I suspect great saints do not necessarily make good popes. The Vatican should slow this process down. In heaven, there is no time, so there is no need to rush.

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