Prominent Catholics, reacting to the Jan. 14 announcement that Pope John Paul II will be beatified, have expressed a tension between the desire to recognize the late pope’s holiness while still investigating his actions during his pontificate.
News of the beatification came following official declaration of a miracle attributed to John Paul -- the healing of 49-year-old French Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre, a member of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood, from an aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease.
John Paul’s beatification will take place in a ceremony at the Vatican May 1.
NCR interviews and e-mail exchanges with more than two-dozen prominent Catholics found opinions mixed, with many reluctant to speak publicly on the late pope’s progress toward canonization.
The miracle seems to show that “God is behind” the late pontiff’s beatification, said Jesuit Fr. James Martin, author of My Life With the Saints. “You can’t argue with that.”