Belief Beat

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist or anti-Catholic to notice that the Vatican is fast-tracking Pope John Paul II for sainthood. With his beatification ceremony set for May 1, the process is racing along even faster than the one for Mother Teresa, due to a combination of popular demand and perhaps an effort to remind the world that the Catholic church has done a lot of good in the past half-century (helping the poor and oppressed) along with the bad (abusers, protecting abusers, promoting people who protected abusers).

On the other hand, the rush to beatification is also reminding us of John Paul’s apparant ignorance or denial of the clergy abuse crisis, including the scandalous double life led by his beloved Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. But, maybe the idea is to rip the Band-Aid off quickly here?

For more on this, check out the fascinating “Fast-Track Saint” story in Newsweek, written by longtime Vatican correspondent John L. Allen Jr. — definitely not someone who goes around attacking the church, so he’s got plenty of credibility when he does point out that something’s amiss. 

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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