Los Angeles Times Questions the Case for Pope John Paul II Canonization

by Mike on May 4, 2011

in Media Bias,Religion

I’ve always said the first thing anyone wanting to learn about Catholicism should do is to ignore everything they read in the mainstream media on the subject.  Take today’s column by Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times titled:  “Is John Paul II Fit for Sainthood?” According to Rutten, John Paul II may not be fit for sainthood because of his poor administrative handling of the sex abuse scandals, a theology at odds with the reasons underlying his popularity, and his “authoritarian” approach to Catholic liberation theologians whose preachings were contrary to Catholic teaching.  In other words, Pope John Paul II should not be a saint because of his administrative record and because he was too Catholic.

You could fill books discussing the question of what it means to be a saint, and I won’t even pretend to do that topic justice with this post.  But I can tell you the LA Times doesn’t have a clue.  All Christians are called to be saints by living our lives according to the teachings of Christ.  In fact, we are probably surrounded by more unknown saints than we can count.  The Catholic process of canonization is designed to formally recognize those individuals that we can be certain lived their lives as Saints and are in the kingdom of God, and to recognize those individuals as examples for how to live our own lives.

In the case of Pope John Paul II, even his theological critics admire the man on a personal level.  That’s because he lived his life according to the Golden Rule.  He loved God.  He loved the poor, the downtrodden, the elderly, the sick, and every other human being.  That is the measure of sainthood.  The fact that his theological views were Catholic do not detract from the case for sainthood in the Catholic Church; it enhances it.  If you’re waiting for journalists at papers like the LA Times to grasp that, don’t hold your breath.  Pray for them though.

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