"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Benedict XVI "fast tracks" sainthood investigation of John Paul II

From today's NY Times:

ROME, May 13 - Pope Benedict XVI said today that he had decided to forego the rules of the Roman Catholic Church and immediately put his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, on the road to potential sainthood.

The pope's announcement effectively dispensed with a church law that requires a five-year waiting period before beatification cases can be opened, and thus put John Paul, who made more saints than all other popes combined, on the sainthood fast track.

Benedict's brief statement, made in Latin to a group of priests gathered at St John's Basilica on the 24th anniversary of the assassination attempt against John Paul, also set off a long round of applause.

That outpouring of affection is indicative of the wave of advocacy for John Paul's beatification, the last step before sainthood, that has swept over Rome and much of the Church since his death on April 2.

During the John Paul's funeral, the faithful waved banners and chanted calls for the Polish pope to be made a saint right away while Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, seemed to hint at John Paul's saintliness when he said, "We can be sure that our beloved pope is now at the window of the house of the Father, and he sees us and he blesses us."


Blogger Andy Mangum said...

Not being in a tradition that makes much of saints, I probably lack the credibility to comment. But, I wonder what the point of the five year waiting period was to begin with. Was it to give people time for their emotions to settle after the loss of a particularly powerful leader? Was the waiting period meant to be a time of discernment as people wait to see the fruit of a person's labors? It seems like a wise policy and so, I wonder about the wisdom of disregarding the policy. John Paul himself accelerated Mother Teresa's process, if I recall correctly. I suppose that the Pope's, like the rest of us, can choose when to be conservative about tradition and when to be progressive. Knowing their reasoning about these choices might help the rest of us as we make similar choices.

5:17 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

While I generally agree with your favoring the five year "cooling off period," Andy, I don't know if it qualifies as "tradition." To my recollection, it was JPII that eliminated the "sainthood by acclamation option" from canon law, which was of course in the very recent past. If it was still on the books, he would probably qualify based upon the "Santo Subito" demo at his funeral. Acclamation is the MOST traditional of ways to be declared a saint. This "scientific investigation" stuff is recent by comparison!

8:10 PM  

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