Thursday, April 17, 2014
Fast track to Sainthood: John Paul II
Having grown up Roman Catholic and spending much time studying the church then and more recently, the history of the papacy is thoroughly intriguing to me. For part of my doctoral studies, I researched the history of several popes.
I think what causes me such interest in the papacy is the way authority works in the Roman Church. Ultimately, Romanists think the Pope is the chief Apostle on earth, acting as the vicar of Christ. For Roman Catholics, authority rests with the Pope, unlike Reformed Christians, who believe the Bible is the chief authority. Part of my research revealed a growing recognition of papal authority over the course of centuries. The idea of papal infallibility and authority developed over time with each new pope.
So, any news about papal happenings interests me.
I recently learned Pope John Paul II was beatified a few years ago in a ceremony that cost the Vatican more than $1.65 million! He will be the fastest tracked "saint" in the history of Catholic saint-making, beating out Mother Theresa.
I cannot help but wonder how the victims of the vast sex abuse scandals over his 27 year papacy feel about his rather quick canonization?