John Paul II will be beatified on May 1, and some people find this move very controversial.
He was someone who truly believed in the dignity of every human being. He proved this to me personally by writing this letter to me.
Some people find his beatification controversial because he didn't do enough to stop priestly abuse of minors. But, realistically, there was only so much he could do. The people on the ground floor had much more of an obligation to intervene, and they did nothing. People misunderstand the true role of the Pope. He is not called to be a policeman to the Church. People in the Church are supposed to police themselves, and each other when need be. Rather, he is called to be a loving spiritual father to all, and that's exactly who John Paul II was. He spoke of a greater vision for the world, and hoped that others would rise to their calling. He always desired for the best of humanity.
Perhaps he could have done more about sex abuse and other abuses within the Church. But he was only human. It would have been impossible for him to do more without the assistance of others. Plus, as repugnant as abusers are, John Paul II believed that everyone could be redeemed. I also think he couldn't believe some of the charges, because he had seen so much contempt in this world. He had a hard time believing that his own could be so repugnant.
He is someone who passes my smell test, and that is very difficult to do. Most religious people do not pass my smell test, not even close. John Paul II was someone who in some small ways made the world a little bit of a better place, and that should be recognized. It's uncommon. He was someone who recognized that he was privileged in this world, and used that privilege to do good. Some have speculated that he was instrumental in the fall of communism. But ironically enough, even Fidel Castro was a fan of his.
What I would ask the doubters is, who would they beatify? There is really no one left. There is no one else who can pass so many hypercritical smell tests. There is no one else who crossed so many boundaries, and brought people of all walks of life together. He was not a controversial figure to me, just a truly decent person who desired for everyone's true good. And he deserves this recognition.