Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pope John Paul II Beatification--No Controversy With Me

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.
Out of millions of letters that he got, he freely chose to respond to me.  As busy as he was he chose to respond to me.  Despite all of the other millions of reasons that he may have had, he chose to respond to me.  That has real meaning 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.


mikeschenher said...

My impression of JP II was that he set out to "humanize" the Church. I also remember that he really tried to reach out to young people and get them engaged in the faith. Several members of my family had a chance to see him during his visit to the US (I think he came to Denver as I recall). I agree that problems in the priesthood should not be worn by him. The church bureaucracy has to answer for that.

Adult Student said...

Good point. I think he did humanize the Church a bit. But I wish he was back. The Church needed him. I saw him Toronto 2002. That was pretty fun at the time. He gave me a reason to be enthusiastic about the Church.

Lacy said...

I like your blog and I have no real objection to Pope JP II being beatified, yet he was not, which was surprising when it occured, a supporter of gay rights. Instead he just furthered the belief that this human rights issue was a mental disorder.

Not very saintly of him.

Adult Student said...

Yeah, he wasn't perfect, but on the whole, he was a pretty decent guy.

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