That is the question some Catholics want answered with the affirmative, and soon. And they may get their wish any day now.
So revered was the late Pope John Paul II, who died just over a year ago, that his successor waived the usual five-year cooling-off period and put him on the fast-track to sainthood.
I don’t understand the hurry. What does sainthood mean to the deceased, a better seat in heaven?
The fervor with which some Catholics celebrate this man is pure idol worship, but Catholics have never shied away from idolatry or iconolatry.
The path to sainthood involves an investigation into miracles that can (somehow) be attributed to the candidate. Let’s just say the burden of proof for that is very light.
You had a headache on the day of JP II’s death, and felt better the next day: A miracle! It’s a stretch, but popular demand is a powerful motivator within the Catholic church.
JP II presided over the biggest of the big Christian religions, one whose tenets have little basis in the Bible (sacraments, sainthood, etc.), are often fallacious (celibacy of the clergy was originally a church land inheritance issue, not a spiritual one), and are dangerously archaic (contraceptives forbidden in the time of AIDS, overpopulation, etc.).
But while many of America’s prominent religious leaders are warmongers, some of whom extol the virtues of assassination, JP II was a lifelong peace advocate. He deserves props for that.
If JP II's face-to-face admonishment of President Bush over Iraq had led to any changes in the war strategy, it would've indeed been a verifiable miracle, and I would've personally campaigned for his sainthood while he was still around.