12.07.2005

'Whoah, Slow Down! Pope John Paul the Dead No Saint!': Catholic Theologians


One of the alleged 'miracles' being used to qualify JP2d for sainthood: Causing children to spontaneously 'Breakdance with the Holy Spirit.'

Theologians Try To Slow John Paul II's Candidacy for Sainthood

from Religion News Service

Vatican City - Theologians critical of John Paul II are urging Catholics to speak out against the late pope's bid for sainthood and pressing church officials to include a critical review of his policies in their evaluations of his candidacy.

The appeal, which was reported in several Italian newspapers on Tuesday, was the first public attempt to halt a fast-moving campaign that was jump-started by chants of "Sainthood now!" at John Paul's funeral in April and fast-tracked by Pope Benedict XVI in May. Entitled "A Call for Clarification" and signed by 11 theologians, the statement cited John Paul's handling of the sex abuse scandal, his crackdown on liberation theology in Latin America, and his opposition to birth control as part of a seven-point objection to his proposed sainthood.

The statement praised "positive aspects" of John Paul's papacy in addition to "virtuous aspects" of his personal life. But it also called on Catholics to formally express "facts which according to their consciences and convictions should be an obstacle to beatification," the last formal step before sainthood.

Eleven theologians including the Rev. Jose Maria Castillo, a prominent dissident, signed the appeal. It cited as its first objection the "repression and alienation" of theologians "through the authoritarian interventions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," formerly headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI.

The group also criticized John Paul for upholding celibacy requirements, which they said ignored ongoing sexual relations among clergy and led to the "devastating curse of abuse of minors by clerics."

In an apparent reference to the Vatican's continued opposition to ordaining women, the appeal accused John Paul of not engaging "serious debate on the condition of women in the Church."

The group also accused John Paul of showing "weakness" to Latin American dictators and backing the "ecclesial and factual isolation" of Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who was gunned down for openly criticizing the right-wing Salvadoran dictatorship.

According to the Vatican, John Paul will be evaluated for sainthood on the merit of his personal virtues, not his policies as pope.

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