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Saints preserve us!

Pope Francis has put two of his predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II, on the fast track to sainthood.  Well, alright, for all I know, they were fine people, and maybe deserve some recognition.  Setting aside for the moment the question of all the millions of other fine people who were their contemporaries, but not popes or even Catholics, I have a major quibble with the reasoning here.

According to the ancient rules of such things, to even get this far (beatitude) there has to have been an attested miracle.  This can vary widely, from healing the sick to simply not rotting in the casket.  In the case of John Paul II, there have been two alleged miracles, both involving inexplicable cures from incurable medical conditions after praying to him (while dead, of course) to intercede with God on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Here’s what’s weird.  Presumably, had JP II not been in heaven, all those pleas for intercession would have been for nothing, and the women involved would still be sick today, if they hadn’t died first.  But according to the Church, God is perfectly just.  The whole thing seems to resemble a lottery, in which your health depends not on medicine, or even on your personal faith or the extent of your prayers, but on whether you guessed right as to the eternal disposition of some dead person.

Of course, this is just a minor quibble, in the face of the idea that God, presumably the creator of the universe and hence all of the laws of physics, will suspend those laws on the request of someone from earth.  And not do it for anyone who doesn’t ask nicely, or even for the vast, vast majority of those who do.

Mysterious ways, indeed.

7 thoughts on “Saints preserve us!

  1. Speaking of mysterious ways, I have a JPII story to share (and I wasn’t raised Catholic). In 2005, my mother died of Parkinson’s on the day the Pope was buried. That evening, I had a dream of John Paul II standing at the Pearly Gates, refusing to enter Heaven until or unless the “friends” he’d brought could also enter. Peter looked over his shoulder. There were millions of friends, and my mother was among them. JPII must have had some clout b/c Peter let them all in. It was one of the most comforting (and funniest) dreams I’ve ever had. Thank you for the conversational gambit. 😉

  2. I much prefer the assessment of the benighted JP2 and Ratzinger too, to be found here:
    And in the books:
    1. The Power and and the Glory – The Dark Heart of JP2’s Vatican by David Yallop
    2. The Popes War Against the Church by Matthew Fox
    Plus why not google The Criminal History of the Papacy by Tony Bushby

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