(NY Times) A Pope’s Beatification Stirs Excitement and Dissension

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On a sunny afternoon this week, St. Peter’s Square was abuzz with life. Crowds lined up at the metal detectors. Tourists snapped photos. A workman was spraying down the travertine steps to the basilica. And inside, red cloth screens cordoned off a side chapel that will soon draw as many visitors as Michelangelo’s Pietà nearby.

Starting Sunday, that chapel is where the entombed remains of Pope John Paul II will be on view for public veneration — after Pope Benedict XVI presides over the biggest spectacle since his own installation in 2005: a beatification Mass that will move his adored predecessor a step closer to sainthood.

The beatification is widely seen as a way not just to honor John Paul but to energize the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, like John Paul’s 26-year papacy itself, it has become intensely polarizing....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropePoland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

8 Comments
Posted April 29, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. deaconjohn25 wrote:

Leave it to the NY Times. No saint is perfect in the administrative realm. That is not what he is being beatified for. So they dig around and find a tiny group of known Catholic malcontents who would like to go back to before Vatican II and then give them equal billing with the rest of the Catholic world in their story and headline.
Sure, mention their existence in a tiny part of the story, for that is all they are and deserve—a tiny story, not co-headline and equal coverage status. Dissension is not anywhere near the level the Times story implies. In fact, one gets the impression they are wishing for more dissension and using their bloated power to promote it.

April 29, 7:46 pm | [comment link]
2. Cennydd13 wrote:

Would someone please tell me why they had to disinter his coffin?  What useful purpose does that serve?  It’s sacrilege!

April 30, 12:21 am | [comment link]
3. TACit wrote:

Umm, does it make any difference to know there are three caskets: a wooden one in a lead one in another larger wooden one?  They only took the first two out of the large wooden one.

April 30, 1:09 am | [comment link]
4. deaconjohn25 wrote:

It is an old Catholic custom to revere the body of saints. After all, the body housed a holy soul.
It seems medieval, but modern people are just as tactile oriented as the earliest Christians. When the relics of St. Therese of Liseux were brought to our area the lines never let up of “modern Americans’ wanting to see and touch the reliquary a few of her remains were in. the same mob scenes occurred when the bones of ST. John Vianney were brought here—and yet there had been few or no promotions or media coverage to draw the crowds. It reminded me of the baseball movie with the line: “Build it and they will come.” (“Field of Dreams.”)
  According to some spiritual and doctrinal historians this reaction to the “flesh” of saints is very much a corollary to what virtually all Christians claim they believe—The Incarnation.

April 30, 5:54 pm | [comment link]
5. TACit wrote:

Since it has been 1000 years since a Pope beatified his immediate predecessor, it only makes sense the august and authoritative NYT would find things to say about such a momentous occasion!

May 1, 12:02 am | [comment link]
6. MichaelA wrote:

What intrigues me is that T19 has published several articles on this issue, and the lack of interest is obvious. Apart from this thread, I don’t think anyone has bothered to comment on the others. I suppose its not terribly relevant to Anglicans.

May 2, 7:16 pm | [comment link]
7. TACit wrote:

In fact, the only thing that’s obvious is the lack of comments.  This could be due to a lack of interest, to a hesitation to comment in an environment often made hostile by non-Catholic commenters, to pre-occupation with the royal wedding and the news of May 1 from Pakistan/Washington, or to a number of other factors, couldn’t it?

May 2, 7:26 pm | [comment link]
8. MichaelA wrote:

TACit, my apologies for the later response, I have only just seen this.

Yes, I agree with you - all of those could be the case!

May 8, 6:34 am | [comment link]
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