Conservative Catholics question beatification of John Paul II

by Thomas C. Fox

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A number of conservative Catholics, jointly signing an article in the Remnant Online, have seriously questioned the rush by the Vatican to beatify the last Pope John Paul II.

It appears arch-conservative Catholics are joining with many others on the progressive side of the church to examine the legitimacy of the quick beatification. Curiously, on the list was the late pope's relationship with Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries. (Editor's note: It is not often NCR is quoted to add credence to Remnant analysis.).

The letter stated:

The “filth” that afflicted the Church during the last pontificate includes the long history of sexual predation by Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (being blessed by Pope John Paul in photo to the left), founder of the “Legionaries of Christ,” supposedly the very exemplar of the “renewal” in action. John Paul II refused to initiate any investigation into Maciel’s conduct despite mounting evidence of abominable crimes which, thanks to worldwide publicity, are now the most notorious ever committed by a Catholic cleric. Paying no heed to the long-pending and widely known canonical charges against Maciel by eight of the Legionary seminarians he had sexually molested, John Paul lavishly honored him in a public ceremony at the Vatican in November 2004. Days later, however, then Cardinal Ratzinger “took it on himself to authorize an investigation of Maciel.” [Jason Berry, “Money Paved the Way for Maciel’s Influence in the Vatican,” National Catholic Reporter, April 6, 2010].

And last on the list of reasons we find this argument.

Finally, we cannot fail to note that the lone miracle on which the entire beatification is premised—the reported cure of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre (see photo), said to be suffering from Parkinson’s disease—is open to question.

For one thing, the very diagnosis of Parkinson’s leaves room for doubt absent the only definitive test known to medical science: an autopsy of the brain. Other conditions subject to spontaneous remission can mimic Parkinson’s. For another, the nexus between the purported cure of the nun and a “night of prayers to John Paul II” seems dubious. Did the prayers for this nun exclude the invocation of any and all recognized saints?

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