Sainthood for Pope John Paul II? Not a Prayer!

The Catholic Church needs to end the preying and start the praying

Who could forget that chilling seen in Jaws when Mrs. Kintner, whose young son had just been killed by the shark, approached Chief Brody and slapped him in the face? Sobbing, she said, “I just found out that a girl got killed here last week, and you knew it! You knew there was a shark out there! You knew it was dangerous! But you let people go swimming anyway? You knew all those things! But still my boy is dead now. And there’s nothing you can do about it. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.”

As she walked away, the mayor turned to Brody and said, “She’s wrong.”

And in a moment of complete candor, the Chief shot back, “No, she’s not.”

Too bad the Catholic Church didn’t heed that powerful lesson. It too has a “shark” problem on its hands, but rather than hunting down the terrorizing threat, it simply throws more bait at the predator.

Common sense dictates that if you enable a shark, it is emboldened to keep preying; therefore, efforts must be made to eradicate the threat. But as Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common,” and the Church was, and is, no exception.

*****

If the Church had heeded Mrs. Kintner’s message of accountability and responsibility, it wouldn’t be paying billions in settlements related to widespread priest pedophilia over decades. It wouldn’t be seeing its own — including a certain Boston Cardinal flaunting the “Law” — fleeing the country to Vatican City’s safe havens to avoid possible extradition. It wouldn’t have to watch high-ranking Church officials be criminally charged for knowingly transferring pedophile priests to other parishes where they were put in direct contact with children.

And they wouldn’t be witnessing their churches continue to empty and the faithful dwindle, with rank-and-file priests now constituting the world’s largest old-age club, since so few young people enter the seminary.

It is incomprehensible, then, that in light of those crises, the Catholic Church would respond by fast-tracking the late Pope John Paul II for sainthood, since so many sins occurred under his watch.

If John Paul’s beatification — part of the path to sainthood — takes place as scheduled on May 1st, it will have been the fastest in history, thanks to Pope Benedict XVI, who waived the requirement of a five-year waiting period after a person’s death for that process to begin.

I’m sorry, but what planet are these folks living on … Uranus? One way or another, Pope John Paul is complicit in the scandal. Given his vast intelligence and the worldwide publicity surrounding the plague of pedophilia, if the former Pope had no idea what was transpiring, then he was irresponsibly asleep at the switch. No matter how insulated he may have been, and no matter how much his inner circle shielded him, it is simply not believable that he had no knowledge of the crimes being committed. Which leads us to the more likely scenario.

Just as he rightly receives accolades for the good things that happened during the 26 years of his Papacy — and there were many — John Paul must also be held at least partly responsible for the illicit activity that occurred. It seems obvious he looked the other way on the sex scandals, choosing to bury his head in the sand in the hope that the problem would take care of itself. And that makes the sin mortal.

But even worse was the direct enabling of predator priests and the subsequent cover-ups. Not only was appropriate action not taken most of the time, but in many cases, victims and their families were discouraged from taking next steps and going public, with some being threatened with ridicule and excommunication. Even high-ranking Church officials were not immune; many were told in no uncertain terms that if they cooperated with investigative authorities, they would be subject to severe repercussions.

As a matter of fact, a letter from 1997 was uncovered last month from the Vatican to Irish bishops demanding that no pedophile cases be turned over to police — which blew away prior Vatican claims to the contrary. That letter was signed by the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland. So unless the Pope never read the papers, watched TV, or communicated with Church administrators under his command, he absolutely knew. And that should make sainthood out of the question. For the Church to pursue it just shows how out of touch it has become.

Many believe that the cover-ups took place because the Good Old Boy network was taking care of its own. Maybe so. But just as possible is that Church leaders were deceitful because they feared the worst for their Institution if the facts came to light. And if that’s the case, a question comes to mind. Where was the faith of those leaders? Faith that the Church, which can be traced directly back to Jesus Christ and a fisherman named Peter, could weather the storm, faith that it could stand firm in the face of adversity, and faith that the solution is to always do the right thing and tell the truth?

In other words, to do what Jesus would have done.

It is a tragedy these leaders didn’t practice the faith that they continually preach.

*****

For far too long, the Church has been perceived as either being against things or involved in cover-ups. Lost in the headlines is all the incredible work the Church performs as part of its core mission.

It is the biggest non-governmental provider of social services in the world, operates the largest network of non-public schools in the nation — many of which are the only salvation for inner-city, non-Catholic, non-white students — and runs numerous hospitals that provide health care to many who would otherwise go without. Most important, the Church offers a voice of reason and compassion to world leaders and the larger global community, a moral compass in an ever-increasing secular society.

But the Church is at a crossroads. It can continue to defend the indefensible, drag its feet on huge problems of its own making, and watch its flock dwindle — a situation sure to be accelerated if Pope John Paul II is sainted. Or it can tackle the obstacles head-on, admitting mistakes and renewing its commitment to purge its ranks of criminals and predators. It would also behoove the Church to keep an open mind when considering long-term solutions, such as allowing priests to marry — as they did for over hundreds of years.

It will be a long road back to respectability, but if a serious effort isn’t undertaken soon to address these issues, what was once the most powerful institution in the world will be reduced to a sad ghost of past glories.

An easy first step: Don’t ignore the most faithful.

A lifelong churchgoing Catholic, a product of 15 years of Catholic education and longtime staff-member at a Catholic hospital, wrote the Pope a letter last year (cc’ing other Vatican officials) about the abuse her son and his classmates endured at the hands of a priest — a priest who had allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at him while still in the seminary and who was repeatedly transferred to other schools where parents and students were never informed of his past actions.

The point of the letter was simple. “I am only asking to stop allowing cover-ups to take place. I am asking to eliminate old age as a factor for tolerating these horrible predators. We are asked to forgive but we should not have to continue to care for these criminals.” She also asked that the fast-tracking of John Paul be halted, despite all the “wonderful things” he did, since he presided over the Church “during these horrible times.”

She ends by recounting “how many of (her) friends had left the church because of the pedophile and cover-up issues,” and reminisced how “honored” she felt to have seen Pope John Paul II in person in the United States, and Pope Benedict in St. Peter’s Square several years previous. “I am saddened to say I do not feel the honor is quite the same for me anymore.”

The Church’s response? It’s been nine months and counting. Absolutely nothing.

As a human, a parent, and yes, a faithful Catholic, I implore the Church, for God’s sake, to end the preying, and start the praying. After all, it’s the most Catholic thing to do.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com. Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.” Freind, whose column appears nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a guest commentator on Philadelphia-area talk radio shows, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.

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  • Church goer. For now

    This says exactly what needs to be said. My church is always half empty, because so many have reluctantly left the Church for other religions. Why do they keep covering up? It only digs them deeper. This whole thing is absolutely disgraceful.

  • Pete

    Agree with many points, but I don’t think the tone is harsh enough. Not only should Pope John Paul not be sainted, his actions, or rather his inactions, should be publicly condemned by the Church. Secondly, the incredible work the Church does…well, the Church really doesn’t give anything. Rather, it’s the people who fill the churches that give, and give, and then are lied to, ignored, and yes, abused. There needs to be wholesale changes, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  • Buster Knuhts

    Well Mr. Fiend, how swell of you to tell us YOUR religion. (sarc) Now, you were so brave to tell us the evil that is Catholicism, how bout taking a swing at Islam? Yeah, I thought so. I lived in the ME for 3 years and men who marry their first cousins is traditional. Wonder why that part of the world is so backward? Any Nobel Prize winners for the sciences they can claim? No. Catholics invented university systems and hospitals all over Europe. But, since your agenda is pedophilia and you like talking about it, I hate to think what you dream about.

  • Buster what?

    Buster- Are you a priest? Or a willing partner? Don’t be afraid to tell us what you clearly are.

    Way to try to get off the subject by talking about Islam. What does that, good or bad, have to do with inexcusable pedophilia that was condoned?

    But hey, since Catholic invented universities and hospitals, abusing little kids is OK. Is that it?

    Loser!!

  • Judy Jones

    My heart goes out to the Mother who wrote to the pope.

    We know exactly how she feels, many, many, no responses have gone by the wayside.

    She is not alone..and her son is not alone either.

    There is hope, help, and a start to healing.

    udy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
    snapjudy@gmail.com
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests”
    http://www.snapnetwork.org/

  • Sandi

    While this is a mostly fair-balanced account of the situation, I agree with the comments that 1) not only should John Paul II not be canonized, he should be condemned (along with all the others complicit in this tragedy); and 2) while the church does much good in the world, it doesn’t do nearly enough, considering the magnitude of its wealth and property holdings. It’s like a billionaire giving away $10,000 a year to charities and telling everyone how generous he is.

  • http://none Joyce

    Unfortunately, you are wrong The people in the Catholic Church since and maybe a little before Vatican ll have not been preaching the TRUTHS and this is what we
    get….no holy priests, no nuns, who are they anyway, empty pews, small families, guitar Mass, etc, etc,
    We need to get back to Preaching Tradiitonal Teachings, start a prayer life and then we’ll be able to LIVE the CATHOLIC message!
    Pope John Paul, May His soul through the mercy of God rest in peace, did not set a good example, he said a lot of wonderful things but he didn’t act on them and therefore this is the effect of his bad leadership…

  • Fr. Phil Meehup

    It’s worth noting that the Papal Reign of PJPII did not begin until 1978. Church abuse (in the United States and abroad) easily stretches back to the 1950s and 1960s. You cannot pin this on one man. Look no further than the Boston Sex Scandal: do you think Bernard Law and Co. cleared each secret payment with abused boys with the Holy See? I doubt it.

  • Sterling Archer

    A Saint needs to be courageous. JPII was far from courageous. He was little more than a flamboyantly dressed politician.

    He was always the first to criticize the U.S. and our policies even though we were the ones to free his beloved Poland (indeed most of the world) from the chains of communism. He criticized us because he knew that we wouldn’t attack him. He was always the first to criticize capitalism even though it was donations from capitalist countries that fed the poorer countries and allowed the pope and his Cardinals to live in luxury.

    Let us contract how JPII treated terrorist states. He never once criticized a suicide bombing or any terror supporting states. When the U.S. would attack these countries for killing innocents JPII would predictably criticize US!!! This is the definition of cowardice..

    Don’t get me started on the pedophile scandal. I no longer consider myself Catholic because of how this evil was enabled and covered-up. JPII knew about it and did NOTHING.

    To call him a saint insults the memories of true saints.

  • Fr. Phil Meehup

    @Sterling Archer

    “…the memories of true saints.”

    Really? How many Saints do you personally remember? You must be, give or take, 576 years-old.

  • Sterling Archer

    Fr. Phil,

    There are now and have been true saints in the world. No one can deny that.

    How many people courageously died for the church over the millenia? Most died with their sacrifice known only to God. JPII isn’t fit to tie their shoes.

    Canonizing JPII is like giving Barack Obama the Nobel prize. Totally undeserved and cheapens the honor for those who truly deserve it.

  • Fr. Phil Meehup

    @Sterling

    Your observations are roughly on par with those of a cartoon.

    If your decision to give up on the Catholic faith is/was solely based on the Institution’s response to this Sex Scandal (or any scandal, for that matter): that’s sad.

    They key word is “Institution,” it was and forever will be run by flawed individuals born with Original Sin just like you and I. If you’ve truly given up, you have to ask yourself if you were ever truly Catholic in the first place or just repeating the words and prayers you were taught to memorize when you were young.

  • mark

    Your article was giving me hope until you got to the all the good things about the church part..
    Do you know that your church and its teachings on no birthcontrol no condoms is responsible for the birth ,death, excruciating pain and suffereing of millions of infants, mothers and fathers men and women in africa alone?
    Can you really brag on what your church did to indigenous people all over the world including native american indians, native alaskans, first nations of canada??
    How anyone can support an institution that has raped its way thru history with a legacy of cultural and human genocide.. is beyond me..
    And yes i was catholic but learning the truth made me run as fast as i could ..away from the great rapist.. to light..

  • joe

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AbuseTracker/

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Genocide-in-US-and-Canada-by-Stephen-Lendman-110203-55.html

    February 3, 2011 at 04:37:02
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    Annett will present much of the book’s evidence at an upcoming International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State in London. On January 17, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was summoned to appear before it to answer charges of complicity with genocide. Part of a letter from The (London-based) International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) said the following:
    “Over the past three years, your government has legally exonerated the churches responsible for the death of more than 50,000 children in their Indian residential schools, refused to prosecute those responsible, and resisted all attempts to locate and repatriate the remains of these children for a proper burial and criminal investigation.”
    The letter requested Harper begin “criminal legal proceeding against the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada for their proven criminal actions” and more, adding that if not begun by March 1, 2011, the Tribunal will intervene. “In this regard, our representatives will soon be serving upon you….a Public Summons to appear before this Tribunal to answer these and other charges.”
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  • Charlie

    The church is made u of sinners including sinners among those who are members of the clergy.In the good old days it was demanded that a sinner go to confession,perform penance and make the firm resolve NEVER to do that again.Ah. Human weakness.JP11 was probably not aware of the depth of sins being committed and covered up by those who used the argument that the ‘church should be protected’…and the Vatican is not always the first to know because Bishops are notorious for protecting their own.
    Those who leave the church because of these crimes ought to investigate and pray their faith more. To whom do they go?

  • Gabrielle Azzaro

    What an eloquent and well- thought-out article! If only the hierarchy of the Catholic church would read it and respond as Jesus would have them do. How shameful it would be if Pope John Paul II were fast-tracked to the sainthood. Not only because of everything stated in this article, but because Maciel was a very close friend of the pope’s and yet he continued to molest seminarians, impregnate women and steal from his own order. He used to travel in the pope’s private jet – how could the pope not have known what was happening?
    It is time the hierarchy realizes that although God is a merciful God; God is also just.

  • Sterling Archer

    Fr. Phil,

    We can agree to disagree.

    I agree to keep my integrity and you agree to continue to drink the kool-aid for an organization that protects pedophiles.

    Does that sound fair?

  • Gabrielle Azzaro

    Father Phil,
    I feel sorry that you need to so desparately defend the Catholic religion. Being made up of sinners is not the problem. Forgiveness is truly part of our religion, yet, I was taught in my 16+ years of Catholic education that in order for God to forgive our sins we must 1. admit to the sinfullness of the act, 2. DECLARE OUR SORROW FOR OUR SINS, and 3. PROMISE TO TRY not to commit the same sins again. Given the pattern of the cover-up of sexually predatory priests, it would seem that the bishops, cardinals and popes will not be forgiven. How many survivors of sexual abuse by a priest or religious have you spoken with? Can you have any idea how our lives have been impacted? If this had happened to you, I am sure that your comments would be very different. But, you are able to distance yourself because you do not know anything about what you speak. I do. The cover-up and deceit has greatly impacted my life and the lives of hundreds of others that I know. And, yes, John Paul II had knowledge of this. He was far to intelligent not to have known. He allowed it to continue.

  • Fr. Phil Meehup

    @Sterling

    Integrity? You sound like a quitter, actually.

    Integrity is holding on to Faith in the face of adversity, gutless deceit and, ultimately, shame. Worse storms have been weathered. You were never Catholic. You were just along for the ride.

  • Sterling Archer

    Fr. Phil,

    You are an idiot. Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is looking not blindly following the orders of a bunch of decrepit old perverts who prey upon innocent children while hiding behind the word of God. Your world view is seriously skewed.

    I am hoping that you are a troll trying to stir up comments on this board. I really hope that.

    I really, really hope that you aren’t a priest. If so you need to stay as far away from children as possible.

    Do you support the rape and molestation of children? From your responses I would say that you do. At the very least I think that you would cover up for any abuses. I can surmise that you don’t have children of your own. If you did have kids and they were raped by a priest would you be so quick to defend your precious church?

    My faith is a matter between myself and God. What I believe is none of your F#$%^ng business.

    I have separated myself from an evil organization. Have you?

    Read Matthew 18:6.

    But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    I will no longer respond to any of your comments. You are beyond hope.

  • Pete Jones

    The author is a fool who knows nothing about the structure of the church, yet enjoys placing blame on an institution he clearly despises. The destruction of the one true church is his ultimate goal.

    Chrissy, you don’t stand a chance.

  • http://none Joyce

    Dear Mark, The Catholic Church is not responsible for other peoples actions…if you have sex outside of marriage there will be unwed pregnancies, std’s and aids…..Jesus Chrsit and His Catholic church clearly define that we must be Chaste, inside and outside marriage or else, we pay the consequences of our actions…better here than in hell for eternity…So, as far as I and the the Catholic Church are concern…Modesty and Chastity will stop AIDS! Pray for self-control!
    And to whomever said that he left the Catholic church because of anothers sins, makes absolutely no sense, why would you let other peoples sins, give you an excuse to leave the True Faith, do you know you are putting your soul in jeopardy, as much as the priest who abused…we don’t follow men, we follow Jesus Christ and His revealed True Teachings through His Catholic Church, if everyone did that , it would be heaven here on earth.

  • Judy Jones

    Integrity= honesty, honor, honorableness, incorruptibility, uprightness, moral soundness, virtue, purity, morality.

    Fr. Phil,, Integrity has nothing to do with the catholic church leaders, they do not know what it is to live their lives in integrity…….

  • CER1940

    Fr. Phil Meehup you sound like the know it all, all holy priests that I met early in life… After 45 years of your type I bailed out and regret it not an iota. You are a sorry loser who probably could not survive in the real world without the “power” of the church to back you up.

  • Pete Jones

    @Judy Jones

    You obviously only know Catholic Church leaders through the television. There is no other organization on this earth that has done more good than the one true Church.

  • Mary

    I think we should explore the role the countless lay people who may have known and did nothing had in this. They are closer to the ground than anyone in Rome. Oh, and let’s indict all the social workers, lawyers and judges who let perpetrators off because they don’t have enough evidence or didn’t follow due process. Better yet, let’s scrap our whole justice system – after all they protect right to privacy, confidentiality, rights of workers under American law. Yes, everyone is guilty – let’s indict them all. We only want perfect, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent people to be in positions of authority – cast the rest out.

    Stupid and silly and more should be the reader’s response to my rambling above. Yet when I read this and most other attacks on the Church – this is what I hear people saying. JP II should have been omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Frighteningly, I am sure that most writers probably dislike any authority figure to have power. This is the paradox of the attack.

    I think we should apply the rhetoric and lessons of the Church to our own society. I think there is some truth then to my ramblings about social workers, lawyers and judges. Perhaps the people in the pews should have as well. They are closer to the mess. As are the family members.

    Crimes were committed. This is a crime in which an individual hurt another individual and people responded to it in multiple complex ways – which did not stop the problem. It is horrific, yes. And it happens every day – in a home and school near you. What are you going to do about it – you can’t claim you don’t know you should – or is it only other people, like the Pope, who should?

  • Reeta

    Dear Chris,

    Well done. I say that not only because I agree with what you have written, but also at the anger, anxiety, anguish and attention your article has already received! It is no doubt a passionate subject, no matter which side you are on. While I enjoy reading all of the comments, many of you are actually missing the point. The article is not about whether the Church does good works (trust me, if they didn’t you’d know it – our world would be in a worse place than it already is) – it is about accountability and responsibility. This is not an attack on the Church – this is targeted at individuals who allowed this to happen and how they can stand up, admit wrong and move on.

    As a devout Catholic, I still have faith, but find it more difficult every day with constant disappointments from people who we’d all like to think “know better”.

  • Accountant

    The situation should be addressed in parishes to drive the point home that leaving the church is not the answer. Removing the catalyst is.

  • Fr. Phil Meehup

    Sterling,

    A quick trip down Google Analytics tells me you appear to only post on the Author’s columns.

    This leads me to believe one of two things: you *are* the author; or, you rely on only one source of commentary. Troubling no matter how you slice it.

  • Theoden

    @ Sterling-

    Let’s see, your clearly abusive language to Fr. Phil above gets a pass from the webmaster…Looks like a cover-up to me…

    Your hypocrisy and self-righteousness are truly breathtaking, as are the sanctimonious airs of the Author of this column.

    Have priests sinned egregiously? Yes. Are they human beings who like us all are capable of terrible sins? Yes.
    Have Church officials knowingly engaged in cover ups of criminal behavior? Yes. Should they be accountable in civil courts? Yes. Did Pope John Paul II personally know of these cover ups? No.

    Get a grip, bro, the Church is both Divine and Human, and still manages to be the largest single force for good in the world. Whence cometh your vitriolic hatred?

  • Sterling Archer

    Theoden,

    Kudos to you for actually dragging me back into this conversation. Several points:

    1) I use different aliases. Sterling Archer is only one of my pen names. Google Analytics can be misleading.

    2) If you think that I am the author then you need to see my response to his wretched TSA scanner article.

    3) My “Abusive” language to Fr. Phil Meehup? Are you an idiot? Do you actually believe that this person is a Catholic priest? Father Fill Me Up? If he used the name “Fr. I.P. Freely” would you still believe he was a priest?

    4) What abusive language? The man questioned by integrity and my faith. I redacted the worst part of my comments. I don’ see the issue. My comments as written would not be deleted by any internet censor. Perhaps you would like to see me banned because you disagree with my views. That says more about you than it does me.

    5) To think that JPII didn’t know about these cases of abuses is naive. There is smoking gun evidence that he did know. At the very least he was asleep at the wheel. Either way he doesn’t deserve to be a saint.

    I used to make excuses for the Church too. The fact is that the Church has covered up a great evil and that cover up continues to this day as evidenced by the recent arrests in Philadelphia. They have irreparably harmed children in God’s name. This is unforgivable. See Matthew 18:6.

    I am getting tired of hearing people like you and “Fr. Phil” make excuses for unspeakable evil. If you want to continue to support the church that is your business. As for me, I wash my hands of the whole matter. My conscience is clear.

    I am finished with this thread.

  • Christine Flowers

    Normally, I agree with Chris Friend. He’s smart, balanced, and is completely devoid of the liberal bias you find at Philadelphia Magazine, and in most of the media in Philadelphia. But we strongly disagree on this article. Judging from most of the comments on this board, there is a lot of hatred out there for Catholicism, and it is being conveniently (and disingenuously) cloaked in righteous indignation about what the church allegedly did with respect to sexual abuse of minors. That is most clearly displayed in the posts of Sterling Archer. Anyone who uses expletives on a discussion board shows (1) an inability to argue in an articulate manner and (2) rabid anger. The author, admirably, doesn’t stoop to that level. However, the criticism of John Paul II is wrongheaded, to the extent that the prelate is the head of the Roman Catholic church at a macro level, and cannot be held entirely responsible for the micro (i.e. local) failings of his administrators (where they may have occurred.) As a lawyer, I have great respect for Grand Juries even though, as we all know, one of them could indict a ham sandwich if there was enough pressure from the DA’s office. But there is a witch hunt going on here, and the ancillary attack on John Paul is a symptom of that histeria gripping our city. Fortunately, the Papal See isn’t much interested in Philadelphia media, or grand juries, so JP will indeed by canonized in my lifetime (I’m 49) That said, I applaud Chris Freind for being one of the few critics of the church who actually loves and cares about it, and isn’t a self-described ‘recovering Catholic’ who seems to think that abortion is a negotiable issue and that married priests is the answer to everything.

  • Philly Catholic

    @Christine Flowers:

    “about what the church allegedly did with respect to sexual abuse of minors”

    There is no allegedly. Catholic priests molested kids under their care. This is fact not allegation!!!

    I understand the anger expressed on this board. After reading comments like yours I understand how the Catholic church was able to cover up abuse for so long and so effectively. The Catholic church calls its parishioners sheep. You who mindlessly defend what they have done are indeed sheep.

  • Saint Elsewhere

    I’m a former Catholic and haven’t smoked the incense for a while. As a matter of a fact my Catholic School Principal was removed from his position because of he was found to be a pedophile. That’s not the reason I left Mark brought up some very good points about the Catholics position on birth control (7 billion people & counting :P) & treatment of indigenous people around the world. He could of added the treatment of women in the church & those in same sex relationships. Jesus wouldn’t have given a hoot if a person were gay/lesbian/transgender/blue with spots or wore a condom to prevent pregnancy or the possible spread of a contagious and potentially deadly VD’s. How could he not know that in over 26 years in office as the pope he didn’t know that priest were abusing children around the world & these cases universally being swept under the carpet (heck I knew of agreements -contracts- to keep abused quiet). Now their digging his corpse up to be glorified again – ummm… yeech! Fundamentalist of all religions give me the creeps – they all believe in ancient text not common sense. I will also say there are good people serving in all religions as well – it is the institutions I have a hard time with. Sorry John Paul II and all you sheep who follow blindly along can kiss my ring! Bless it who are the cheese makers (Life Of Brian) – lamo..!

  • Steve

    Amen, Chris…right on the money. The medal for John Paul II, after this sham of a beatifcation process, and the documented fact that he wouldn’t even meet with one of the victims of his policies, should be a millstone….

  • Steve

    also……to Fr. Phil Meehup…I spent 3 years in the Seminary for the Los Angeles Archdiocese…I know exactly what seminartians and priests were doing…and only a fraction of the violations of “chastity” have come out. Only 2-3% of any catholic celibate is “chaste”..that ain’t just “flawed individuals” buddy, thats a psychologically flawed policy.

    When you stand in front of the mirror, and see what God gave you, and told you to do with it in the very first chapters of Genesis, and pretend you are closer to him by ignoring that, you are sadly disillusioned…God don’t hear a word of this “abstinent and nearer to thee” claptrap…

  • RC

    Pope Benedict (or Cardinal Ratzinger aka the Pedophile Protecting Pope) is going to canonize Pope John Paul II (who received a mortal wound and did not die) in accordance with scripture — Rev. 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast. Pope Benedict, who knows the 3rd Secret of Fatima revealed the infiltration of the Church by the powers of Darkness, seeks to protect the temporal power of the church and not its Spiritual Mission — Rev 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therin to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. This action is the Sign for the church Laity to Rise UP and Free their Church. Astonishingly, and for some time now, Catholics have seemed more concerned for their Church than for their Children!

  • JudeThom

    Catholic churches are empty because 40 years ago or so the Church went into self-destruct mode and destroyed its Liturgy. The Novus Ordo Mass is a bland, Protestant-Catholic hybrid Mass with little to recommend it. The Church self-destructed with Vatican II. How many times must this be pointed out? Bring back Tradition, and restoration will follow.

  • JudeThom

    Read the wonderful Thom Nickels essay THE BLACK MASS WITHIN VATICAN WALLS at http://www.weeklypress.com

  • Joe C.

    The fact that the Pope allowed and hid pedophiles is a crime, not behavior of a saint.

    They all knew what was happening but chose to protect their institution instead of the children. The church is doing this to try to restore some dignity to what was tragically lost.

  • Thom Nickels

    Good article, and I agreee that John Paul II should not be made a saint, but no mention was made of JPII’s turning his back on liturgical abuse within the Church. He allowed bishops to “do their own thing” in terms of setting liturgical rules and innovations–communion in hand, altar girls, etc.
    This is also why Catholic churches are empty–the Mass has become a banal, utilitarian affair with lay people running around playing priest, bad hymns, and so forth. “Everything rises or falls with the Liturgy,” Pope Benedict XVI said–empty parish churches are proof of this.

    As Michael Matt of (the Catholic) Renmant said,
    “No man is great until history judges him so, which is why the rush to beatify John Paul strikes many Catholics as an attempt to preemptively overrule history’s inevitable verdict against a problematic pontificate that left the human element of the Catholic Church in chaos.”
    Matt also concludes: “For now, however, John Paul is great because we want him to be. The vox populi, which more often than not these days is reduced to parroting the vox paparazzi, is final so long as we live and breathe. We want a hero. Bored with lives suspended by the rotting cords of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, we’ll sleep in sewers if it means a chance sighting of a royal—any royal!—be he politician, pop star or pope…”

  • Dolorosa

    JP II should NOT be a saint. Read why here:

    http://padrepioandchiesaviva.com/Karol_Wojtyla_Beatified_.html