Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Pope Becomes All But a Saint

Today marked the beatification of Pope John Paul II in a speedy 6 years. The inquiry into this status began before the usual 5 year period.

We all knew this would happen since the public was so obviously convinced about honoring the deceased leader fast. At his funeral in 2005, there were dozens of banners written by the mourning faithful with the words, "Santo Subito (Saint Now)." The point was strong and Benedict XVI listened, with a beatification (beatificazione) at this point. It technically takes 25 years for the saint designation to be given to someone. That will surely be another record to be set for Karol Wojtyla.

1 million crowded into Rome for this historic moment dedicated to this beloved pope.

Some people wonder if this beatification move was partially to rally support for the Catholic Church in this modern time that needs reminders of keeping faith.

Where does the line between faith and consumerism get defined? Isn't this part of giving the hoi polloi what the want? Everything immediately, even in terms of religious time? Putting the words "saint" and "now" together are a strange contemporary concoction. Even the Catholic Church, which is famous for being timeless and/or slow and unmoving, is stepping up its rhythm.

This is an image now hanging in Saint Peter's Cathedral.

Image of pope from La Repubblica
Image of banner from mondonews24
Click here for explanation of 2005 banners in Italian.


  1. that was just the beatification of the pope, santification is the next step. "beato subito" is pretty different from "santo subito"

  2. Dear Anna, Please see the post's modifications. Thank you for encouraging me to verify more and reflect more specifically.