Alas, the link is no longer live, but here’s an excerpt from one: “When a friend suggested that I read My Cousin The Saint, I hesitated for many reasons….I am not Catholic, I expected the book to be a boring tale of a religion that doesn’t necessarily interest me and I was raised in a secular home. My friend persisted and I am so grateful to her. By page 2, I was hooked…..and my interest continued all the way into the epilogue. Justin Catanoso writes about a quest that could just as easily be mine..in another country with different characters.”
My book, by the way, can be purchased inexpensively at many online retailers, particularly www.amazon.com]]>
Full story here.
If you are visiting my site for the first time, my book gives a full, historical account of the canonization process from my own reporting at the Vatican, as well as Pope John Paul II’s role in changing the canonization process in the early 1980s, and how those church rules applied to my cousin, the saint — whom JPII beatified on May 4, 1997.]]>
One could argue yes, to some degree, in regard to those criticisms. But the conflict-spin on this story misses the larger point — the whole life of John Paul II, a life that can be far more effectively be argued as having been heroically virtuous. That’s the key in this whole march to sainthood. Forget the miracles. That’s an ethereal sideshow. Whether or not you believe in God or Heaven or even the Catholic Church, one simply should not overlook the extraordinary life lived by this pope — beginning with his resistance to Nazism as a young adult right up to the way he dignified old age by living so visibly with Parkinson’s disease. John Paul was, emphatically, one of the most important historical figures of the past century. Believe what you want about this beatification and the motives behind it, but this pope has earned the right to his church’s greatest recognition.
By the way, nearly 17 years ago, on May 4, 1997, Pope John Paul II beatified my favorite saint — Padre Gaetano Catanoso, cousin of my grandfather, and thus, my cousin as well.]]>
Excerpt: John Paul II was himself an enthusiastic promoter of sainthood and beatification. He streamlined the process to make canonization move faster, celebrated canonizations all over the world and named more saints than all the popes in the previous 400 years combined.
“He understood that there’s nothing like a canonization to fire up the faithful,“ said Justin Catanoso, a North Carolina journalist and author of “My Cousin the Saint,“ about his relative Gaetano Catanoso, who was beatified and named a saint by John Paul II. “It’s just a gorgeous ritual.“]]>
“The naysayers, mainly on the left, see John Paul not as one of the great religious figures of the age, but as a person with whom they often disagreed, particularly on issues of the ordination of women, the Vatican’s response to the sexual-abuse crisis, and treatment of gays and lesbians. The most common arguments against his canonization can be boiled down to two: First, I disagreed with him. Second, he wasn’t perfect.”
The essay is here.]]>
One error in the NPR story as reported: beatification is not the first step toward canonization, it is the next to last step (there are at least three or four prior steps).]]>