It’s always a pleasure to be in The State of Things, where when I’m on, I usually talk about regional business trends. Not today. It was that other topic I know a little about — saints and saint making. Host Frank Stasio did a great job with the questions during the 10-minute interview. Here’s the link. Hope you like it.
Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’
The New York Times reports: VATICAN CITY — Lauding John Paul II as a giant of 20th century history as well as a hero of the church, Pope Benedict XVI moved his towering predecessor one step closer to sainthood on Sunday in a celebratory Mass that drew more than a million people to Rome.
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.
The tenor of the news surrounding the late Pope John Paul II’s beatification in the coming hours has been tilted slightly negatively. Isn’t this process being rushed? Didn’t he fail to confront the pedophile priests in his flock? Wasn’t he dismissive of modernizing the role of women in the church?
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.
Tom Breen, a reporter with the Associated Press, does a great job with this national story on the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II. I was lucky enough to be one of his sources.
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.“
In the run-up to Sunday’s beatification of the late Pope John Paul II in Rome, author and Jesuit priest Father James Martin writes in Slate:
“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.
This National Public Radio story — pegged to the late Pope John Paul II’s upcoming beatification — looks at an inexplicable cure in Washington state and whether it should be considered a miracle. Strong detail on the Vatican process for confirming miracles on the road to canonization. And to me, a familiar voice in the story: Father Kurt Peter Gumpel, a senior member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican. He was a patient and insightful source for me in 2006.
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).
ABC News’ report tonight from the Vatican on the canonization process was riddled with errors. Among them — that the office of the Devil’s Advocate still exists within the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and acts as prosecutor in canonization causes. That hasn’t been the case since 1983, when Pope John Paul II abolished the office in order to streamline the saint making process. John Paul named more saints than all the popes combined in the previous 400 years, including my cousin, Padre Gaetano Catanoso.
It was nice to see Monsignor Sarno, a Brooklyn native, Vatican insider and a key source in my book, interviewed in the ABC News story this evening. He looks older, but otherwise just as dour as he was when I met him in his office in June 2006.
Washington Post reports: “VATICAN CITY — During Pope John Paul II’s 2005 funeral, crowds at the Vatican shouted for him to be made a saint immediately. “Santo subito!” they chanted for one of the most important and beloved pontiffs in history. His successor heard their call. On Friday, in the fastest process on record, Pope Benedict XVI set May 1 as the date for John Paul’s beatification — a key step toward Catholicism’s highest honor and a major morale boost for a church reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal.”
John Paul II, the busiest saint-maker in church history, approved each step in the process for the 2005 canonization of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. Pope Benedict XVI canonized Gaetano several months after JPII’s death. To learn more about saints and the canonization process, there are few sources better than My Cousin the Saint.
Today is Easter, of course. It is also the anniversary of the death of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. He was 84 on this day in 1963, when he died in his own bed in Santo Spirito in Reggio Calabria. Some hours before his death, Monsignor Sorrentino of Reggio visited his mentor and spoke with him about Saint Francis of Paola, the last saint named from Calabria (in the early 1500s). The mother general of Padre Gaetano’s order of nuns mentioned to the monsignor that Calabria was in needs of new saints. Thus, the idea was lodged. Sorrentino launched the cause for canonization in 1980 under Pope John Paul II. The canonization, led by Pope Benedict XVI, took place Oct. 23, 2005.