Oh my, what great news! And so surprising! John Paul II will be beatified (the first step in moving toward being declared a Saint in the Catholic Church) on May 1, 2011. Get your tickets now! Come see the last step in the cheapening of Sainthood as they beatify the man who began the process by Canonizing (the second and last step in officially being declared a Saint) just about everyone who every said “God bless you” after someone else sneezed. In a way, I can’t believe it, but in another strange way, I expected it.
The Institutional Church Universal has been digging its own grave at an amazing pace of the last few decades, with the Roman Church at the front of the line operating the heavy equipment. They are about to Beatify and will certainly Canonize the one their fanatical conservative contingent calls “John Paul the Great.” He certainly was great, at least in two ways: In turning back Vatican II, and in being at the helm during what may be the greatest felonious cover up in the history of organized religion. It is no small accident that Benedict the XVI will beatify JP II – he is paying it forward in a unique way. Since Benedict XVI, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, actually carried out the cover up of the Roman Catholic Pedophilia scandal on JP II’s watch, he is going to Beatify the one who doubtless ordered it so that nobody can object to Benedict’s own Beatification after his death. Isn’t it lovely?
Why do I care? That’s a very good question. I suppose I care because Sanctity still matters to me. I suppose I care because my understanding of Church and of Jesus involves a dedication to social justice, and this action will actually reward injustice. Finally, I care because I care about victims – both those already victimized and those yet to come.
In the end, I take some small consolation in that you can’t fool God, you can’t fool the Universe, you can’t fool Goddess, you can’t fool the Divine; no matter what name you use for the Transcendent, it won’t be fooled. Personally, I believe that John Paul II has been reincarnated as befits the negative Karma he has accumulated. I can’t be more specific than that because no matter how disgusting the example I thought of, it didn’t seem bad enough. I can hear the blood pressure rising on any conservative Catholic who reads this, and to them I say that my intent is not to raise your blood pressure. My intent is to speak the truth, and if the truth bothers you then you should have done something to correct the wrongs that were done under JP II’s reign rather than sweep them under the carpet because you are so dependent on your Church being right that you would lose your identity if even the possibility of wrong doing by the Church were to surface and be confessed.
I suppose that the tragic lesson from JP II’s pontificate will be that we are all human – pious declarations of infallibility notwithstanding – and that while power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Authority always opens the possibility of abuse of power, and absolute authority virtually guarantees it. A review of Papal history proves that truth, as in all of Papal history one would be very hard pressed indeed to find twenty Popes that could be held up as the paragons of virtue their office deserves. Gandhi famously said that “I love your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” When the Catholic Church, as it often does, calls all other Churches to “return home to Rome,” the real sticking point is always the Papacy. Given the history of the Papacy, perhaps they aren’t leading with their strongest selling point.
As for me, I love your Catholics, it’s your Pope I do not like – and with good reason.