Pope Paul VI’s (#263) Beatification On October 19, 2014 AGAIN Highlights Hasty Veneration Of Recent Popes.
by Anura Guruge
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I kind of like Paul VI (#263). His heart was in the right place and he really tried hard. I even agree, as will now inevitably be the case, that he deserves to be a Saint just for managing to bring Vatican II to a successful conclusion — though this would not be the sole reason for his canonization and there will be those that argue that bringing Vatican II to a successful end was his most heinous crime! My main concern is the untoward haste at which he is being beatified — akin to what happened with John XXIII (#262) and John Paul II (#265) — except that John Paul II’s was fast-tracked to an extent that was nearly a joke. But here is the issue: we now have three recent popes, #262, #263 & #265, either a Saint or a Blessed. These are three popes that were within the lifetime of many, many, many people still alive. That just doesn’t seem right. It takes away the mystique. That is much main gripe and I am NOT alone. Nobody wants to see these popes denied or deprived — we just want to see a ‘reasonable’ gap of absence before they are honored.
That we will have three recent popes honored when there are dozens of equally worthy earlier popes that have NOT even been looked at — looks wrong. It just devalues the whole process.
I basically trod this same ground 5 months ago.
I have five more issues with this beatification.
1. There are some VERY serious allegations that have been made about Paul VI’s ‘lifestyle’ as pope! One has to assume that there has to have been some fire for there to be, even now, so much smoke.
2. This pope did a lot of good to the Church and the World BUT he also totally screwed up the ‘birth control’ issue with his landmark Humanae Vitae.
3. He also screwed up the College of Cardinals with his 1970 ‘cannot vote if over 80 rule’ and the 120 cardinal elector rule — though I am 100% sure that he expected one of his successor to fix the loose ends he left.
4. He comes across as having been a pope who was incredibly conflicted within himself — which, at least to me, seems like an odd trait for a sure-to-be Saint.
5. His beatification, quite rightly, will again draw attention to the fact that WW II pope, Pius XII (#261), despite clamor from some factions, has yet to be beatified — in my opinion, quite rightly — though he died nearly 20 years before Paul.