Beatified: 522 people — mostly priests and nuns — who were killed in the turmoil that led to Spain’s civil war.

The beatification, the last step the Roman Catholic church takes before declaring sainthood, was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato in an outdoor ceremony attended by thousands in the northeastern Tarragona region. Pope Francis gave a brief address via a teleconference link to the congregation, which included almost 4,000 relatives of those being beatified.

So far, the church has beatified in several similar events more than 1,500 people killed during Spain’s worst period of internecine strife in the 20th century.


More about the Spanish Civil War

Church politics and Pope John XXIII: Sainthood to be declared by “waiver”.



Healing miracle declared in Colorado Springs

The sudden healing of a 4-year-old Colorado Springs boy in 1999 after two nuns prayed for the founding Mother of their order to intercede has been ruled a miracle by the Vatican.

The sisters of Mount St. Francis learned recently that Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress of the order, would be beatified because of the miracle.

Bonzel founded the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in 1863 in Olpe, Germany. She died in 1905, at age 74.

“It’s really just overwhelming,” said Jan Burgie, who had asked two sisters at Mount St. Francis in northwest Colorado Springs to pray for her son. “We were doubly blessed, with the healing and a lifelong friendship.”


Details on alleged Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen miracle emerge

On Sept. 16, 2010, Bonnie Engstrom and her husband Travis prayed fervently to Archbishop Sheen after she delivered a stillborn son.

The baby, whom they named James Fulton after the archbishop, had no pulse for 61 minutes after he was born. As doctors prepared to declare the time of death, however, his heart started beating. Although the physicians predicted serious medical problems, James Fulton is now a happy, healthy one-year-old.

In addition to serving as an auxiliary bishop of New York and bishop of Rochester, Archbishop Sheen was best known for his weekly radio broadcast, “The Catholic Hour,” and his later weekly television program, “Life is Worth Living.”

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Fair and balanced: Modernists get a newly beatified pope, traditionalists get expanded Latin Mass.

Anyone who doesn’t believe the Vatican is steeped in “power” politics just isn’t paying attention.

Reader Paul comments on JPII beatification and papal Mass article

I am writing just to congratulate you on the very good review you gave on John Paul’s Mass in Chicago, re:

All criticisms aside, you can’t help loving John Paul II. I figure God does, too! of 2nd May weblog

I am always seeing red when I see some supposedly intelligent Catholics pour scorn on the person of John Paul. It seems to me in passing that they lack common charity and for all their intellectual rumblings they present a mean minded lord as fit for devotion by a very few elite.

I recall back in 2005 and it was Wednesday of that Easter week when I complained to God that I did not understand why he had not taken him at Easter? Like a slap in the face, I was immediately pulled up on where in the week I was and recall saying out loud at this realization “Oh. . My God . .”

I knew at once that Jesus had done one last act of his divine will in wanting to take the Holy father on his feast of The Divine Mercy . .with all its promises revealed. I believe his cardinals and especially Pope Benedict understood the significance of dates and what Jesus was doing for John Paul. If I am correct and I believe here I am, then His Holiness Benedict 16th well knows the eternal fate of his old friend and mentor. It is not surprising that he has backed a fast track of grace for the memory of his predecessor. We should always recall that The Catholic Church does NOT make saints, only God can do that . .but the Church sometimes is allowed to Recognise a saint by their life and heroic virtues etc or by the revelation of Jesus.

As for the poor in charity that suggest John Paul did not speak out against this or that corruption within the church their arguments are not logical.

We pray for both what we do and what we fail to do but lack of condemnation cannot logically be assessed as agreement. Otherwise these same claimants will surely argue that Our lord does not condemn some of the wrongs of his day for example the sermon on the mount makes no perception on slavery or the economic abuses of social structure of the day. Indeed Our Lord rather backs these economic structures by suggesting that we should render to Caesar what is Caesars . To suggest that this means he cared little or is responsible for the abuse of such structures is clearly absurd and borders on grave sin. We are not allowed to express a view that is harmful or leading to a character assassination of the living or the dead. As Christians such acts are reprehensible and belong to the works of Satan not Christ.

My argument against these supposed catholic thinkers with ideas above their station is that they should always and at all moments remember Love and act accordingly. Salvation is not guaranteed to any of us but it is impossible without love. If we recall the love of Jesus and his followers then we should be inspired to pick up our cross and follow Christ. It is not simply poetical license it is a command from love itself and we must respond.

If the Now Blessed John Paul is in heaven, he is a saint. If Jesus and his divine mercy wish us to follow him then we can be assured that his saints are there to help us and not trip us up or sneer at our weaknesses. As Catholics through out the ages have known, The Communion of Saints means that these individuals in Heaven, in Eternal Glory are our hope and friends. To harden our hearts to Gods Justice, Mercy and Will by turning from The Church or these Holy icons is less than sad. Our personal and eternal salvation are greatly assisted by these saints and by the Holy Catholic Church. What is required of us is a conversion from sin to grace, a child-like acceptance of Gods wonders and an opening to Love that reveals grace in everything we do.

John Paul had human weakness because he was a human but we are not called upon to expose errors nor cast stones because we expect our selves to be so pure in heart. We are called to celebrate the Goodness of this great man and whether we like it or not, to respond to Gods call to Love and accept his Divine Mercy.

Watch the beatification: live video feed.

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All criticisms aside, you can’t help loving John Paul II. I figure God does, too!

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

by Doug Lawrence

Pope John Paul II may not have been perfect, but he accomplished more than most men, and he did it with style, grace, and love.

While nobody gets into Heaven due to style, there’s no doubt that Karol Wojtyla was indeed a man of abundant grace and love. Not to mention his courage, which … by the grace of God … helped to reshape and reform the modern world, for good.

Early in JPII’s papacy, during a visit to Chicago, his presence, along with that of many pilgrims, who came from all over to assist at Mass, literally transformed the “stormy, husky, brawling” town into something much more closely resembling what St. Augustine described as the mystical “City of God” … at least, for a while.

It was a glorious thing to experience, since on that great day, taxi cab drivers and hardened Chicago politicians alike, seemed to be genuinely affected. This is true. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes.

It was a little “slice” of Heaven … right here on Earth. They should make JPII a saint, just for that. Praise God!

October 5, 1979
An Estimated 1.2 Million Catholics
Gathered In Chicago’s Grant Park for Mass

God Bless our late Holy Father, John Paul II. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI. God Bless all of our bishops, priests, and religious. God Bless us all! (And please send us more men like Karol.)

Listen to JPII’s extraordinary homily. Watch the video.

Seen on the web: JPII beatification validating the catastrophe of Vatican II

A new CEO takes over the world’s largest corporate body. He declares he will continue the work of his predecessor once removed. A work that saw a widespread decline in prophets. He treats his oath of office as belonging to another time not his. His words and actions over 25 years effectively deny a cardinal tenet of his mission statement. They foster indifference to the company product.

During his stewardship his sales force declines precipitously. Trainees for replacements are down 90 percent. Plants are closed.

Two-thirds of former clients no longer use the product. Those who do are divided between those who don’t see or are resigned to accepting a watered down product (indistinguishable from competitors) and those who want to water it down further.

On passing, some declare him “saint” while others add “the Great” to his name. The world loves him whereas the founder of the company said “as they have hated me they will hate you.”

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A pictorial essay on Pope John Paul II (33 photos)

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Really big show: Picture of Pope John Paul II is six stories tall.

April 27, 2011. ( (-ONLY VIDEO-) St. Peter’s Square is receiving a face-lift this week, as the biggest picture ever created of John Paul II was draped from the columns that encircle the square. Pilgrims arriving early for the beatification were able to watch as Vatican workers prepare St. Peter’s Square for the beatification ceremonies on May 1.

Link launches tribute site for Pope John Paul II Beatification

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Vial of blood to serve as relic for John Paul II beatification

Vatican City, Apr 26, 2011 / 07:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A vial of blood drawn from John Paul II will serve as a relic during the late pontiff’s upcoming beatification Mass in Rome on May 1.

The Vatican announced on April 26 that the relic will to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI and exposed for veneration during the Mass in St. Peter’s Square this coming Sunday. The vial will then be stored in a shrine by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, along with other relics.


JPII’s beatification … with an very unfortunate asterisk *

*Recent revelations of widespread abuse of children by priests and alleged attempts of a cover-up by senior clerics have prompted many church members to question the pace of John Paul’s progress towards sainthood.

JPII and “Be Not Afraid” – A personal story of conversion

I’m among the numerous souls brought to Catholicism largely by the witness of the man who will be beatified this coming Sunday.

During high school I gave up on the Christian faith I’d been raised in. I didn’t so much reject Christ or his teaching as become completely disheartened by the fact that all around me were professing Christians who seemed not to take much interest in striving to live the Gospel.

If love is patient, kind, and not quick to take offense, why were we Christians quick-tempered, gossipy and touchy like everyone else? To cope, I adopted the time-honored adolescent defense mechanism: cynicism.

Onto the world stage strode John Paul II, beaming his merry grin, encouraging us to “Be Not Afraid,” and seeming to embody in his person the antidote to 1970’s “malaise.”

He offered the cure to cynicism: Christian joy. His spirit and teaching gave courage to young hearts afraid to give themselves fully to Christ. And he backed up his smile with the physical and moral courage that brought down the Soviet empire, restored the missionary face of the Church, and faced down the slow wasting death by Parkinson’s.

Three memories of him I cherish.

Coming soon: Watch the JPII beatification festivities, as they happen.

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Five factors explain JPII’s rapid rise towards sainthood

First, John Paul II himself overhauled the sainthood process in 1983 to make it faster, easier, and cheaper, the idea being to lift up contemporary role models of holiness for a jaded modern world. Though John Paul and Mother Teresa are unique in that they’re the only cases in which the waiting period was waived, they’re just two of more than twenty cases since 1983 in which a candidate reached beatification within thirty years after death – a list that includes a mix of the famous (Padre Pio and Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei) and the relatively obscure (Anuarita Nengapeta, a Congolese martyr, and Chiara Badano, a lay member of Focolare).

In that sense, the pace of John Paul’s beatification is a natural byproduct of his own sainthood policies, which put a premium on demonstrating that sanctity is alive in the here and now.

Second, sainthood is supposed to be a democratic process, beginning with a popular conviction that a given person lived a holy life and is worthy of emulation. In the past a candidate’s fame often spread only gradually, but today the same time lag doesn’t always apply. John Paul II’s papacy skillfully exploited two of the hallmarks of today’s global village: the ubiquity of communications and the relative ease of travel. As a result, one could argue that the pace of his beatification is nothing more than a reflection of the greater speed at which everything moves in the 21st century.

Third, despite John Paul’s reforms, sainthood remains a cumbersome process. Causes which move rapidly typically have an organization behind them able to supply the resources and expertise to make the system work. Opus Dei, for example, could draw upon some of the best canon lawyers in the Catholic church in promoting the cause of its founder, and Focolare has a motivated membership with good Vatican connections behind the cause of Badano. In the case of John Paul II, the infrastructure of the Catholic church in Poland, as well as the diocese of Rome, are solidly behind the cause, ensuring that it doesn’t languish for lack of institutional support.

Fourth, the decision-makers in the church today are largely John Paul II appointees and protégés, which gives them a powerful biographical motive for wanting to see their mentor raised to sainthood during their own lifetimes. That list includes Pope Benedict XVI himself, as well as Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, the longtime private secretary of John Paul II, for whom keeping the memory of John Paul alive represents a sacred calling. Dziwisz turns 72 on April 27, making the May 1 beatification a perfect birthday gift, and there’s no question that he would like to see the canonization happen before he steps off the stage at the retirement age of 80.

Fifth, there’s the simple fact of popular demand. Affection for John Paul II remains palpable around the world, and in many cases people aren’t waiting for formal approval to tout him as a saint. The Italian magazine Epoca, for example, splashed the headline “The Pope Saint” across its cover this week, not sweating the difference between beatification and canonization.

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Reader strenuously disagrees with Remnant Catholic Newspaper opinion on beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Paul (from across the pond) writes:

There is NO Saint canonized or otherwise that does not hold some dark skeleton in the cupboard. We should never be surprised to know that the saints are all very human and like any part of flesh and blood humanity are subject to sin and failure. The Saints are weak and feeble apart from the light of Christ that shines from within them.

The Roman Church does not require or accept that any saint is above the vision of Our lords grace and it never has demanded of its Saints that for example they are good. The Catholic Church requires a soul that it recognises as being Saintly to be of HEROIC VIRTUE.

The Church fully understands that human beings are weak and will make many decisions that are in the hindsight of history perhaps sometimes lacking in vision. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church understands that its Lord and Saviour desires souls to be inspired by something great in the lives of these heroic men and women. As far as Christendom is concerned that means we admire and respect individuals that have to a large extent and in the most trying circumstances lived according to their faith to the point of this heroic virtue.

The Catholic Church also desires that to assist it in declaring any person worthy of Beatification and Canonization should produce a miracle. This is done for the benefit of our disbelief and our own weaknesses and does not require any other critique.

Therefore we are presented with the Beatification this May of the late John Paul 2nd. Pope Benedict has always supported the cause of his predecessor and indeed in naming him as “The Great” has already implied his certain sanctity.

As a Polish Man he grew up under two of the most evil regimes in human history and when pope he took the message of Christ to a dark and broken world using all his talents and charisma to brighten it by the Love of Christ. That some have found his abilities to reveal Jesus thus is not a shock but when Catholics sneer at his pontificate they deepen the shadow of personal sin and show ignorance to an enlightened world that should shame Satan himself!

The article contests for example that because John Paul was the pontiff at a time of terrible scandal for the clergy etc the “buck stops here” and he is theoretically responsible for the obscene abuses that have come to light in recent years. Further that his friendship with proven evil priests that lived secret bad lives meant they were protected from censure and their evil was allowed to continue.

Firstly we must note that all the Bishops of the world and all the faithful have a share in the sinfulness of these crimes. We have a collective responsibility and failure by any Bishop to halt evil is an abuse. Yet we also should appreciate that most people are of good character and not involved in these horrendous crimes committed by modern Judas Iscariots. Those whom have committed their heinous acts will have to take personal responsibility for these before the Lord of Justice.

With that understood we cannot imply in good conscience that John Paul knew are ever would have agreed with such acts nor that he defended them.

It may be true that popes have at times tried to defend persons of horrible character yet logically this does not follow that the pope was himself of bad moral character rather that humans are subject to human judgment and we do not know what is in a soul before God.

We trust however that Jesus will understand any failings we have and we pray especially for sinners . . .as this obviously includes ourselves . .but a modern pope must always try to be of understanding temperament.

The point I should like to make here is that we cannot as Christians suggest that clerical abuse was willed or instigated by papal acts. In recent times under pope Benedict and as the scandal has turned into a tsunami of horror the Church has become more aware of what has taken place and Pope Benedict has started to clamp down wherever possible against the abuse that has caused such suffering.

However the article really shows its colours in its vindictiveness against the person of John Paul 2nd as it erupts into a further critique of what the author presumably feels is manifest corruption. For example he attacks the Pontiff because he famously brought to Assisi members of other and non Christian belief systems to pray.

This he concludes is abuse because these pagans did not recognize Christ as the Divine Saviour and are still beyond grace? This of course is heretical because the Church has always allowed for non Christians the possibility of salvation by Gods Divine Providence. John Paul was totally correct and his action was and is a stimulus for all good people of good will no matter creed to adore God the Father in his Creative aspects. It was to Assisi that John Paul called the conferences and for good reason. Go read St Francis and it will become obvious why. Lastly on this point His Holiness Pope Benedict has also plans for doing the same act very soon. Let us hope therefore that this mistaken author will not burst a blood vessel!

With later reference to Islam and the Jews, Pope John Paul again started to try and build bridges to these faiths. He understood that God The Father is revealed in much of their doctrine and we as Catholics and Christians have a duty to be tolerant and understanding of them. It is not an option and we may not counter this discipleship by restating earlier misunderstandings by Christians. The church has not always behaved well towards its humanity but we must now go forward in more certain light and much of this new enlightenment is thanks to John Paul himself.

Reference the Remnant article here

Remnant Catholic Newspaper: No blessed or sainted Pope in Church history has a legacy as troubling as that of John Paul II.

The impending beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1, 2011 has aroused serious concern among not a few Catholics around the world, who are concerned about the condition of the Church and the scandals that have afflicted her in recent years—scandals that prompted the future Benedict XVI to exclaim on Good Friday 2005: “How much filth there is in the Church, even among those who, in the priesthood, should belong entirely to Him.” We give voice to our own concern in this public way in keeping with the law of the Church, which provides:

In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, the Christian faithful have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence towards their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons. [CIC (1983), Can. 212, § 3.]

We are compelled by what we believe in conscience to be the common good of the Church to express our reservations concerning this beatification. We do so on the following grounds, among others that could be brought forth.

(Thanks to Matt C. Abbott)

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Conservative theologian: Fast-tracking JPII’s canonization would be wrong.

Let’s begin with one of the more horrendous events that occurred in his pontificate – the homosexual/pedophile scandal. This may well be the worst scandal in the Church’s entire 2000 year history and one that spread without restraint for the entire 26 years of his reign.

As late as 2010 new revelations of clerical sexual abuse were uncovered in many European countries. The fact that it all happened under John Paul II’s watch should be enough to derail any attempt at putting him on the fast-track toward canonization.

The sadder fact is there exists circumstantial evidence that he is personally culpable, either in allowing his bishops to shuffle incriminated priests from diocese to diocese or in the whisking away of these same bishops to the Vatican for safe haven (e.g., Cardinal Bernard Law who was given sanctuary at the Vatican before he could be prosecuted by the civil authorities in Boston).

By and large, John Paul II seems to have turned a blind eye to the heinous sins occurring against little Catholic boys. The recent case of Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, patron of the Legionaires, speaks for itself. Maciel was a personal friend of the Holy Father, but had been molesting little boys for decades as well as fathering children from several different women. He lived high on the hog, raking in millions from Catholic men and women who fell victim to his brainwashing techniques, all of whom were required to take a vow not to criticize him.

When news of Maciel’s sordid life was revealed to John Paul II he simply denied it was true and refused to initiate any investigation.

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