PopeWatch: Canonization Factory

And the modern canonization factory for popes continues apace:


Adding specificity to what was already known about the impending canonization of Blessed Paul VI in 2018, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the pope’s top deputy as the Vatican’s Secretary of State, said Tuesday that the sainthood rite will take place in late October at the close of a meeting of the Synod of Bishops, an institution Paul VI himself founded.Pope Francis in mid-February confirmed that Paul VI would be elevated to the ranks of the saints within the year during a Q&A session with priests and deacons from the Diocese of Rome, with the Vatican afterwards releasing an official transcript of the pontiff’s remarks.

When he made the announcement, Francis joked that he and former pontiff Benedict, who resigned in 2013 and is now 90 years old, “are on the waiting list.”

Go here to read the rest.  It appears that canonization is becoming the gold watch now given to former popes.  When Pius X was canonized in 1954 he was the first pope canonized in 250 years.  I doubt if the popes since that time were notably holier than the popes during the 250 year span when no popes were canonized.  Instead, we now have a canonization process that has gone berserk with saints being proclaimed with all the avidity, and predictability, of the latest line of cars each year.  Canonizing almost all of our recent popes demonstrates just how out of kilter the process has become.  John Paul II was a highly significant pope; Paul VI was a weak pope;  John XXIII, personally holy, unleashed the so far disastrous Vatican II era of the Church;  Pius XII was a heroic pope in perilous times for the Church.  None of them would seem to have any special claim to sainthood that would not be as applicable to tens of millions of pious Catholics.

Traditionally saint hood for non-martyrs has usually been accompanied by many real miracles, and not the law of average remission cures of illnesses that fill this role in the modern canonization machinery.  Compare and contrast with the beggar saint Benedict Labre who died on April 16, 1783:


 His death was followed by a multitude of unequivocal miracles attributed to his intercession. The life written by his confessor, Marconi, an English version of which bears the date of 1785, witnesses to 136 miraculous cures as having been certified to up to 6 July, 1783. So remarkable, indeed, was the character of the evidence for some of the miracles that they are said to have had no inconsiderable part in finally determining the conversion of the celebrated American convert, Father John Thayer, of Boston who was in Rome at the time of the saint’s death. Benedict was proclaimed Venerable by Pius IX in 1859 and canonized by Leo XIII 8 December, 1881. His feast is kept on the 16th of April, the day of his death.

Note, however, that even with so many miracles it still took over a century for the canonization process.

We live in a time where cheap grace is all in vogue, and celebrity is worshiped, and we have a canonization machine that reflects our time.

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  1. While papal canonizations are infallible acts (at least that is widely believed), it can be imprudent to canonize certain people.

    In the canonizations of recent popes, to say nothing of Archbishop Romero, I’m afraid we are in the era of Cult of Personality canonizations. And I do not think that is a good thing. I was actually very troubled by the Santo Subito craze that immediately followed the death of John Paul II.

  2. Are the masons still blocking the canonization of Saint Miguel Pro?

    This just in-two miracles attributed to St. Mohammed and three to St. Lucifer (no one is condemned forever). The Synod of the Saints to be held in 2020 will be most interesting. Someone hacked the Vatican’s Lonesome Clergy male escort site and got into Spadoro’s computer – and there was the draft of the papal exhortation for 2021 – get ready for: 1. canon law changes allowing person wearing papal white -validly elected or not – to canonize living persons; 2. St Barry Soetoro patron of illegal voting and of the nation of Kenya; 3. St. Hillary patron saint of sexual predators; and 3. . . .wait for it . . .Jorge Bergoglio declares infallibly he is Saint Francis II (too?). If he then saves his fingernails, hair, and toenails, they will be the ultimate uberfirst class relics.
    Barry Soetoro’s birthplace was just appropriated by the Kenyan government. The Diocese of Honolulu has begun a dialogue to discuss this with the Kenyan prelates. Rahm Emanuel has said “Trust in the Chicago Way, it got him elected, and I promise his hut will be at his library and spa right here in the Windy City.”
    It is starting to hurt, really hurt, to see what the indefatigable demons have done in the last 24 hours. I fear the sun will not come out tomorrow. How long Oh Lord, how long?

    Guy McClung, Texas

  3. It is the Second Vatican Council that is being canonized here. The execrable postulator for Romero’s canonization says as much:

    Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator, or official promoter, of Romero’s cause has called the archbishop ‘a martyr of the church of the Second Vatican Council.'”


    This is narrative shaping by those who think Vatican Too birthed a docetist new church and left the corpse of the past behind.

  4. Not familiar with the cases for these folks, but part of why canonization would be expected to pick up in the “information age” is that it’s now relatively cheap to do all the paperwork and investigation needed– even before you consider the greater amount of surplus money available to be poured into the process by volunteers.

    I am somewhat annoyed by the ones that seem to be identity politics, though.

  5. I don’t completely agree re John Paul II. There was a genuine cult for him, as is supposedly required. The others not so much. Francis in many parts of the world a lynch mob.

  6. Dale Price is right. It isn’t the Popes, it’s that they came after Vatican II.
    I prefer to think that JPII+ of eternal memory was canonized in part because of his personal holiness, and not because he served as Pope for a long time – or because the Curia was operated with efficiency and effectiveness. We know it wasn’t. JPII did not have a mean bone in his body, and due to the circumstances of his youth, likely found it hard to do what an effective boss has to do – and that is give a swift kick in the @zz to those who need it.

    Paul VI is the patron saint of Vatican II, canonized or not. Fr. Zuhlsdorf often pointed out that Paul VI’s portrait hung on the walls of the Curia offices – he was their Pope.

    No one knows the day or the hour of the end of this current disaster of a papacy, but I will hazard to guess that there will be no chance of him being canonized. I think he has made too many enemies and his friends will be shunned or worse – those that will still be active when the current papacy ends.

  7. The first 35 popes are all canonised.

    The 36th, Liberius (352-366) was not, for obvious reasons.

    John XV (985-996) was the first pope formally to canonise a saint.

  8. Never thought I’d see a case for Paul VI until a few years ago when I heard Barbara Mcguigan call him the “Prophet Pope” re Humanae Vitae. Last week she related some interesting items and it made more sense. HV is his big thing.
    It gave me more respect for him, but I still didn’t expect canonization. At all.
    Oh, she pointed out that both the miracles were cures of unborn babies. Interesting, if true.

  9. Mciahel P Seymour, Now you’ve gone and done it. Paving the way for his own self-canonization, invoking the infallible teaching of Amoris Lamentia, SoonToBeSt Jorge-Francis’s minions just announced three miracles attributed to Liberius. Guy McClung

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