The Hall of Fame of Saints: What the Church can Learn from Baseball
|Haken Loob: |
The Man. The Myth. The Legend
Now to my main point... like many, I'm sad to say, I shuddered at the news of Pope Paul VI being canonized by Pope Francis recently. Paul Kariya, meet Paul VI. Is it prudent to simply say "Humanae Vitae" and expect a heroically saintly life from the same man who aided and abetted one of the more tumultuous times in the history of Catholicism? Or is it reasonable to conclude that, sure he wasn't a perfect pope, but he was personally holy, and even saintly? Can I be a holy and saintly man while at the same time being a second-rate father? "Sorry kids, I was too busy praying today to go and earn money to buy food."
How can I judge Pope Paul VI? I cannot. Rumours are he wore a hair shirt. Rumours also abound that he made side deals with communists. We don't know. But the burden of proof shouldn't be on me to provide perfectly clear evidence against his sanctity. It should be on the canonization process, one gutted thanks to Paul VI (and JPII), to prove his heroic sanctity. Read Peter Kwasniewski if you want details. All I am saying is that Pope Paul VI's canonization, in my opinion, happened way too quickly. There were no cults for his cause. No one was gushing over his greatness. No clear explanation of how he stood up, in a saintly manner, against the ungodly forces of the 1960s (except, of course, Humanae Vitae). The Church is still a mess to this day. Previously we went through a 700 year stretch with only having two popes canonized. We now have had three popes canonized from the 1960s and up. One such pope is, oddly enough, nicknamed "the good pope." Not the great pope, the good pope. Add to this now Pope Saint Paul VI. We might as well start the process for Benedict XVI. He could be the first living pope to be canonized. Or, dare I say, Francis.
Enshrine the good. Admire them. Hold them up as the ideal. Stir rousing devotion to the demi-great. As for me, I will look to the great saints of the past. At least I know they hit a homerun in life. And are truly deserving of being called great in that Hall of Fame in the sky.