VENERABLE John Paul II and… by the way…. PIUS XII!!

Blindsided!

The title of "Venerable" is given to those whom Holy Church determined within a reasonable doubt lived a heroic life of virtue.   The Congregation for Causes of Saints examines the documentation presented to make the case that the Servant of God lived all the theological and cardinal virtues in an exemplary manner and then issues a decree concerning those virtues.   The decree is presented to the Supreme Pontiff in a consistory (or whatever other moment he considers opportune), and he subsequently determines to promulgate it or not as he considers it opportune.

Once a person is decreed also by the Pope to have lived a heroic life of virtue and is called Venerable, then there must be be an authenticated miracle before he or she can be beatified.

Here is the latest batch of decrees:

PROMULGAZIONE DI DECRETI DELLA CONGREGAZIONE DELLE CAUSE DEI SANTI

Oggi, 19 dicembre 2009, il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha ricevuto in Udienza privata S.E. Mons. Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefetto della Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi. Nel corso dell’Udienza il Santo Padre ha autorizzato la Congregazione a promulgare i Decreti riguardanti:

…..

- le virtù eroiche del Servo di Dio Pio XII (Eugenio Pacelli), Sommo Pontefice; nato a Roma il 2 marzo 1876 e morto a Castelgandolfo il 9 ottobre 1958[WOW.... THIS was downplayed a little]

- le virtù eroiche del Servo di Dio Giovanni Paolo II (Carlo Wojty?a), Sommo Pontefice; nato il 18 maggio 1920 a Wadowice (Polonia) e morto a Roma il 2 aprile 2005;

….

 

Paolo Rodari has an interesting comment on his blog Palazzo Apostolico about this decree about Pius XII, which sort of blind sided everyone:

The strategy of Benedict XVI to get the skeptics (among whom many Jews) to stomach the unblocking of the process of beatification and canonization of Pius XII was today made clear in a surprising way (no vatican watcher was in a position to anticipate this).  In fact, the Pope, hiding his intentions from everyone (I have my doubts that even his private secretary knew about it), promulgated a decree on the heroic virtues of Pius XII together with that of John Paul II.  We knew about Wojtyla.  About Pacelli, no.

The Congregation actually issued the decree on heroic virtues for Pius XII some time ago, on 8 May 2007. 

But, remember, the Supreme Pontiff must promulgate it.   That is what happened today.   

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48 Responses to VENERABLE John Paul II and… by the way…. PIUS XII!!

  1. Hidden One says:

    Gloria in excelsis Deo!!!

    As a Canadian, I also cannot be but pleased by the declaration regarding Bl. Andre Bessette. The Australians will be very pleased by the declaration regarding Bl. Mary MacKillop.

  2. irishgirl says:

    I’m very happy at all these developments! Woo Hoo!

    It’s wonderful that Father Damien is now Saint Damien…and that SAINT Andre Bessette and Saint Mary MacKillop will be canonized. The Catholics of Canada and Australia need all the help they can get through the prayers of these Saints-to-be.

    ‘Venerable’ John Paul II-wow! To think that I saw an honest-to-goodness Saint-in-the-making during my lifetime.

    Yeah, I know-I can’t contain my excitement…..

  3. irish: … and Ven. Pius XII.

  4. Father S. says:

    Two new venerables: mirabile dictu!

  5. Merrrrrrrry Christmas, everybody! Papa has a present for you, Canada, and for you, Australia, and for you, England… yes, Mary Ward… and for you, Poland – three, actually — look, Father Popieluczko!… and a whole bunch for Italy… and down here in the bottom of the bag, there’s a present for you, Pacelli fans! Merrrrry Christmas!

    Sorry, Stalin and Hitler. No presents for you. But we’ll send Venerable Pius XII to dance on your graves again. ;)

  6. The Astronomer says:

    The Pope also recognized the martyrdom of Father Jerzy (George) Popie?uszko, killed by the Polish Communists in 1984. Does this means, Father, that he is now automatically a saint, as he died in odium fidei???

  7. irishgirl says:

    Fr Z-oh no, I didn’t forget ‘Venerable’ Pius XII-honest.

    It’s just that I had seen ‘Venerable’ John Paul II ‘in the flesh’-three times at the Vatican, and once [as Cardinal Wojtyla] at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976. A seminary classmate of his was the leader of the group I went with to Philly.

    I was just a wee one in the latter years of Pius XII’s reign. But an aunt of mine got to see him in the last audience he held before his death. In 1958 I was only four years old.

  8. irishgirl says:

    Yes! Our Papa Benedict is quite the strategist!

    I like your ‘Merrry Christmas’ comment, Suburbanbanshee-yep, a lot of countries got ‘saintly presents’!

  9. JosephMary says:

    Yes indeed an early Christmas present indeed!

    I am excited about Blessed Andre!

    (now for Ven. Matt Talbot and Ven Solanus Casey to make the list for beatification)

  10. Oneros says:

    Hmm…now every Pope of the 20th century is somewhere along the path to Sainthood except Benedict XV and Pius XI. This was only true, otherwise, up to the 5th century. After that, Papal canonizations have been very rare.

    In some ways, I think the Church was wise, in the past, to be VERY cautious about giving an additional stamp of legitimacy and perenniality to men (however holy they may have been personally) who ALREADY had the weight of the Papacy behind their legacy.

    Canonizing a pope can become uncomfortably close to canonizing their papacy/policies sometimes, or at least be interpreted that way by the faithful…

  11. Geoffrey says:

    What a great day! Deo gratias!

    I wonder if anyone at the Holy See had read my previous comment on 18 December:

    “Regarding Pope Pius XII, I personally think both John Paul the Great and Pius XII should be beatified or canonized in the same ceremony. During the Great Jubilee of 2000, the Holy See purposely beatified Blessed Pius IX and Blessed John XXIII on the same day to emphasize the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’. I think a similar ceremony could send the same message, especially to the SSPX, etc.”

    I didn’t think to include being declared “venerable” at the same time! :-)

  12. Fabrizio says:

    I smell “Sour Grapes Award” in the air… [And you are right on that score, as usual.]

  13. Mark M says:

    already said, but: also Fr Popie?uszko! :D

  14. Br. Anthony says:

    Venerable John Paul II?

    This is a very sad day in Benedict XVI’s pontificate.

    [A puerile assertion, rather like something you leave on the floor and then walk away from. Perhaps you could give your reasons, if you have better insights than the Congregation and Pope Benedict.]

  15. Astronomer: recognized the martyrdom of Father Jerzy (George) Popieluszko… now automatically a saint, as he died in odium fidei?

    No. Canonization is a different stage. What this means is that there is reasonable certainty that the priest was killed because he was a Christian Catholic, or a priest, or because of hatred of the Faith or some virtue, etc., and not merely for political reasons. He is a “martyr” if killed because of something to do with the Faith.

    Now that this declaration has been made, the way is open to his beatification. After beatification, there would be the regular process of authentication of a miracle through his intercession.

  16. Spectacular news! God be praised!

  17. Tim Ferguson says:

    another in this amazing list from the Vatican is Venerable Chiara Badano – a member of Focolare, who was born in 1971 and died in 1990. A miracle attributed to her intercession has been recognized, paving the way for her beatification. Think of that – a Beata who was born in 1971 – the first born after the conclusion of Vatican II, someone who would be only 38 years old if she had not died.

  18. jlong says:

    I am very happy to see both Popes made venerable.

    However, I find it strange it happened at the same time, maybe at this time it was the only way of getting Pius XII done with the added protection of the Pope John paul II story.

    Maybe these two Popes will be interlinked now right up to Canonisation.

    Great day

  19. Agnes says:

    Ven. John Paul II and Ven. Pius XII – Perfect! They seem to go hand in hand. A blessed Christmas gift for the Church.

  20. Ellen says:

    John Paul II died on my birthday, which when he is canonized, will be his feast day. I will have an extra incentive to rejoice! And all the other Servants of God who have been proclaimed! What a wonderful day it has been.

  21. Agnes says:

    Wow, what a blessing, Ellen!

  22. Geoffrey says:

    I have a feeling that when Venerable John Paul the Great is beatified, a date other than 2 April might be designated as his feast day. 2 April often falls during Holy Week or the Octave of Easter, and so would often be ignored. The date of his election to the papacy in October might be chosen instead.

  23. chcrix says:

    What splendid news. The two favorite popes of my lifetime are Benedict XVI and Pius XII (pope when I was born). Men who were both intellectual and decisive.

    Maybe we can begin to put paid to the worse than untrue calumnies about Pius XII.

  24. Br. Anthony says:

    “A puerile assertion, rather like something you leave on the floor and then walk away from.”

    Pope John Paul II committed many crimes against the First Commandment throughout his pontificate (e.g., Assisi 1986). He never publicly repented of such abominations. Is that not enough to question his “venerability”?

  25. Sam Urfer says:

    “Pope John Paul II committed many crimes against the First Commandment throughout his pontificate (e.g., Assisi 1986). He never publicly repented of such abominations. Is that not enough to question his “venerability”?”

    Apparently not.

  26. EXCHIEF says:

    Br. Anthony
    You are still not explaining it not, quite frankly, that your opinion matters since the process of review prior to this announcement has been quite thorough, and based upon proven facts rather than the opinion of one person.

  27. Br. Anthony says:

    EXCHIEF,

    Pope Benedict XVI is an ecumenist in the likes of Pope John Paul II. Surely, it cannot be any wonder that the current pope would take this step.

    Your right that my opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is the objective fact that Pope John Paul II did more to destroy the Church, albeit perhaps unintentionally, than most popes in history. How then can such a pope be considered “venerable”?

    If you want to stick your head in the sand, then go ahead. God gave me the faculty of reason and I will use it to defend His Honor.

  28. Bruce says:

    I have seen Br. Anthony on other websites, believe me it is futile to argue with him.

  29. EXCHIEF says:

    And what, pray tell, is wrong with attempting to lead the rest of the world to salvation through the one true Church? As long as no matters of faith and morals were violated I see no harm in what Pope JP II did. His “style” may not have been to your liking but unless you can show heresy or something contrary to the dogma of the Church I think you or anyone else is hard pressed to justify criticism of this decision. I seriously doubt you are any more interested in or capable of “defending His Honor” than the current Pontiff and those involved in the process of determining one’e eligibility and suitablity for Sainthood. It seems that you are putting your judgement and sanctity above that of the Pope. I certainly would not do that as I think it unwise.

  30. Hidden One says:

    Celebramus et non simus uvae acerbae!

  31. EXCHIEF says:

    Thanks Bruce–didn’t see your post until after I had posted my response to him. I’ll let it rest.

  32. boko fittleworth says:

    JosephMary, I’m a big fan of Venerable Matt Talbot, and hope for his canonization. I first heard of him from a homily Fr. Benedict Groeschel gave at the proto-cathedral in Baltimore in the early 90s. But let’s not forget MAX Talbot. Two goals in game seven against the Wings in Detroit should suffice for the miracles. Sure, Osgood was out of position on that last shot, but one can see the hand of God there.

  33. techno_aesthete says:

    Regarding Pius XII, Deo gratias!

    Once a person is decreed also by the Pope to have lived a heroic life of virtue and is called Venerable, then there must be be an authenticated miracle before he or she can be beatified.

    Does the miracle have to occur after the decree is promulgated or is it just the authentication that must occur after the promulgation? I would think that there are already many documented “miracles” attributed to Pius XII. They just need to be authenticated.

  34. Br. Anthony says:

    “As long as no matters of faith and morals were violated I see no harm in what Pope JP II did.”

    EXCHIEF,

    Pope John Paul II objectively commited mortal sins against the First Commandment over and over again by his public participation in honouring other religions. If this does not harm the Faith, then I don’t know what does!!!

    Pope John Paul II was a grave scandal to the Roman Catholic Church.

  35. Jordanes says:

    Bruce said: I have seen Br. Anthony on other websites, believe me it is futile to argue with him.

    It may also help to know that he belongs to the SSPX’s Third Order of St. Francis, which, like the SSPX itself, it not (yet?) recognised by the Catholic Church as a religious community.

    He probably does have a point, though, considering some of the things John Paul II did in matters of interreligious and ecumenical relations which appear to be contrary to the First Commandment. Still, a recognition of a soul’s heroic virtues is not an endorsement of everything that soul did, nor a statement that he didn’t commit sins.

    techno_aesthete asked: Does the miracle have to occur after the decree is promulgated or is it just the authentication that must occur after the promulgation?

    Yes, it must be a new miracle, one that occurs after the decree.

  36. Mike says:

    Bro. Anthony:

    The hubris you display here is unwelcome. One can debate the prudential decisions of a Pope; however, when large scale events are planned which he attends, he is not responsible for EVERY aspect of that event, ie, Assisi, or a WYD. Period. Put your self, for goodness’ sake, at the helm of a billion-plus Church. MANY things are delegated, or he couldn’t survive a day. I think Assisi was a bad move; interpreting according to your lights shows a lack of good will.

  37. Bruce says:

    “It may also help to know that he belongs to the SSPX’s Third Order of St. Francis, which, like the SSPX itself, it not (yet?) recognised by the Catholic Church as a religious community.”

    Yes I know.
    However does Br. Anthony recognise the Catholic Church as “The True Church”(his words)?
    And does he have to make his points by insulting Popes and the Church?

  38. orthros says:

    I’m a little surprised at the criticism of Br. Anthony.

    It’s fairly obvious to me that, JP2′s likeability notwithstanding, that serious issues weren’t adequately addressed during his reign.

    Assisi (twice!) were scandalous, pure and simple. None of those “he was delegating” bosch. I’m an executive, and if you delegate something, YOU are ultimately responsible for the result.

    In addition, I never heard any public repentance from the Holy Father for this, for the sex scandals, or any of the destruction of traditionalism that has occurred over the past 30 years.

    I hope for the best for John Paul’s soul; God grant he may be in heaven as I type.

    That said, he has not the extrinsic display of holiness shown by, say, Pius V, X or XII.

    To end on a positive note: Hooray for the declaration on the saintly Pius XII!

  39. Br. Anthony says:

    Mike,

    Pope John Paul II’s acts against the First Commandment were not misgivings in prudence. They were grave public scandals against the Catholic Faith. Please don’t downplay their evil. I am speaking about his acts alone and not the terrible sins against the Faith committed by others who followed his lead. To give you a proper perspective, his grave public acts of scandal against the Faith were worse than if he had instructed women to commit abortions. Furthermore, moral theology teaches us that public scandals require public reparation. I don’t recall Pope John Paul II ever admitting publicly that he was wrong to do what he did at Assisi, etc.

    Nonetheless, even if he is heaven as I write, he was not a model of sanctity. Canonized popes may have committed grave sins, even publicly, during their pontificate, but I don’t recall any canonized pope who has committed public acts against the Faith. They may have sinned in less serious (but still mortal) matters. The Faith, however, is the foundation of our Catholic religion. Remember it was not adulterers who were burned at the stake, but heretics.

  40. Bruce says:

    “They were grave public scandals against the Catholic Faith.”

    Br. Anthony,

    If you believe as you have said that “The only priestly order that is holding fast to the Catholic Faith whole and inviolate is the Society of St. Pius X”, then which “Catholic Faith” are you referring to in your statement above?
    Especially when you have said that schism is evident in the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

  41. Br. Anthony says:

    Bruce,

    The Catholic Faith is only one. The Novus Ordo religion is not the Catholic Faith. [You are no longer going to be joining us.]

  42. Bruce says:

    So are you saying that what you call the “grave public scandals against the Catholic Faith” by John Paul II were scandals againt the Society of St. Pius X?

    Do you still believe “that anybody who celebrates or assists at the Novus Ordo is committing an objective mortal sin”?

  43. orthros says:

    Just to be clear: Whatever Br. Anthony’s views are about the Novus Ordo is independent of the external sanctity present or absent by JP2.

    I avoid the Novus Ordo like the plague, but I don’t reject its validity.

  44. Bruce says:

    orthros,
    My comment was directed to Br. Anthony. I think that Br. Anthony’s views about the Novus Ordo are related to his opinion of John Paul II. I find his constant use of the word objective to be subjective.

  45. ALL: “Br. Anthony” isn’t going to be joining us anymore.

    I ask that you ignore his wacky comments and move on.

  46. Dr. Eric says:

    Is it “Santi Subiti!” if it’s plural?

  47. MichaelJ says:

    I’m with orthos on this issue. If the title “Venerable” were limited to (and commonly understood to mean) “those whom Holy Church determined within a reasonable doubt lived a heroic life of virtue” this would not be an issue. But this is not what will happen. Instead, it will be used as a “disobedience bludgeon” to counter any objections to the failed or ineffective policies of Venerable John Paul II.

    I can guarantee that from now on, anyone who objects to Communion on the hand, will be denounced as a disobedient unfaithful Catholic. It will take the form: “How dare you object to Communion in the hand! It was aloowed by Pope John Paul II, and he’s venerable now”.

  48. Tom Ryan says:

    I can guarantee that from now on, anyone who objects to Communion on the hand, will be denounced as a disobedient unfaithful Catholic. It will take the form: “How dare you object to Communion in the hand! It was allowed by Pope John Paul II, and he’s venerable now”.

    Comment by MichaelJ — 21 December 2009 @ 1:36 pm

    Already!! Already a couple of pastors who allowed altar girls to disappear through attrition are being leaned on in this manner. It’s only been a couple days!