Clevelend, OH: Miracle for John Paul II’s Beatification?

From CNA:

‘Miraculous’ recovery from ‘non-survivable’ gunshot wound could beatify Pope John Paul II

Cleveland, Ohio, Apr 4, 2009 / 01:55 pm (CNA).- A man who suffered a "non-survivable" execution-style gunshot to the head during a mugging in Cleveland has had a "miraculous" recovery possibly due to the intercession of Pope John Paul II. If the late pontiff is credited for the miracle, it would lead to his beatification.  [This from the beginning reminds me of some of the amazing stories I read when I was doing the Studium at the Cong. for Causes of Saints.  Amazing and inexplicable things.  Amazing.]

Jory Aebly, 26, suffered the gunshot would five weeks ago. Doctors at the Metro Health Medical Center declared it to be a "non-survivable" injury, ABC’s Good Morning America reports.

Hospital chaplain Fr. Art Nedeker administered Aebly with the Sacrament of the Sick, asking Pope John Paul II to pray for Jory and to protect him[This is an important element: There has to be a specific intention to pray for the intercession through that specific person.  This usually requires the suggestion and prompting of someone who knows about the cause and then how to report it.]

Fr. Nedeker explained that the Pope had promised him [!] he would always pray for the patients at the hospital and blessed a dozen rosaries with special patients at the hospital.

The priest gave Aebly the last of the rosaries [This is sounding to me more and more to a serious cause for a miracle.] that had been blessed by the Pope, after which Aebly consistently improved.

He was released on Tuesday, two days before the fourth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death.

Dr. Robert Geertman, a neurosurgeon involved in Aebly’s treatment, told Good Morning America his patient’s survival was "one in a million."

"My jaw was on the floor after a day or two of seeing he is hanging on. …I’d say it’s pretty miraculous," he said at a press conference days after the shooting.

At the press conference announcing Aebly’s release, Fr. Snedeker said:

"I stand before you today and can say, to my mind, Jory is a miracle."  [At the level of the Congregation all the medical records would be reviewed.]

Aebly himself credited his recovery to "the many prayers from family, friends and co-workers" and others.

His mother Deb Wolfram told the press conference she believes in "the power of prayer" and said she believed people’s prayers helped her son through his ordeal, Good Morning America says.

A Vatican official reported that the investigation into the alleged miracle could take time[Of course!]

"We cannot predict a precise schedule," Monsignor Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Caucus [Iowa, here we come!] of Saints told ANSA. "All stages, including the examination of the miracle, have to be conducted in a particularly thorough way."

Approval of the miracle could lead to Pope John Paul II’s beatification, leaving one more miracle before he can be canonized.


Here is what happens.

When people think there was a verifiable miracle, they start a cause, like a court case.

All the "proofs" must be gathered… documents and testimony gathered according to a procedure.

Once everything is gathered in the place where the alleged miracle occured, it is sent to Rome.

The Congregation verifies that the procedures were followed correctly.  Then they look at the theological aspects of the claim: can it be demonstrated that the people prayed to X or asked for a miracle through X, etc.  It has to be explicit and not just mixed in with "Jesus, Mary, Joseph and X, Y, Z all the saints and angels!"  Often there is an image or relic or project to pray to X. 

In the case of a cure (there are other kinds of miracles too!) the healing or change in condition must be sudden, complete and lasting.  That must be demonstrated by proofs.  The medical records are studied by a panel of doctors and other necessary experts.  They look into the diagnosis and prognosis and then what happened in stark scientific terms.  They determine if what happened can be explained by the science they know.

With a miracle, the Congregation has to look at the evidence and then determine that what happened. within moral certitude, through the intercession of X, the condition was grave/dire/serious and there was a sudden complete and lasting change that cannot be explained.

What I like about this case is that there was a priest who knew what was going on and there was an object associate with John Paul II and his own remark.  The person’s prognoss was very bad and the healing was sudden and complete and seems to be lasting and they can’t explain it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Paul,Bedfordshire says:

    I think the fascinating thing is. While alive JPII said he would pray for patients at the hospital. Several years after his death JPII continues to pray for patients at the hospital.

    Far too often we forget about the prayers of those gone before us – and that they continue to pray for us, just as they did when they were alive.

    These things also give us little “proofs” that there is a life after this one, there are few who sometimes in the dark of the night for a moment dont think, “what if the atheists are right?” These little proofs help dispel those thoughts. Although as I get older, the comfort of those proofs turns also to the discomfort of having to get my own spiritual house in order as that day becomes nearer for me (although hopefully a good few decades off yet please God).

  2. An excellent article, and also some excellent (and educational) commentary, Father Z. I do look forward to the advancement of the case of John Paul II, but I also understand that when the Church declares something to be a miracle, they want to make very sure it is a miracle.

  3. Ricky Vines says:

    FYI on JPII video. It’s inspiring. Hope u like it.

    Thank You John Paul II is a Salt + Light Television production that pays tribute to a man who touched the hearts of millions of people. John Paul II will forever be remembered for his courageous bridge-building efforts between nations and religions around the world, and will always hold a special place in the hearts of young people. Additional programming may be found at

    God bless,

  4. David says:

    I spent several summers working at that hospital. It’s an inner-city public hospital, right in the thick of things. What a beautiful place to see Our Lord at work.

  5. TJ Murphy says:

    Fr. Z, you said that “In the case of a cure (there are other kinds of miracles too!)”
    We hear all too often about medical cures/miracles, what would be some examples of some of the other kinds of miracles?

  6. Trevor says:

    Is the man crediting John Paul II with his healing?

  7. Antiquarian says:

    What strikes me as so moving about the accounts of miracles attributed to John Paul II is that, given how much opposition there is to his canonization, only verified acts of God will satisfy some critics. And God appears– perhaps– to be acting. That is one answer to those who object, unless their disapproval is so dear to them that they cannot overcome it. (As is the case with a recently prominent illicitly-ordained bishop who, upon the canonization of someone he did not agree with, declared that canonizations are no longer infallible.)

    I share with many others a belief that the haste to canonize His Holiness is not a good thing, but if the Lord provides reasons to believe that he is working on our behalfs in heaven, the arguments against his case seem hollow.

  8. Christa says:

    Paul from Bedfordshire,

    Our dear retired priest, who fills in when one of the other priests is sick or out of town, celebrated the mass last All Saints\’ Day. He told us \”Saints are proof that there is a heaven.\”

    I have always remembered that when those little doubts start to creep in.

    And that is why the Church is so careful.

  9. Laura Lowder says:

    Father Z, this explanation of how causes for canonization move is an example of why I still so particularly follow your blog. People think things are done in the Church, willy-nilly. This is a concrete explanation of exactly the opposite of that presumption things really happen. Thank you.

  10. Ann says:

    I am eagerly watching this process. The more often I re-read Pope John Paul II’s writings, the more in awe of the thinking of this man I become and the more certain I feel that we will see his canonization in the not too distant future. I am eager for it.

  11. cthemfly25 says:

    Thanks Father. With so much negative news lately, Hope is a good antidote don’t you think, and miracles are all witness to Hope.

  12. Dominic says:

    I must say that I am puzzled to see an enthusiasm on this blog for a canonization of Pope John Paul II. So many things that the writer and readers of this blog hold dear were seriously neglected under the reign of this pope. The priest scandals, liturgical abuses, the annulment fiasco… I’m afraid we could come up with quite a list. For what do we canonize a Pope if not for what he did or allowed to be done? Wake up, my friends, and smell the rotten fruits of 1978-2005.

    [Deserving of the Bitter Fruit Award.]

  13. Andy says:

    For what do we canonize a Pope if not for what he did or allowed to be done?

    Well, we canonize him if we have proof that he’s in heaven. It’s not a merit badge.

  14. Gail F says:

    Dominic, I don\’t know what Fr. Z will say but my view on your question is that a man can only do so much, even if he is the pope. Even if he is the pope AND a saint.

    I read Ken Woodward\’s book on canonization, and found it to be a very good explanation of the process. We hear little about other kinds of miracles, Woodward said in the book, because they are much more difficult to prove. Medical conditions are well documented while other things (he recounts the story of a seemingly miraculous pot of rice at, I think, a soup kitchen, that never emptied over the course of a night) are almost impossible to prove. What I found most interesting about the book was that the church takes a dim view of things that would be considered miraculous by many people — levitating, or living for years without any food or drink but the Eucharist. There is always the possibility of fraud, insanity, or hysteria with things like that.

  15. Ron says:

    The correct name is “Father Arthur (Art) A. Snedeker” per the 2009 Catholic Directory of the Diocese of Cleveland.

  16. Dominic says:

    “Well, we canonize him if we have proof that he’s in heaven. It’s not a merit badge.”

    Andy, I don’t think that’s how it works. The purpose of canonization is to hold up a model of virtue to be imitated. This is why we find examples of people – like Origen – who are no doubt in heaven, but are not “saints” in the canonized sense of that term.

  17. vox borealis says:


    *”Andy, I don’t think that’s how it works. The purpose of canonization is to hold up a model of virtue to be imitated.”*

    I’m pretty certain you are incorrect. Saints are those who are in heaven. The saints whom the church recognizes publicly are those who have been proven to be in heaven–i.e., verified miracles resulting from their saintly intercession–though their heroic Christian virtues and/or martyrdom are also to be considered. But, the main criteria is that the individual is held by the Church to be in heavan.

    If in fact multiple miracles through John Paul II’s intercession are attested and verified, then he has joined the Father in Heaven.

    As for your example of Origen ( a curious choice, by the way), why is there “no doubt” that he is in Heaven? Given his status of confessor upon his death, it seems very likely that his faith was rewarded, but we do know what was written on his heart when he died, or what judgment God reserved for him. Now, had several miraculous intercessions been recorded…

  18. leah says:

    Fr. Z, you’ve mentioned a few times now this course you took in Rome for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. Is this a normal Univ. course at one of the Pontifical Universities or something else? Would someone going for their Ph.D. in Theology, for example, be invited to take such a course, or just clerics?

  19. Matthew K says:

    My son was cared for recently at this hospital. I understand that Fr. Snedaker mentioned to my wife that John Paul II was keenly aware of this hospital because Dr. Robert White, one of his advisors on bioethics, was the director of neurosurgery at Metro. Could be a series of coincidences. Perhaps more than that, though.

  20. Geoffrey says:

    This is a magnificent story. It has inspired me to increase my prayers to the Servant of God Pope John Paul the Great!

  21. Kradcliffe says:

    I love this story.

    John Paul II has inspired me and just thinking about him has helped me on many occasions when I’ve been nagged by doubts. I can be beleaguered by all sorts of Dawkins-esque thoughts and then I’ll think about JPII, the man he was and the life he led, and I’ll be at peace because he certainly seemed to be on to him. I have never doubted that the man is in heaven, and I said a prayer to him asking for his intercessions the minute I heard he’d died.

  22. Kradcliffe says:

    Oops, I meant to say “he certainly seemed to be on to something.”

  23. Dominic says:

    The formal cause of canonization is a definitive judgment of the Sovereign Pontiff that this person during his life practiced supernatural virtues to a heroic degree, and that this practice constitutes for all the faithful of the Church a sure norm of action that in following it, they are sure to reach heaven. (cf. CIC of 1917 c. 2104) It is by way of consequence that a canonization give us as an object of Faith that the person is in heaven. (Cf. St. Thomas in Quodlibet IX, q.8, art. 16)

  24. Lank says:

    Weren’t we warned in scripture that healed death wounds to the head were not good things?

  25. Lank says:

    Revelation 13:3


    [Let me get this straight. You are claiming that a miraculous healing through the intercession of a saint is a false or deceptive sign linked to the eschatological beast of the Book of Revelation. Uh huh. Right.]

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    One of the beast’s heads looked like it had sustained a mortal wound, but its fatal wound was healed. Rapt with amazement, the whole world followed the beast
    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    One of the beast’s heads looked like it had a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed. All the people of the world were amazed and followed the beast.

    King James Bible
    And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

    American King James Version
    And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

    American Standard Version
    And I saw one of his heads as though it had been smitten unto death; and his death-stroke was healed: and the whole earth wondered after the beast;

    Bible in Basic English
    And I saw one of his heads as if it had been given a death-wound; and his death-wound was made well: and all the earth was wondering at the beast.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    And I saw one of his heads as it were slain to death: and his death’s wound was healed. And all the earth was in admiration after the beast.

  26. LeonG says:

    Comment by Dominic

    This is a problematic case to buy, frankly speaking. I support what you say – when we look at some of the liturgical abuses actually participated in by this man (Hindu-type ritual liturgical dancing among many others) and the images of him publicly validating & thereby propagating false religions in one manner or another, one can only shake ones head in utter disbelief. The Catholic world has become as disorientated as its secular counterpart. The fact that the canonisation process has been “streamlined” and increasing numbers of candidates are being “fast-tracked” does not inspire very much confidence in the modern procedures either – 428 of them with over 150 beatifications during that pontificate. Sorry ladies and gentlemen but something is amiss and even The Vatican alluded to that last year by calling for a “tightening up” of processes: an understatement if ever there was one.

  27. Dr. Eric says:

    So, Mr. Aebly is The Beast? Or is it that John Paul II was The Beast? I’m pretty sure your post is a non sequitur, Lank.

  28. mpm says:


    “prefect of the Congregation for the Caucus of Saints

    Picture a football huddle:

    What’s the call, Rock?

    Coach called this one. He wants the rookie to run it. Karol, where’s Karol?

  29. Ricky Vines says:

    Comment by Dominic: “This is a problematic case to buy, frankly speaking. I support what you say – when we look at some of the liturgical abuses actually participated in by this man (Hindu-type ritual liturgical dancing among many others) and the images of him publicly validating & thereby propagating false religions in one manner or another, one can only shake ones head in utter disbelief.”

    Hi Dominic, It all depends on your perspective. If you ecclesiology predates Vatican II, then I can understand your agitation. But if you do accept the doctrines taught in DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH (specially chapter 2 paragraphs 15-16), then you will understand that the late JPII has done nothing wrong. Also you can find further exposition of this doctrine in the works of the late American Cardinal Avery Dulles God bless,ricky

  30. TomR says:

    “Eggs don’t float in ice cream”

  31. Lank says:

    No, it is a warning that similar claims will be made in the future and we need the proper discernment of the Holy Spirit. I wholly believe in the miracles of Jesus Christ and the One Holy Catholic Church, but I also understand the times in which we live. Say, tomorrow a prominent religious leader fell dead with a head wound and was resurrected? Would you say, yes that is a great miracle, because a story like this had prepared you for it? If it is truly a miracle, the church will decide, we do not have that same authority.

  32. Lank says:

    If I am being non sequitur, it is because we leave in an age of false prophets and more are on their way, these false prophets were sent to confound, confuse, and lead the Faithful into error. What could better describe the recent election where so many Catholics voted for the Abortion President? If you are not paying attention to how close the world is to becoming unhinged, then it will be very easy to accept the lie when it masquerades as the miracle.

  33. Jacques says:

    I have the same opinion as Dominic.
    The first aim of canonization is to give the faithfuls worthy examples of virtue.
    Otherwise there are a lot of unknow saints, among them are all those who went to Heaven through purgatory. Why not to canonize them too?
    Certainly our previous pope is in Heaven, or upon to get in nextly. I don’t even want to question that.
    But I was told recently that the canonization process was much changed during JPII’s pontificate. In particular, the contradictory trial was given up. There is no more “Devil’s advocate”. Is this true?
    In the past, the Devil’s advocate could block a canonization trial if he had but only one proof of theological error.
    In the case of JPII, my aunt who is in the “Abbé de Nantes” circles, said me that a thick file concerning a lot of theological issues had be forwarded to the Vatican to counter our last pope’s canonization. One may be surprised that the Abbé de Nantes dares to undertake such an action, but until now he never was excommunicated and one cannot deny that he is right in doing so if he follows his conscience.
    That said, since I am not a pundit in theology, but only a very basic faithful, I had some griefs against JPII although I always found he was a very sympathetic man, with high human values:
    – The Kuran kissing.
    – The Assisi purported “ecumenical” gatherings
    – The way he dealt with the paedophily in the priesthood.

    I am a bit skeptical about the motto “Santo subito”. Let the time working.
    Why such a haste to canonize JPII while 4 centuries were needed to make a saint with Johan of Ark? And “la Pucelle” was certainly less controversial than him.

  34. Eric says:

    The first miracle atributed to JPIIs intercession was a nun being cured of parkinson’s disease of which JPII also suffered. JPII also suffered from a (or several) gun shot wound as this man from Cleveland did.

    I find that interesting.

  35. LeonG says:

    Dominic, you make some very important observations. I agree with you. There are others here who do as well, however, they are intimidated by “bitter fruit” awards and the possibility of having their comments removed. [The high probability – if the comments seethe with bitterness. Expressing doubts and having a conversation is one thing, but trying to smear the deceased Pontiff is another. Also, please note that the ability to post comments on my blog is something I extend when I want to. It is not a right.] What we need to day is fewer canonisations and more exemplary leadership from our pastors who have spent the best part of 45 years misrepresenting their flocks. For objective reasons many Catholics have doubts about some recent sanctifications and these concerns are both sincere and justified. [Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.] The fact that comments for concern have also emanated from The Vatican demonstrates that something is wrong. It is not the only factor for our genuine concern either.
    Thankfully, we do not need to rest our Faith on canonisations.

  36. Dr. Eric says:

    As I always say, and write, to those who say that there were too many Canonizations under Pope John Paul II: “Which Saints do you want to get rid of?”

  37. Lucas says:

    “Saints – A name given in the New Testament to Christians generally (Colossians 1:2) but early restricted to persons who were eminent for holiness. In thestrict sense saints are those who distinguish themselves by heroic virtue during life and whom the Church honors as saints either by her ordinary universal teaching authority or by a solemn definition called canonization. The Church’s official recognition of sanctity implies that the persons are now in heavenly glory, that they may be publicly invoked everywhere, and that hteir virtues during life or martyr’s death are a witness and example to the Christian faithful. (Etym. Latin sanctus, holy, sacred.)”
    -Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary

    The point of Beatification and Canonization are indeed to lift up someone as an example to follow first and foremost… it is not merely and induction ceremony into heaven. There are surely many Saints in heaven who lived a terrible life and were given the grace of a death bed conversion, and why they are in heaven they are not worthy of veneration or imitation and thus should not be canonized.

  38. Lucas says:

    *while they are in heaven

  39. Lucas says:

    I would highly recommending reading the story about the great Medieval Pope Innocent III. A wonderful sermon about it can be found here:

  40. Maureen says:

    So… if this is chosen as a miracle to count toward ‘santo subito’, can we change the themesong for The Drew Carey Show from “Cleveland Rocks” to “Cleveland Saints”?

  41. TomR says:

    I always thought that if you wanted to get canonized quickly, you ought not publish anything during your lifetime.

    What message is sent if John Paul II gets canonized before Pius the Great?

  42. Lucas says:

    “Pius the Great”?

    Would you be referring to Pope Pius XII or Blessed Pope Pius IX or one of the other awesome Pope Pius’?

  43. vox borealis says:


    You said: “Otherwise there are a lot of unknow saints, among them are all those who went to Heaven through purgatory. Why not to canonize them too?”

    But if they are unknown, how possibly could they be canonized?

    The point is that miracles through the intercession of an individual are proof that that individual has, in fact, joined the other saints (known or unknown) in heaven.

    If JPII has interceded on behalf of the living, through miracles, as so deemed by Holy Mother Church, then that’s good enough for me. Whatever quibbles one has with individual actions during his life are trumped (and after all, what saint ever lived a completely unblemished life?). There is also plenty of heroic virtue in JPII’s life to go around.

    Now, for those of you who are bothered by the JPII’s possible canonization, do you not find miraculous intercession worthy enough of canonization? Or, do you simply deny that the miracles are legitimate. In that case, your discontent goes quite deep.

  44. Merriweather says:

    In order to be canonized, a person has to have practiced all the virtues to a heroic degree. Can we really say that JPII practiced the virtue of Faith to a heroic degree after Assisi I & II, after kissing the koran, after stating “”May St. John the Baptist protect Islam”?

    What about Prudence? Fortitude?

    Can anyone honestly say that the pope of ‘altar girls’ and ‘communion in the hand’ should be raised to the glory of the altar like St. Pius X, “The Pope of the Blessed Sacrament”? Outrageous.

    [A parting gift…]

    The WDTPRS Bitter Fruit Award

  45. Patrick says:

    Whatever you don’t like about Pope John Paul II, whatever your opinion may be, matters not. If miraculous cures are happening due to his intercession and Holy Mother Church confirms this, then get-out-of-the-way. If the Body of Christ determines him to be a Saint, don’t question whether they are correct, question whether you are actually a Roman Catholic.

    On a related note, to the JPII haters: Strap yourselves in, because he will likely be canonized in the next few years. You’d best come to terms with that.

  46. Geoffrey says:

    “On a related note, to the JPII haters: Strap yourselves in, because he will likely be canonized in the next few years. You’d best come to terms with that.”

    Great line! I am curious what they will do when the inevitable happens? I rarely ever hear saint-bashing.

  47. jacques says:

    Patrick & Vox Borealis & Geoffrey
    You didn’t read well my post and those of people like me who question the intent of JPII’s canonization.
    We are not JPII’s “haters” since our religion (the same as the yours)forbid this.
    You want to canonize JPII at all price even if there were evidences of some questionable things he made,said or wrote during his pontificate.
    The canonization’s rules have been changed by JPII himself in order to quicken the process for the unprecedented number of saints that JPII has canonized.
    Only such a thing like the ecumenical gathering of Assisi would have prevented another pope of the pre JPII era to be canonized. Sorry to say thatJPII has devaluated a bit the sainthood although there was many among those he made that deserved it.
    It is like money, the more you print banknotes, the less value they have.
    According to this new trend, tat was the reason I reckoned that it was an injustice not to canonize humble people who struggled all their life with the weaknesses we experience all to live their faith at the best and who probably went to Heaven through a not too harsh Purgatory: Like JPII they deserve to be canonized too. Don’t you think so?
    Regarding purported “miracles” that are attributable to him I believed the Church to be more prudent when, in the case of Lourdes, only circa 80 miracles among tens of thousand were kept as worthy to be declared as such, and sometimes after decades of controversies.
    I don’t understand why such a haste.

  48. Robert Heath says:

    I personally think that, despite some apparently imprudent actions of Pope JPII, he achieved a great deal of sanctity by his sufferings in the last years of his life. For all we know, he may have regretted (and repented of) his earlier “imprudence” in the midst of those sufferings. (Just as Peter repented of his denials of Jesus, and of his concessions to the circumcisers) I can barely imagine how hard it must have been to have such a great mind, in such a weak, hard to control, pain-wracked body, experiencing such difficulty in communicating when so much of his work WAS communicating. Therefore, I believe the holiness of the man was much more in his patience and steadfastness in the midst of great weakness and suffering. THAT is the example that all of us can imitate, even to using it as a most effective means of evangelization.

  49. LeonG says:

    The haste, jacques, is self-evident. It is insisted on by those who fear that embarrassing issues will occur to forestall the process. We live in an age that wishes to push the button and receive instantaneous gratification and to subjectivise everything in its path. From a church that has opened the doors to the world since the 1960s, compromised with it, and its personalist & phenomenological philosophies, these have also had their effect on The Church and the thinking of its hierarchy, top-down: the last pope was well known for his dedication to these new ideologies and hypotheses. Reading his works is quite revealing at this level. The notion of sanctity has been similarly synthesised which is illustrated by the modern imperative of change at all costs in order to faciltate the dictates of the contemporary age.
    In answer to the demand to name the canonisations & beatifications which need to be removed can be answered the ones that were rushed and those that were pushed through using insufficient time to ensure they are above reproach. The fact that a Vatican spokesperson has made allusion to tightening up on the application of the new procedures speaks volumes already. In all eternity there is no need for haste but this is not an epoch that values patience and thoroughness.

    Therefore, what we do need urgently is exemplary leadership which is in singularly short supply at present but certainly not rushed sanctifications.

  50. Patrick says:


    I am no Pope John Paul II idolator. But I do happen to think that it appears that he will be canonized soon, if miracles keep being proven. Please note I have not said he SHOULD be canonized quickly, that is not up to me. It just appears that it is likely.

    If Holy Mother Church proclaims him a saint, I will accept it. If She does not proclaim him a saint, I will accept it. Will you do the same? [Merriweather won’t be joining us for a while.]

  51. Geoffrey says:

    “You want to canonize JPII at all price even if there were evidences of some questionable things he made,said or wrote during his pontificate.”

    First, no one has said “at all price”, and second, “questionable” to whom? Traditionalists? Holy Mother Church will make the final decision.

    Have you ever bothered to get to the root of the Servant of God’s reason for the Assisi gatherings? He witnessed hatred and war first hand. Some of his closest friends were persecuted for no other reason than their ethnicity and/or religion. The Assisi gatherings were meant to get together people who in other times might have gone to war. So I guess you want to fault the Servant of God for promoting world peace?

    His Eminence Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, JPII’s former assistant, said in his 2007 book “A Life with Karol”:

    “Yes, it’s true that there was a certain dissent, but, when you consider how novel the gathering at Assisi was, it was pretty limited. The harshest accusations came from the Lefebrvrists. And there were critical judgments even in the Church and the Curia, but most of the critics were older people who were afraid that the day of prayer in Assisi might open the door to syncretism, to the idea of a big spiritual melting pot where every religion is as good as every other. But that completely missed the point. Completely. The Holy Father explained over and over again that we met together to pray, not that we met to pray together.”

    “That’s why we have to thank Benedict XVI, who, unlike others, did understand John Paul II and always stood by him. And since I’m on the topic, I’d like to contradict the claims of those who said, and still say, that Cardinal Ratzinger didn’t agree with the Pope regarding Assisi. That’s completely false.”

  52. Jacques says:

    Yes, everybody knows, JPII’s critics are old fashioned people, narrow minded traditionalists who like only latin mass, since “The harshest accusations came from the Lefebvrists”. Sorry to remind you that the Lefebvrists are no longer excommunicated. You should consider them with more charity. They are now your brothers in the RCC.
    Please explain me in which the prayer of an Hindu priest to his god Shiva may please the True God and moreover in a consecrated church: Adoring false gods is an abomination, a sacrilege in a catholic church.
    Visiting Assisi a few years after this scandal, I was a bit striken by the damages the earthquake that occured some months later inflicted to this venerable sanctuary which remained intact until now for 6 centuries.
    I didn’t dare to make a link between these events.

  53. Geoffrey says:


    First, it was not I who referenced “the Lefebvrists”, but rather the Archbishop of Krakow. My quotation was not uncharitable in the least.

    Second, I suggest reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 842-845.

    I’d like to add that it is perfectly acceptable to find the actions of a Vicar of Christ confusing, but it is not our place to judge whether they are right or wrong. For example I find the lifting of the SSPX excommunications very confusing, but as a son of the Church I accept it and defend the Pope’s actions.

  54. Heather says:

    I think I’m going to have to cast my lot with the bitter-fruiters. I don’t think John Paul II should be canonized.

    Since I’m not an articulate moral theologian, I’ll let Fr. Brian Harrison make my argument for me. He wrote a 2 part article for the Latin Mass Magazine titled “Assisi Revisited: Reflections of a Devil’s Advocate”. Part I was reprinted with permission at a blog called The Pertinacious Papist. I am pasting a snip of it below, but the entire article is worth reading. He wrote another excellent article on the topic of JPII and why he didn’t think John Paul II will be styled “The Great”.

    Let us return to the question of the late Holy Father’s cause for canonization. As is well known, evidence is always required, as a condition for even beatification, that the Servant of God under consideration reached a heroic level in all seven main virtues: four of them cardinal (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance) and three of them theological (faith, hope and charity). If the conclusions I have come to about John Paul II and Assisi are correct, then I respectfully submit that they constitute weighty evidence: *first, that this well-beloved Pontiff, for all his many outstanding human and spiritual qualities, displayed a less than heroic level of prudence*, in an extremely important manner, by overriding the advice of numerous cardinals in order to convoke high-profile and hitherto unheard-of interreligious gatherings that were predictably bound to sow confusion among millions round the world regarding the unique salvific role of the Catholic religion: and *second, that the same Assisi gatherings*, interpreted in the light of the Pope’s own explanatory discourses, *betrayed a decidedly less than heroic level in the still more fundamental virtue of faith*.

    The second article can be found at:

    In the mean time, I’ll be praying for the canonization of Cardinal Merry Del Val.

  55. jacques says:

    Canonization isn’t made to honour somebody but only to give the faithfuls worthy examples of virtue and holiness.
    In the case there are confusing words, acts or writings, the Church MUST abstain even if the concerned person hasd a very holy life. A saint’s life CANNOT be subject to any controversy. Full stop

  56. Deo Gratias if this is proven to be true.

    JP II wasn’t perfect, we all know that, I’m not in any rush to Canonize him, if it be God’s will so be it.

    Who am I to judge the state of JP II’s soul? Even though I completely disagree with the actions done at Assisi, and the Qu’ran incident, and several other things, I don’t know the state of his soul nor anything that he said in Confession.

    If a Saint’s life is to have no controversy…I wonder if that means Ss Mary of Egypt and Augustine get kicked out of heaven?

  57. jacques says:

    I said “cannot be subject to any controversy”. That means the less possible controversies.
    I said in a previous post that the canonization rules were changed by JPII himself in order to quicken the unprecedented number of saints this pope made. The intent was laudable, but the result not so much. In giving up with the contradictorial action of the Devil’s advocate, the controversies could rush in.
    The death of JPII is too near to analyze thing with a cool mind.
    Some decades spent in pondering would bring a worthier canonization trial, less questionable than one made in the haste.

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