Doubt and confusion about new canonizations

February 21, 2014
Source: District of the USA

Angelus Press blog has just published an article by John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News, focusing on the problems with post-conciliar canonizations, the new process, the dropping of certain safeguards, non-existent miracles, and even ignoring testimony that proved necessary "heroic virtue" was lacking.

We offer some interesting excerpts from the lengthy piece, which can be read in full on the blog.

The New Canonizations—Doubt and Confusion: some excerpts

Sound orthodoxy

[Historian William Thomas] Walsh also stressed the demand for sound orthodoxy regarding anyone considered for canonization:

Theologians carefully scrutinize all the available writings—books, letters and so on—of the servant of God whose claim to holiness is being urged, together with all the depositions obtainable from those who spoke with him and knew him well. If nothing contrary to faith or morals is found, a decree is published authorizing further investigation."

If we begin with the criteria that “nothing contrary to faith or morals” can be found in any legitimate claim to beatification, we read with concern an invocation uttered by one who is now slated for “canonization”:

...Hear our prayers for the intention of the Jewish people, which you continue to cherish according to the Patriarchs.… Be mindful of the new generation, the young and the children: may they persevere in fidelity to You, in what is the exceptional mystery of their vocation."

In days of doctrinal sanity, these radical statements—and there are countless more such utterances from the same man—would stop any process of beatification in its tracks, would disqualify the candidate permanently.

The Catholic who made these questionable remarks was Pope John Paul II, whom Pope Francis has just approved for ‘canonization’. In our post-conciliar period of ecclesiastical sentimentality, the age-old truths of the Faith no longer stand as the central criteria for determining heroic virtue. As Fr. Patrick de La Rocque notes, “Far from practicing the theological virtue of Faith to a heroic degree, the late pope [John Paul II] departed from it dangerously in a number of his teachings.”

The new process

Though many in the post-conciliar Vatican welcomed John Paul II’s new method, not all were thrilled. Msgr. Luigi Porsi, a 20-year veteran of the Church legal system, decried the elimination of the Devil’s Advocate and the accompanying lawyers as part of the beatification process. In an unanswered letter to Pope John Paul II, Porsi complained the reform went too far: “There is no longer any room for an adversarial function.”

Thus a central question arises: if there is a radical change in what was the rigorous procedure for making saints, how can we expect the same secure results?

Doctors insist: no miracle

[Concerning the miracle attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta] “This miraculous claim is absolute nonsense and should be condemned by everyone,” said Dr. R. K. Musafi. “She had a medium-sized tumor in her lower abdomen caused by tuberculosis. The drugs she was given eventually reduced the cystic mass and it disappeared after a year’s treatment.”

Msgr. Escriva

Noting that due process was not followed, Fr. Peter Scott objected that the procedure contained no Devil’s Advocate, and that “former members of Opus Dei who personally knew Msgr. Escriva and who attempted to register their objections, were not allowed to express their opinion.”

Assisi: Catholic youngsters can’t believe it

The young traditional Catholic who told his acquaintances about Assisi was accused of making up the account; of trying to defame the name of “Blessed” Pope John Paul II; of inventing a malicious story about a pagan-packed, pan-religious prayer-fest that no pope would countenance.

Here then is the striking point: The children knew the Assisi prayer meeting was not Catholic. The children knew it was not a manifestation of heroic virtue. The children knew it was a scandal of colossal dimension, and refused to believe John Paul could be guilty of it. To their credit, these youngsters displayed a better sensus Catholicus than today’s Vatican leaders.

Defect in procedure

Everything in the Catholic Faith conforms to reason. It seems unreasonable, then, to assume that a drastic loosening in the procedure for canonization would yield the same secure results as the “thorough and scrupulous” method that had been in place for centuries.

Thus I believe modern beatifications and canonizations are at best doubtful due to defect in procedure, and due to a new criteria for holiness engendered by the new “ecumenical Catholicism” from Vatican II.