Pope Benedict XVI is in a big hurry to canonize his former boss Pope John Paul II, who hired him as Director of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition) in 1981 and stood by him for 23 years as he brought back the Inquisition contrary to the letter and spirit of Vatican II. Following are 101 reasons not to rush.
1. The very tradition of canonization was seriously compromised under JPII when the office of devil’s advocate was done away with. An immediate pay off was the unprecedently swift canonization of Fr. Jose Escriva, founder of Opus Dei. A woman who worked closely with Escriva for 13 years and wrote a book that detailed his fits of anger, pique, sexist attacks and more was denied any appearance at the proceedings. As were those who heard him say he admired Hitler.
2. Special privileges were bestowed directly from JPII to Fr. Maciel, notorious for having on the one hand raised more money than anyone in church history but on the other having sexually abused over 20 of his seminarians. Even after these facts were made public, Pope JPII supported the man and his organization, the Legion of Christ, ordaining dozens of Maciel’s priests in large public events in St Peter’s square. As it turned out, he had two wives on the side and sexually abused his four children (three boys and a girl). Maciel was a fierce supporter of Chilean dictator Pinochet who murdered over 700 priests, nuns and lay leaders. Numerous other covering-up of pedophile clergy around the world occurred on Pope JPII’s watch as continued news articles make clear.
3. Pope JPII, with Ratzinger leading the attack, dismantled and emasculated what was probably the most Christ-like movement in the past 500 years of church history, namely the base community movement and liberation theology movements of Latin America. Instead of supporting the poor and those standing with them in Jesus’ name, JPII replaced the brave and justice-committed church leaders (such as Oscar Romero) with those committed to the fortunes of the rich and powerful.
4. Pope JPII emasculated the most alive liturgical movements in Europe, namely those of the Dutch Catholic Church and forbade Bishop Casigalida to offer an Afro-Brazilian liturgy he had created with Brazilian artists.
5. Pope JPII dumbed down the leadership of the church by appointing bishops whose sole qualification was that they were sure to be obedient Yes men. This had everything to do with the priestly pedophilia scandal not being dealt with appropriately.
6. Pope JPII put the Virgin Mary on a pedestal but allowed women no responsibilities in the church, forbidding priests to use the feminine pronoun for God (as if the Divine Feminine is not just as important as the Divine Masculine) and even forbidding girls to be altar girls.
7. When he removed the condemnation of Galileo after 450 years, JPII commented that religion should learn from science. Yet he fully concurred with Cardinal Ratzinger’s two documents that condemn homosexuals mercilessly and without any scientific backing (science having demonstrated that 8-10% of any given human population is going to be homosexual and 464 other species with homosexual populations have been revealed).
8. Pope JPII, contrary to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, eliminated the principle of collegiality along with theological diversity and freedom of conscience and lay leadership and substituted for it a Vatican dictatorship that claims all rights to appoint bishops and to teach as the only “magisterium” of the church. He “killed all theology in Europe” according to a professor at the Institut catholique de Paris. He confused “infallibility” with totalitarianism and ruled with an iron fist that would make Ghadaffy look proud. A Vatican insider in JP II’s reign told me that “in front of the cameras he was very forgiving (as to his attempted assassin), but within the Vatican anyone who disagreed with anything was gone in 24 hours.”
9. Return of Simony. Not only was the Maciel scandal awash in cash, but the pope’s private secretary, a Polish priest (now a cardinal), was charging $50,000 to attend private Masses with the Pope as reported by Jason Berry in the National Catholic Reporter.
10-101. Ninety-one theologians and activists from many countries were condemned under JPII’s pontificate, a good number of whom lost their livelihoods as well as their ministries, some suffered nervous breakdowns or died of heart attacks under the pressure imposed on them by Rome and rabid right wing attackers buttressed by the Vatican. To see the full list, visit this site's Wailing Wall.