The Apotheosis of John XXIII and John Paul II

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I OVERHEARD some “manangs” of the Catholic Church who were excited in their discussion on the canonization of Pope John XXIII (Angelo Roncali of Italy) and Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla of Poland) by Pope Francis on April 27. Filipinos love saints. Babies when baptized are “christened” with the name of a saint, usually chosen to coincide with the birthday or the feast day of the saint.

My Lolo Pedro got my name from a saint, Bishop Severino. Grandpa saw that name in “Almanaque Panayanhon” for children born on January 8. Severino was a saint and my grandpa wanted me to follow his values and virtues. I did not become a bishop and I do not know if I have a chance of becoming a saint. (If I become a saint, I will be the patron saint of tourism officers. Tourism officers will have a naughty patron saint. Tourists will not like that.)

Who is Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) He is said to be the greatest and beloved pope of all time. He was alleged to be a freemason by his detractors. He was then 77 years old when he became the epigone of St. Peter. He is well remembered of his “aggiornemento.” He updated the Church by opening its windows to the world. He introduced many reforms and one of them is the convening of the Second Vatican Council. He was too old to see the products of his reforms. He did not live long enough to see that these reforms will not be dismantled as soon as he died.


Malachi Martin had a different vision. He called Pope John XXIII the most dangerous pope of the modern era because he dismantled what the popes in the past had wielded. He issued a 69-page Latin document outlining a policy of strictest secrecy dealing with allegations of sexual abuses. Very soon, Pope John XXIII will be venerated as a saint as representation of God’s grace.

Who is Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) Karol Wojtyla was once a member of Polish resistance who fought when the Nazi came to Poland. He married a young Jewish girl in a private ceremony and soon had a baby daughter. There is nothing wrong if one becomes a priest after getting married especially if the wife had died.

He tries to bring world peace through ecumenism. He made a landmark decision when he called on world leaders of other faith to pray for world peace at Assissi on October 27, 1986. He was noted for disciplining the so called “liberation theologians” who had lined up with the oppressed in their struggles against right-wing military dictatorship in South America, but he intervened in Poland and Europe against communism.

During the anniversary celebration of the Virgin of Fatima on May 13, 1981, he was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish terrorist. He claimed that he was saved by Mama Mary because the bullet did not hit his vital blood vessels. A year after that Lucia dos Santos told the Pope that the Third Secret of Fatima had still not been fulfilled.

Pope John Paul II had beatified 473 people and created more than twice as many new saints as his 400 predecessors did in the last 400 years. His “Evangelism Vitae” emphasized that every sexual act not aimed at reproduction is immoral. He strongly condemned the use of condom. He insisted that the Catholic Church should withdraw its membership from committees that advise pregnant women for legal abortion.

Pope John Paul II is the opposite of Pope John Paul I (the murdered Pope). Pope John Paul I confided about accepting an invitation to meet a delegation from the U.S. government to discuss the issue of population control. Pope John Paul II will be a saint on April 27. He would become the object of devotion for all the faithful.

To qualify for sainthood, the person must live either a heroic life of martyrdom and must have at least have two miracles attributed to him after death. The first miracle is for being proclaimed as blessed and the second as a saint. This was relaxed by Pope John Paul II. Sainthood is now conferred on those who died for the cause of the Catholic Church. We can all die for a cause in our Catholic Church and have chances to become saints. Tourism needs one.

To be continued…

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 24, 2014.


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