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“Ask a Priest: Should John Paul II’s Sainthood Be Revoked?”
Q: Should the sainthood of John Paul II be revoked after the findings on former Cardinal McCarrick? How can a sitting Holy Father allow such a monster to have continued? What could this mean for the future of the Church? How can we put our faith in an institution that has willfully turned a blind eye to policing those it puts in power? – A.S.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s understandable that this whole situation has triggered a lot of anger and confusion among the faithful.
Unfortunately, Pope John Paul II was probably hoodwinked by Theodore McCarrick, as were many other people.
Canonization of a person doesn’t mean everything he did was perfect. Even saints can make mistakes.
It’s good to keep in mind, too, that it was the Church that produced the report on McCarrick. And the Church has been honest enough to admit that big mistakes were made, even by those at the highest level.
The Church has a human dimension that is prone to error and sin. But the Church also has a divine dimension. It is the mystical body of Christ, pure and holy, guided by the Holy Spirit.
This has been part of the history of the Church since the beginning. Even among the apostles, Judas betrayed Our Lord and Peter denied him three times. Yet the Church survived.
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I think that responding or commenting on this dilemma is above my paygrade. I have fond memories of St. Pope John Paul II. Based upon my personal observations and limited personal knowledge of this Pope, I think that he served the Lord with great, holy dedication and integrity and made a great contribution to the Kingdom of God. However, I do not believe that I am qualified to comment on his sainthood or his qualifications to this title. To make a judgement of this importance would require a highly developed spiritual life and factual knowledge that most ordinary persons do not possess.