Archive for April 25th, 2014

Meet the Relic


That would be me.

In 1988 I kissed Pope John Paul II’s ring while in Rome with my Franciscan community. Sunday he will be canonized. That makes me a second class relic, right?

No, you can’t kiss me, put me in your pocket, or stuff me in a reliquary.

The canonization of John Paul and “Good Pope John” is driving the Super Catholics crazy. It has become a new “development of doctrine” among the Catholic Remnant that canonizations are not infallible. Not quite sure how one figures that, if the successor of St Peter has the keys of heaven. Not that canonization is an endorsement of everything the saint ever did. As Fr Benedict once said “You can go to hell imitating the vices of the saints.” As for me, flawed saints are proof that God sets a pretty low standard, and salvation is near-universal. Asshole saints (not that John or John Paul are remotely assholes) are a sign of hope.

But what the hyper-traditionalists really object to is the “canonization” of Vatican II. The Council is now definitively a part of Catholic tradition, and there is no turning back. The crazy days of liturgical and doctrinal chaos are over -and were themselves signs of how badly renewal was needed- and with the pontificate of Francis we can now be about the work of returning to the heart of the gospel and of challenging the structures of injustice.

Photo, left to right: St John Paul, Fr Benedict Groeschel, now-Fr Stanley Fortuna, moi, my fellow postulant George, Fr Glen Sudano.

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