When the Saints Go Marching In


We have questions for the participants, the faithful, and the observers of Sunday’s double hitter canonization scheduled to elevate to sainthood Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

Here they are:

  1. The Vatican says there are no documents that show Pope John Paul II was involved in the case of the Legion of Christ founder Father Marciel Maciel In the two decades plus of a standing Saturday appointment with Pope John Paul II, why didn’t Pope Benedict XVI when he was Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith tell Pope John Paul:

a) about Maciel?

b) about the myriad cases of sexual abuse funneling into the Congregation?

  1. Will some one lean over, shout out, text him, email him and/or hold up a sign at the ceremony and ask him?
  2. Why didn’t Pope John Paul’s longtime aide Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz who now talks openly about the “rumors going around” about Maciel tell Pope John Paul?
  3. Will some one lean over, shout out, text him, email him and/or hold up a sign at the ceremony and ask him?
  4. Why didn’t the Prefect of the Congregation for Religious (congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life after a name change) Archbishop Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti tell him? The courageous former Legionnaires, including Juan Vaca, sent their filing to the Congregation in 1999 when Nesti was the Prefect. Why didn’t subsequent Prefects tell him? Does any one believe that Prefects don’t go through previous Prefects files? Especially the juicy ones?
  5. Will there be a live chat option that will pop up on the 17 jumbo screens throughout the City of Rome so that we can ask Pope Francis to stop the music and ask Pope Benedict and Cardinal Dzwizis and every body else who knew why they didn’t tell Pope John Paul?
  6. Why didn’t all of the Cardinals of the United States, including Cardinal Bernard Law, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Cardinal Francis George give him the details of what was in their files about the largest crisis in the Roman Catholic Church since the Reformation when they met with him in April 2002?
  7. Will someone lean over, shout out, text them, email them and/or hold up a sign at the ceremony and ask them?
  8. Will there be a live chat option that will pop up on the 17 jumbo screens throughout the City of Rome so that we can ask them?
  9. Will Pope Francis’ commission on sexual abuse ask Pope Benedict, Cardinal Dziwisz, the US Cardinals and all the others, including Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Cardinal Francis Rode, staunch supporters and defenders of Maciel what they knew and when they knew it – and why they didn’t tell Pope John Paul?
  10. Will the faithful, the observers, and the news media that will be gathered for the canonizations buy that Pope John Paul didn’t know about the crisis? – and for all the gumption and grit he showed on the world stage standing against communism and showing the flag of the faith in record breaking travels that he didn’t want to know what was going on in his Church for whom he had absolute and ultimate the-buck-stops-here authority, particularly regarding priests, bishops, cardinals and his Curia?
  11. Will these same people allow the thought to cross their minds that as the supreme pontiff he could have and should have picked up a telephone, leaned against a dinner table, stopped a Cardinal/Bishop/Aide in a hallway and ask about what was going in his Church and ordered one of them to get to the bottom of it when he found his strength ebbing?
  12. Will the canonization of Pope John Paul II be seen as the last act of a political deal that went extremely well for the deal makers, Joseph Ratzinger and Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz,       Pope John Paul II’s personal assistant — the masterful horse trading of a papal throne for sainthood and with it the money that will flow to Poland from it — not to mention the invisible shield of protection for both of them – collaborators with a saint.
  13. What deal did the Italians find so sweet that they threw under the Polish bus their boys — Pius IX, Pius XII, Paul VI — whom they had linked together for so long with the sainthood cause of Pope John XXIII knowing that he would be able to carry the opposition load for most of them – Pius XII being the most iffy – and accept a double header with Pope John Paul II?

Just asking.

NSAC honors the courage of the survivors of Maciel and all victims of sexual abuse by priests and nuns, the dedicated work of SNAP, Bishop Accountability and Road of Recovery for exposing the truth, seeking justice, protecting children and caring for one another.

The lead up to the canonizations and the bestowing of this “honor of the altars” is and will be difficult for them burrowing into wounds already too deep, too throbbing, too raw.

Do Catholics think about that?

— Kristine Ward, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC), KristineWard@hotmail.com



One thought on “When the Saints Go Marching In

  1. tommyles

    The unprecedented rush to canonize Pope John Paul II is in sharp contrast to painfully slow process of the Church in dealing with known sexual abusive priests and releasing all information about priest-rapists and those who covered up for them.

    I can only imagine the pain of survivors, known and anonymous, in viewing the impending canonization of John Paul II, while the church drags its heels releasing information. The church would aid the healing process if it released all records. Instead, the Church continues to heap abuse on its victims. A ten year old who was abused fifty years ago is now sixty years old and suffers (often quietly and anonymously) every day..

    People can endlessly debate the merits of sainthood for John Paul, I choose not to enter that discussion. However, I have no respect for an institution that gives no comfort to those in need.


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