John Paul II and a Holy Life
Not unlike Pope Benedict, John Paul II did a much better job of communicating about the crisis than have others affiliated with the Vatican.
Naturally, questions like the pope's friendship with Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the now disgraced founder of the Legionaries of Christ, surface and demand an accounting. According to some reports, Maciel paved his way with gifts, including cash. One man known to decline the gifts was then Cardinal Ratzinger who is now Pope Benedict XVI.
By this point, particularly after the investigation for the beatification of John Paul II, the Vatican has to know who was involved in covering up for Maciel. So far, there has been no public evidence that John Paul II knowingly facilitated his lies and deceits. Were there such evidence, the beatification would not be going forward. However, someone had to know. In all probability, the Vatican now knows.
Without looking like it's presenting a scapegoat, the Vatican, or better yet the individual(s) involved, needs to be transparent and assume responsibility for the evil wrought, particularly for the direct victims.
Until the Church handles every aspect of the crisis in a transparent manner, the good work and lives of many other people, whether lay, religious, or clerics, will continue to be marred by the cloud of evil surrounding the crisis.
In just a few weeks we'll be seeing the Cloyne Report, another investigation of the sex abuse crisis in Ireland. Cloyne, a diocese in southern Ireland, until recently was headed by Bishop Magee, a former personal secretary to John Paul II. Bishop Magee resigned for his mishandling of cases that were presented to him. Once again, people will be questioning how John Paul II could have been so close to someone who, while not an abuser himself, did not appear to make the victims a priority.
The beatification could be an opportune time to clear John Paul II's name and to see some accountability from those who facilitated great evil that continues to afflict the victims and the Church herself.
Pia de Solenni is a moral theologian. She writes, consults, and travels for speaking engagements from Seattle, Washington.