Here, some of the best and brightest weigh in on Pope John Paul II’s beatification, and correct some popular misconceptions.
The Curt Jester ripostes John Paul’s critics by explaining the difference between heroic virtue and administrative brilliance.
Fr. Z. reminds readers that they shall know a saint by the fruits of the people mourning him.
While defending John Paul’s sanctity, Pia de Solenni calls for more transparency on the handling of the Maciel and sex-abuse cases.
In the National Review, George Weigel sets the record straight on John Paul the man, the so-called saint factory, and the Vatican’s motives for beatifying him so soon.
John Allen, Jr. points out that Pope Benedict may be quick to beatify, but is slow to canonize.
Updates to come; be prepared!
– Max Lindenman
Update: MSNBC’s “Citizen Journalist” has compiled stories on “Exceptional Encounters with Pope John Paul II”:
I met Pope John Paul II in 1998. I kissed his ring and rubbed his hand on my cheek. When I finally let go of his hand he reached over to my other cheek and rubbed and patted it. I think he is the greatest Pope we have had. I cried and cried when he died. As he got older and the Parkinson became more pronounced, he still kept going and doing and wanting to be a part of everything he could do. He is my hero. I have Multiple Sclerosis and I am the same way. I still go and do as much as I can. I need the help of my husband more and more but I do not want to give up and just sit in a corner and miss out on so much. Pope John Paul II gave me the strength and the guidance to keep going. He is definitely Pope John Paul the Great and in my eyes he is already a saint. My prayers go out to him.
I admit, I sometimes find it difficult to consider the former pope’s personal sanctity in a separate box from the wisdom of his executive decisions — until, that is, I read stories like this. Only the humblest, most generous soul could field so effusive a greeting without turning into a raving egomaniac. Imagine what would have happened if fans had started kissing Barry Bonds’ hands — his head would have had to take out its own lodgings.