After Second Approved Miracle, Pope John Paul II Likely to Become a Saint

The best part of this news is: if this man can make it to heaven, no one else has anything to worry about.



by Barbie Latza Nadeau

John Paul II make the wrong call on this guy.

On May 1, 2011, the late pope John Paul II was beatified as a precursor to sainthood after being credited for miraculously curing a French nun of Parkinson’s disease. On that day, the family of a severely ill Costa Rican woman reportedly prayed to the beatified pontiff for her recovery. According to Costa Rican daily La Nación, the sick woman had visited the Calerdon Guardia hospital in San José just days before John Paul was beatified and was diagnosed with an aneurysm on a major blood vessel in her brain. After the beautification and the family’s prayers, the aneurysm miraculously disappeared, according to Alejandro Vargas Roman, the attending physician in an interview with La Nación. Because there was no logical medical explanation and plenty of proof of the prayers to the pontiff, the miracle was chalked up to the divine intercession of the late John Paul II. It was then submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, along with scores of others, to be considered as his second miracle, which is necessary for attaining sainthood.

This week, after a thorough review, the congregation approved a yet unnamed miracle in which they say John Paul II was responsible for the “inexplicable recovery” of a gravely ill person. On Friday, before Pope Francis officially signed off on the second miracle, rumors hinted that it supposedly took place in Costa Rica. In fact, the Costa Rican woman’s doctor has confirmed that he submitted paperwork to the Congregation reviewing the miracles. Whatever it was, the second miracle now paved the way for John Paul II to become a saint, which will likely be celebrated in a canonization ceremony later this year, possibly on December 8, which is a major Catholic feast day and national holiday in Italy. He will likely be canonized together with John XXIII, another favored pope that Pope Francis decided to beatify without proof of miracles.

In deciding the validity of miracles, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints must consider reams of testimony, including lengthy reports from medical doctors and technicians who must eliminate beyond a reasonable doubt any medical explanation for the recovery. In the case of John Paul II’s first miracle, Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who was then postulator of the cause for that miracle, told The Daily Beast that thousands of cases were presented for consideration as miracles by people in Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain, and the United States, but the most compelling was the case of the French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001 when she was just 40 years old. She was miraculously cured of the disease on June 2, 2005, after a night of prayer to the Polish pontiff, who had died two months earlier. “Since then I have not taken any treatment. My life has completely changed—it was like a second birth for me,” she said at the time her miracle was accepted by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Sister Simon-Pierre suffered what seemed to be a brief relapse just as preparations were being finalized for John Paul II’s beautification, but it turned out to be a false alarm. She was the keynote speaker at the beatification ceremony, which drew more than 1 million pilgrims to Rome. “What the Lord has granted me through the intercession of John Paul II is a great mystery difficult to explain with words— something very great and profound— but nothing is impossible for God,” she told those gathered for the celebratory event.

Miracles are by their nature not easy to prove, and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints does not take its work lightly. There are more than 30 monsignors, bishops, and archbishops who shoulder the theological weight of validating miracles, including ascertaining proof that the cured patient spent sufficient time in honest prayer to the would-be saint. But there are also more than 80 consultants, including medical doctors, technicians, psychiatrists, and even hand-writing analysts who investigate every aspect of the miracle in search of a secular explanation. Sister Simon-Pierre underwent extensive psychological testing to vet her belief in John Paul II, and her Mother Superior and sisters in her convent were quizzed about her faith. Doctor Franco Di Rosa sat on the Vatican’s miracle board for more than 25 years as a medical consultant. He described to The Daily Beast how the process works, and how the person who claims a miracle must be thoroughly investigated: “He or she must go to their bishop who then charges outside specialists with verifying that the treatments were ineffective,” he says. “He or she must also go many years without a relapse.”

The postulator of the miracle, who acts as a caretaker to shepherd the miracle process through a labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape, then prepares an extensive dossier including medical records, X-rays, and medication history to substantiate whether conventional treatment may have aided the cure. Two doctors then review the case before sending it to a committee of five medical experts who must all agree that there is no explanation for the reversal of the disease other than divine intervention. “In 99 percent of the cases, we find a medical explanation,” he says. “In the rare cases we don’t, the panel of theologians then steps in to make a final recommendation to the pope.”

In the case of John Paul II, some naysayers have said that his promotion to sainthood has been fast-tracked to ride the wave of the pope’s enduring popularity during troubling times at the Vatican with a barrage of sex and financial scandals. When John Paul II died in 2005, pilgrims held signs and chanted “santo subito,” or “sainthood now,” at his funeral. Pope Benedict XVI sped things up for his predecessor by waiving the standard five-year waiting period between death and beatification for John Paul II to facilitate the process that allowed the late pope’s cause to reach the brink of sainthood so soon.

Whatever the reason, canonizing John Paul II will easily be one of the most important feel-good events in the church’s history. More than a million followers came to Rome for the beatification, and many more are expected when he escalates to sainthood. And that might be just the miracle the troubled church is looking for.

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Gay Ambassador Nominee Sparks Controversy In The Dominican Republic

The country’s cardinal refers to Obama’s pick to lead the U.S. embassy in the Dominican Republic a “maricón,” which is usually translated as “faggot,” while others urged the country’s president to reject the appointment. Brewster is one of five out gay nominees for ambassadorships named in June.



By J. Lester Feder

When President Barack Obama nominated a gay man as the new ambassador to the Dominican Republic on June 21, he touched off a firestorm of debate in the Caribbean nation — which has devolved even to derogatory name-calling.

Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López RodríguezCatholic Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez referred to Brewster as a “maricón” — which is usually translated as “faggot” — during a press conference. At his side, Monseñor Pablo Cedano promised the nominee such an unpleasant stay in the country that he will have to return home.

“I hope he does not arrive in the country because I know if he comes he is going to suffer and will have to leave,” Cedano said. He called it “a lack of respect” that Obama “sent … a person of this kind as an ambassador,” adding, “[W]e don’t despise the person.”

The dust-up over the nomination shows the direct impact that full equality for gays and lesbians in the United States can have abroad. The nominee, James “Wally” Brewster, was a major Obama fundraiser and a national LGBT co-chair for the Democratic National Committee. His nomination, which still must be confirmed by the Senate, is the latest in a flurry of appointments of gay Americans for ambassadorships by the Obama administration. Five others were named just in the last month. Only three openly gay ambassadors have served before them.James “Wally” Brewster

While these nominations have raised few eyebrows in the other countries where they will be working — like Spain, Denmark, or Australia — Brewster’s appointment has caused a great deal of concern in the Dominican Republic. Conservative religious leaders and other opponents of LGBT rights have called on Dominican President Danilo Medina to refuse to accept him if he is confirmed.

LGBT activists said the Catholic leaders’ remarks incited violence.

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Archdiocese of Milwaukee faces Monday deadline to make public clergy sex abuse documents

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee was expected to release thousands of pages of documents related to clergy sex abuse on Monday, including the personnel files of more than three dozen priests and the depositions of church leaders including New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the former archbishop of Milwaukee.

Dolan02A deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud called for the documents to be made public by July 1. Victims say the archdiocese transferred problem priests to new churches without warning parishioners and covered up priests’ crimes for decades. Many pushed for the documents’ release in the belief that it would be an important part of their healing.

Similar files made public by other Roman Catholic dioceses and religious orders have detailed how leaders tried to protect the church by shielding priests and not reporting child sex abuse to authorities. The cover-up extended to the top of the Catholic hierarchy. Correspondence obtained by The Associated Press in 2010 showed the future Pope Benedict XVI had resisted pleas in the 1980s to defrock a California priest with a record of molesting children. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger led the Vatican office responsible for disciplining abusive priests before his election as pope.

The Milwaukee collection has drawn interest because of the involvement of Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the nation’s most prominent Roman Catholic official. Dolan has not been accused of transferring problem priests. He took over as archbishop in mid-2002, after many victims had already come forward. But there have been questions about his response to the crisis, including payments made to abusive priests when they left the church.

The archdiocese has characterized the money, as much as $20,000 in some cases, as a kind of severance pay meant to help priests transition out of the ministry. Similar amounts were made to men leaving the priesthood long before allegations of sexual abuse surfaced in the Catholic church, spokeswoman Julie Wolf said last year, when the payments came to light.

Charles Linneman, 45, of Sugar Grove, Ill., was among the abuse victims who spoke out against the payments and pushed for the archdiocese to release its records. Linneman said he was an altar boy when he met Franklyn Becker at a Wisconsin parish in 1980. He read the priest’s file several years ago when it became public during litigation in California, where Becker also served.bishoplistecki

“It helped me move on,” Linneman said. In particular, he was relieved when the file showed no reports of children being abused after him, he said. He had long wondered if coming forward before he did in 2002 would have kept other children from being hurt.

Abuse victims have long sought to hold the church accountable, but most didn’t come forward until well into adulthood, when it was too late under Wisconsin law to sue the church for negligence in supervising its priests. A 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision gave them a window, saying the six-year limit in fraud cases didn’t start until the deception was uncovered. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, once it became clear that it was likely to face a slew of lawsuits.

Complete Article HERE!