Some cynicism from Fr William Grimm’s “Clueless or Complicit” essay on UCA:
The quick beatification of Pope John Paul II is presented by the Vatican as a response to the voice of the Church at large. Since the Vatican is famously unwilling to listen to that voice in other matters, it is hard to suppress the thought that the real affection and respect toward John Paul is providing a handy cover that some hope will fend off investigations and disclosures that will be embarrassing to the entire leadership caste of the Catholic Church.
I don’t agree 100% with this essay. I think there is a broad concession that JP2 was saintly and spiritually influential. A good friend of mine once met the pope. His testimony was that the man’s radiance was more than charisma–that he did have an aura about him that went beyond mere personality.
British archbishop Vin Nichols (imaged above) does bring up the “good management medal” notion. It might do us well to reflect that sinfulness does not bar a woman or man from heaven–indeed only the Blessed Mother has anyone make that claim for her.
But Fr Grimm does point out how the institution makes a selective appeal to the laity, or to episcopal incompetence, or someone just plain being dumb, as the situation suits. The conclusion seems to be that a spotted soul might be lifted into glory–something that gives us all hope, perhaps. But also that logic and good conduct are not prerequisites for high office, especially under Pope Benedict.