by Thomas Reese, S.J. in NCR
As everyone in the Catholic church gets ready to celebrate the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, I feel like a party pooper because I think canonizing popes is a dumb idea.
Saints are supposed to be models of sanctity for Christians to imitate, but who can a pope be a model for except another pope? And that is exactly the problem.
I fear that the people pushing hardest for the canonization of a pope want him made a saint so he can be presented as the ideal pope that future popes should imitate. It is more about church politics than sanctity.
Making a pope a saint is a way of strengthening his legacy, making it more difficult for future popes to change policies that he put in place. “How can you dare to change what St. Whoever established?”
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