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Old 04-26-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
Atlanta Dan
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Default Popealooza 2014 - Two Popes! Two Saints!

I guess this is the equivalent of a sports team retiring your number

TWO POPES, TWO SAINTS: VATICAN TO MAKE HISTORY

Pope John XXIII was the rotund Italian pontiff with a common touch, who told jokes, embraced the poor and became beloved as “the Good Pope.” To many liberal Catholics, he is still revered for the Second Vatican Council, the landmark event of the 1960s that sought to move the Roman Catholic Church into the modern age.

Pope John Paul II was the charismatic Polish pontiff who liked to sneak away from the Vatican to ski and who retooled the papacy in a new era of globalized media. His vision of a more rigid Catholicism made him a revered figure among many conservative Catholics suspicious of the liberalizing spirit introduced by John XXIII.

“The man who took the lid off and the man who tried to put it back on,” said Eamon Duffy, a professor of the history of Christianity at the University of Cambridge.

Now a new pope, Francis, is making his most public attempt to sew together the two men’s different legacies as he pushes his own vision of a church under a big tent. Francis will preside on Sunday over a first-of-its-kind joint canonization of the former popes, both iconic figures in the 20th-century church who will be elevated to sainthood during a Mass at St. Peter’s Square....

[T]he event has stirred considerable debate among many Catholics, about the process of canonizing saints and about the legacies of the two former popes, especially John Paul. He is regarded as a defining figure of the 20th century, revered for his fight against Communism in Eastern Europe and admired by many for how he endured suffering during his long, public illness before his death in 2005.

But posthumously, criticism of his papacy has sharpened, for how his retrenchment of church power to the Vatican ultimately led to scandals, and for his failure to confront the clerical sexual abuse scandal, even as evidence mounted of a widespread crisis. Some critics argue that his canonization has been wrongly fast-tracked or should not happen at all. Advocates for sexual abuse victims have come to Rome to protest that he is unworthy of sainthood.
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The final wrinkle for Sunday involves Benedict, who has largely remained in seclusion in his role as pope emeritus. He will attend the ceremony, a Vatican spokesman said Saturday, and may even take part. That will make it a Mass of four popes, rather than just three.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/wo...zation.html?hp
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