Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

ROME (RNS) Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be formally declared saints on April 27, 2014 -- a bit of ticket-balancing by Pope Francis, who may be hoping to heal splits in the church by pairing the canonization of a pope who is a hero to the left and one who is a hero to the right.


  1. With the canonization of John XXIII, gay men will have a another patron saint besides St. Sebastian (until and unless Paul VI is canonized).

    • It would be wise of gay people, if they wish to receive due respect, to be duly respectful of others and not follow the same, nasty gossip tradition that has been used in such illiterate, ugly, prejudiced ways against them.

      • Gay rumors have long been bandied about regarding Ratzinger, Benedict XVI. So what? Being gay doesn’t disqualify one from being pope any more than from performing any other office–unless you’re ignorantly going to require heterosexuality as a condition for the job. I can’t see the need for that in any situation other than a man marrying a woman.

  2. Though I think it’s time to end the outdated presumption of beatification and canonization, especially based on so-called miracles, the pairing of the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II raises lots of questions. It makes it look like the Vatican can find the miracles claimed to be needed when needed.

    It would have raised a deserved outcry to canonize Pope Wojtyla so soon and leave the good Pope Roncalli hanging in the wings, especially after Wojtyla did so much, even before his arranged successor Ratzinger, to “reform the reform” of Vatican II, Good Roncalli’s blessed legacy to religion, the church, and the “people of God.”

    One is left wondering if Wojtyla wasn’t paired with Roncalli just to get an easy pass on Wojtyla. True, Roncalli wasn’t the performer Wojtyla was, but is it about drama or solid religion? Will church politics ever end, even under good Pope Francis? This canonization process was at its finalization stage when Francis was elected, and in an institution as royal and mighty as the Catholic Church it isn’t easy, even for good people like Francis and Roncalli, to make big changes quickly.