The only Pope I ever met, served Mass for- and who touched my face more than once, is now being moved closer to sainthood– with the current Pope’s gratitude for his predecessor doing most of the heavy lifting in the past 40 years, apparently.
I really liked the man personally, and found him to be very kind and genuine in every encounter we had (hence the photo- I love that he was playful). Being a liberal, I would have liked him to be more like myself, but don’t we all want that?
But, more to the point, this beatification is an excellent sleight of hand- especially with the church fighting for survival in so many places. John Paul’s popularity and personal charisma is such a stark contrast to the man in the chair now, that I can’t help but think this will backfire.
Maybe it’s the fight that’s the problem. The church always did have a weakness for warlike metaphor….