Is Pope John Qualified For Sainthood?

byTom Wacaster

In an article appearing on Reuters website, Phillip Pullella wrote, “The Vatican may have found the ‘miracle’ they need to put the late Pope John Paul one step closer to sainthood.” According to the article, Pope John Paul allegedly healed
a French nun who suffered from the same Parkinson’s disease that afflicted him. But the details of that healing are quite revealing, as are the “conditions” for the Pope’s sainthood. Let us take a closer look.

First, it is claimed that the “nun” prayed to Pope John Paul after he had died, and was then inexplicably cured of her Parkinson’s disease. It should be noted that the New Testament never authorizes anyone to pray to a man for any reason whatsoever. Jesus taught us that we are to pray thus: “Our Father who art in heaven” (Mat. 6:9). In addition, if this woman was “inexplicably cured” of her Parkinson, how does she know that it was Pope John Paul who somehow healed her? At best it is pure subjectivism. The Hindus in India claim they were healed when they prayed to their Hindu god, but that does not make it so.

Second, the alleged healing is being “investigated” by the church authorities. Why is it necessary to “investigate” any
healing if indeed it is a true healing? In the New Testament times the miracles of the apostles were so powerful and convincing that even the enemies could not deny that a notable miracle had taken place. Nor could they question who it was that performed the miracle. And how, we might ask, are “church authorities” to go about investigating the matter? Do  they call the late Pope John Paul to the witness stand and ask him if he were the active party in the healing?

Third, even if it could be confirmed that the nun was healed as a result of her praying to the deceased Pope (something we affirm cannot be proven), how does that put the Pope “one step closer to sainthood”? I read of nothing in the New Testament that suggests that sainthood is something achieved in increments. Quite the contrary! When a person becomes a Christian he at one and the same time becomes a saint. That is because a saint is one who has been “sanctified.” Here is what the inspired apostle Paul wrote on the matter:

Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Note that these Christians in Corinth were sanctified when they were “washed” and “justified.” The same is true with regard to all Christians. That is why you read of the “saints in Rome,” the “saints in Philippi,” the “saints in Ephesus,” and the “saints in Colossae,” to name just a few.

Fourth, according to the article “another miracle would be necessary between beatification and eventual sainthood.” Another miracle? How many miracles does it take to convince someone that the message has been authenticated? And if it takes yet “another miracle” to move the late Pope closer to sainthood, then why not a third, fourth, fifth miracle, ad  infinitum? Oh reader, do you not see the futility and foolishness of such a doctrine?

Fifth, “only those ‘miracles’ which occurred after the Pope’s death can be investigated and eventually used as proof of holiness.” Wait a minute. I thought all faithful Catholics considered the Pope as holy prior to his death! They called him “Holy Father” prior to his death (something that is without authority in and of itself)! They bowed the knee and kissed his hand and ring! In the eyes of every Catholic the Pope is the epitome of holiness.   Now we are told that it will take another miracle from somewhere beyond the realms of the earthly to prove the man’s holiness!

Sixth, the month after John Paul died, Pope Benedict dispensed with the “Church rules and put him on the fast track to sainthood.” That speaks volumes of the present Pope (as well as all past Popes). The man presently reigning over the Catholic church is not concerned with rules . The end justifies the means.

Why is it that men cannot be satisfied with doing Bible things in Bible ways? Of course history tells us that the Catholic church has never had much concern about doing things as the Bible directs, for if they did, the Catholic church would not exist. In the final analysis, if Pope John (or any man for that matter) was not a “saint” when he died, he cannot be “made a saint” sometime thereafter. If I read my Bible correctly, the state in which a man dies “spiritually speaking” is the state in which he is going to spend all eternity, time without end. Perhaps the world would be better off if they were not so concerned about some make believe process that can make their deceased heroes saints, and were a little more concerned about what it means to live a saintly life in the sight of God now, while there is still time.