Pope Francis To Hold Historic Double Canonization


This Sunday, Pope Francis will elevate two former popes to sainthood: Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

While Pope John XXIII is remembered as an icon of the progressive wing of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II is remembered for upholding orthodoxy and doctrine.

Millions of pilgrims are expected to descend upon Rome for the joint canonization, which occurs just one week after the ceremonies of Holy Week.

NPR’s Senior European Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli joins Here & Now’s Robin Young from Rome to discuss this weekend’s canonization and the disparate legacies of these two popes. …

YOUNG: Well Barbara Blain(ph) of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the group SNAP, she told the Boston Globe that they think it’s sinful for the pope to be made a saint so soon because of the sex abuse scandal. So does the church respond to comments like that?

POGGIOLI: Well, there have been many critics of the canonization of John Paul, as you said about the speed and also for his record on those issues. His defenders say that aides may have kept the information from him. Others believe that John Paul may have believed the charges were a plot and a slander against the church similar to those by communist authorities in Poland, and that may be the reason he simply did not attribute the necessary attention to the sex abuse scandals.

YOUNG: Well, that debate will continue even after this weekend’s ceremonies. Let’s move to Pope John XXIII. He served from 1958 the ’63, an icon of the progressive wing of the church. He launched the reforming Second Vatican Council, opening the church to the modern world. But in this case, Pope Francis waived the required second miracle for his canonization.

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