Santo subito? Santo lentamente?

santo-subitoThe cries of “Santo Subito!” (Sainthood now!) have been heard from the moment that Bl. John Paul II died in April of 2005. Now it appears, things may be moving forward, with a possible canonization on December 8, 2013. Typically, there is a five year wait before any work towards the beatification and ultimate canonization occurs, but Bl. John Paul II was put on a fast track, despite what was said, was his desire to the contrary. Others may also cry out, “Santo Lentamente!” (Sainthood slowly!)

jphome1As you might imagine, many people are thrilled beyond belief, and believe that this has already taken too long. Yet, there are others who are more skeptical.

ijohnro001p1It looks like there is a chance that Bl. John XXIII could be canonized the same day, bringing joy to some, and horror to others.

Bl. John Paul II’s case has moved so quickly, and Bl. John XXIII has moved so slowly. Some will complain that Bl. John Paul II should not have to share the spotlight with Bl. John XXIII. Some will complain about the same thing, but in reverse. Some Catholics will want to hurry Bl. John XXIII’s long simmering cause, and others will want to slow Bl. John Paul II’s.

Allow me to offer this observation… By canonizing both of them on the same day, the desire to assuage divisions between those who love either one or the other of these former popes may be met. Or not. Perhaps it will further inflame the divide.That there should be a divide is a very sad thing, but for many there is.

What do you think? Is there a divide? Or are we, as we are called to be, One in Christ? That’s the tricky part, isn’t it? And that in general, may be the best wisdom discerned from subito or lentamente; fast may be satisfying, but slow may make more sense – at least in situations, if not in sainthood.


6 thoughts on “Santo subito? Santo lentamente?

  1. Personally, I favor the slow approach. Not only that, I think we should bring back the Devil’s Advocate position. My mom (not a Catholic) actually had a lot of respect for the Catholic Church for employing someone to that position, and was disappointed to hear that it was abandoned.

    However, I’ll be honest. Knowing the type of people who will be horrified by their respective canonizations makes me waiver on that a little bit, if only to see the histrionics…


  2. I am definitely in favor of a go slow process. I believe the true legacy of a person, especially a pope, is not able to be determined until long after death. As such, I have no problem with the long wait for Pope John XXIII. However, I do have troubles with the accelerated nature of Pope John Paul II’s canonization. Preferably, they both would wait another decade or more and than be declared Saints at the same time.

    W. Ockham


  3. Emma and William, I am in agreement about going slowly. My email address includes the term “festina lente” or to “make haste slowly, and it is the slowly that truly reveals meaning and wisdom to me.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!


  4. “Knowing the type of people who will be horrified by their respective canonizations makes me waiver on that a little bit, if only to see the histrionics…”

    Well, if an ever-increasing percentage of the world (and not exclusively the non-RC world!) having “histrionics” gives one a happy, then by all means, canonize JP2 “subito”.

    But if witnessing for the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a greater goal, may I suggest (apropos the danger to evangelism) “Stop, Drop and Roll”? :-/

    If JP2 is a saint, he cannot be hurt by waiting for canonization. But if he isn’t . .


  5. My thought was similar: that by canonizing both on the same day, those who opposed the canonization of the one would be appeased and/or consoled by the canonization of the other. Your observation about a move towards healing the divisions is both more charitable and more hopeful than mine, so thank you for it.

    In general, I agree that canonizations should move slowly, so as to have some historical distance.


  6. Pingback: Santo subito? Santo lentamente? The next chapter… | There Will Be Bread

Comments are closed.