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Raw Video: Beatification of John Paul II Nears

Written By Rana G on Saturday, April 30, 2011 | 6:56 PM

Thousands of people have begun arriving in Rome in advance of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict put John Paul on the fast-track for possible sainthood when he dispensed with the traditional five-year waiting period. (April 30)

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Can this man really be called a saint? He's almost one step away.

Pope John Paul II is being fast-tracked to sainthood but that doesn’t sit well with all Catholics. Though John Paul II is still the face of the Roman Catholic Church, even six years after his death, he is also the face of the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church and cost them billions.

So though beatification of John Paul II is set for tomorrow in Rome, and hundreds of thousands have gathered to watch in person (millions will on TV), this next-to-last step to sainthood is causing pain for thousands of others.

Not everyone thinks he’s saint material.

Victims of — and advocates for — the church sex abuse scandals handed out leaflets outside churches in dozens of cities protesting the beatification of John Paul II. These outspoken critics want the church to reconsider sainthood for a man they say shuffled priests off to other churches and turned a blind eye to accusations of abuse. They’re also urging Catholics to turn the accused abusers over to police.

But for all his critics, there are thousands more who are more than enthusiastic about seeing their beloved Pope sainted.

The thing is, John Paul’s sainthood is happening at a faster pace than usual. And once he is sainted, it can’t be undone. For those who were hurt by a church who, while not condoning these egregious and illegal acts, protected the men who perpetrated them, I can imagine tomorrow’s beatification ceremonies would be a painful reminder.

Even historians aren’t convinced.

Catholics out there, what do you think of Pope John Paul II. Do you blame him for the church sex scandals? Now that so much has come to light, do you think your kids are safe in the church? Is John Paul II deserving of sainthood?




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