Enthusiasm and outrage. Two very different reactions as two former Popes move closer to Roman Catholic sainthood.
John Paul II’s successor, Pope Benedict, has approved a decree, recognising that the late Polish pontiff lived the Christian faith heroically. It is a step towards fulfilling the wish of crowds at John Paul’s funeral in 2005. They chanted “santo subito”
or “make a him a saint now.”
In his homeland especially, the approval of the
decree has been warmly welcomed.
One man in Krakow said: “we can be happy that John Paul II, our great preacher, will become a saint next year, as Pope Benedict XVI promised.”
“His decree on John Paul II is important because we think this man did something that changed the world,” said another man in the Polish city.
But news that controversial wartime Pope Pius XII has also been moved further along the path to sainthood has sparked a very different reaction.
Critics claim he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust and did not do enough to help the Jews, a charge the Vatican denies.