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Did I miss something or is two saints news?

April 24, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
Well, as the canonization of not one, but two popes from my lifetime approaches this weekend, the good folks at AP continue to prove that religion writing is not what it once was.

After running a tale earlier this week that said Poles are ho-hum about Pope John Paul II comes one that gets into all of the relics of the late pope, and a sidebar about relics through the ages.

Only one paragraph buried in the sidebar about relics, comes close to explaining veneration of saintly relics and what that means to the faithful.

Otherwise, it sort of struck me as written in the secular “ohh, gross!” zombie-movie-watching style that the world would seem to live by today. Maybe I’m hypersensitive, but these canonizations strike me personally as a world event, something of hope and goodness, that men can still get it right in spite of ourselves, with help from above.

At least one story this week did get into the papacy of John XXIII and how this humble, smiling man managed to change the church so deeply after being in shoes of the fisherman for just four years or so.

Strikes me as just a bit more than sad.

Yes, there are two sides to every story. There are faults on these men, as there are to all the saints, every one of them. They were human first and very few of them led a life that was always exemplary in every possible way.

Here is a week during which two men who walked the Earth during the last 50 years are going to be elevated to being among the saints of God through the ages — two men who were alive during the lifetimes of many people still walking the Earth — and we get a steady diet of “ho-hum” and a superficial treatment of saintly relics.

And while it’s easy to note that a younger generation in Poland has less idea of who John Paul II was, and fewer alive may remember much about John XXIII, it might do good to have a little history and context and reasoning for why they’re special and holy men deserving of the consideration of being not only able to walk in the footsteps of St. Peter but alongside him.

But that takes effort, thought, and something other than a ho-hum, look at those whacky relic-worshipers attitude.

If I hadn’t studied the men myself as part of my life, I wouldn’t know much about them from secular news coverage, the providers of which used to bristle when being accused of being anti-religious. I wonder if the bristling even occurs now.

I learned more about the astrological portents of the “blood moon” from the news stories of the past couple weeks than I have about these two pontiffs.

In a world where we can get an explanation of why the devil worshipers deserve a goat statue on the Oklahoma capitol grounds, I shouldn’t be so disappointed.


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