Friday, January 14, 2011
Catholicism.....I just don't get it
From Yahoo -- Reporting from London — The late Pope John Paul II will be beatified this spring, the Vatican announced Friday after the current pontiff, Benedict XVI, certified that his predecessor had met the requirements.
The move puts the former pope a step closer to sainthood on what is already an unusually accelerated timetable that Benedict launched within weeks of John Paul's death almost six years ago.
The Vatican said Benedict had approved findings by the church that John Paul had performed a miracle after his death, a prerequisite for beatification. A nun who suffered from Parkinson's disease, as did the late pope, said she was healed of her affliction after praying to John Paul shortly after he died.
First, and this may be a semantic bone I'm picking but, how is Pope John Paul II himself performing a miracle, rather than the miracle being performed by God through him, consistent with the idea of God being God and men being men? I mean it's a tad presumptuous to deify a mere man, isn't it? Do Catholics really believe that men can perform miracles because God is never mentioned in relation to these so-called "miracles".
Second, who approves the current Pope to be the final arbiter of who deserves beatification and then sainthood? Just because a hyper-politicized college of Cardinals elects him Pope, how does that bestow special God-like powers upon him?
Last, is it true that the church believes that JP-II actually performed a miracle after he died? You must be kidding? I don't recall anywhere in the Bible it being suggested that your soul can perform miracles on Earth from beyond the grave.
Third(I put it last because it doesn't go with the other three), what is the significance and purpose to God of stigmata and stigmata-like occurrences? What possible reason would God or Mary have of revealing themselves in ways like this?
Again, I'm not knocking Catholicism. I'm just wondering how these ideas and practices register with normal human beliefs about God, Jesus Christ, the afterlife, etc.?