Friday, July 01, 2005

Miraculous or Martyr?

If it's too much work to find a few miracles, it appears the next step is to take a stab at martyrdom. Such is the latest news on efforts to put Pope John Paul II on a path to sainthood. Apparently, if the late pope is deemed a martyr, he is exempt from the "miracle" requirement.
Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said Friday it was up to groups of theological experts to decide if the May 13, 1981, attempt on John Paul's life — as well as his long, public suffering before he died — warranted a declaration of martyrdom.

"In a technical, theological, juridical and canonical sense, the martyr gives his life for the faith," Saraiva Martins said in response to questions at a news conference, according to the Apcom news agency.

"We have to verify the motive for the attempt on the life of (Karol) Woytyla. And this will be the work of theologians."

Whether or not John Paul should be named a saint is certainly not my call. And, it is the work of theologians, and not this cafeteria catholic, to determine if he was a martyr. That said, declaring a shooting victim who dies 24 years later a martyr feels a bit like a loophole to me.

What do you think?


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