The worldwide reaction to the beatification of John Paul II, from all quarters, was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. But one would never have known this if one’s bible were the New York Times. Two days before the beatification, it reported that it “has become intensely polarizing.” With good reason, it offered no survey data: polls showed 90 percent of Catholics approve and so do most non-Catholics. So on what basis did it make such an extraordinary statement? Amazingly, it didn’t even quote a single individual or organization! All it did was fall back on the proverbial, “critics say” line of journalism.
John Allen, normally reliable, wasn’t much better. He said, “I am aware that there’s some ambivalence” about the process. Sure he is aware of some consternation—he obviously reads the newspaper he writes for, namely, the National Catholic Reporter (it has become so violently critical of the Catholic Church that it has undermined its own credibility as a serious Catholic organ). As evidence to support the “ambivalence” thesis, he cited an angry ex-nun. What else is new?
So who else thinks John Paul unworthy? Well, we have the ultra-leftist Nation magazine, the near-defunct Time magazine and the ever-critical Huffington Post. Then there was the usual stable of carping Catholics: Maureen Dowd, James Carroll and Rev. Richard McBrien (the pope had “a terrible record”).
One final note. In making his case against John Paul II, author Jason Berry said that when accusations were made against the disgraced late priest, Father Maciel (who admittedly hoodwinked the pope), Bill Donohue “responded immediately with a letter to the Courant, scoffing at the allegations.” Berry knew this was a lie. How so? Because Donohue had previously provided Berry with the evidence.
What Donohue contested was whether, as alleged, Pope Pius XII not only gave Maciel the okay to have sex with seminarians, he recommended doing so for the purpose of relieving “physical pain.” Donohue said, “If Berry believes that, he needs to see a shrink.”