Newscast Media ROME—Less than a week before former Pope John Paul II is to be
declared a saint, critics want answers about an abuse scandal involving an order of
priests he had championed for years. The Vatican has refuted the claims.
The Vatican dismissed critics’ concerns over Pope John Paul’s legacy on Tuesday, just
days ahead of a highly-anticipated ceremony that will see the beloved pontiff
declared saint. The case in question surrounds Legion of Christ founder Marcial
Maciel, who was found to have sexually abused both seminarians and children. The
order had received strong support from the late pope and his closest advisors, which
prompted critics to question whether John Paul II had covered up the scandal during
his time at the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005.
“There is no personal implication of the Holy Father (John Paul II) in this affair,”
Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi told reporters, citing evidence collected
while John Paul was being considered for sainthood.
Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Polish priest who has spearheaded John Paul II’s
fast-track to sainthood, also rejected the accusations.
“There is no sign of personal involvement of the Holy Father in this case,” Oder said
The process of canonizing saints includes a lengthy investigation into all aspects of a
candidate’s life before declaring the individual saint. Not only must investigators
gather concrete evidence linking miracles to the person in question, but they must
also conclude that he or she lived a holy life in line with Church teachings. This is
done by conducting a thorough analysis of his or her writings, recorded statements
and known actions.
Source: Deutsche Welle