I recently ran across an opinion article in a local newspaper (which after considering it, decided it was too insulting to warrant dissemination) that brought this point to mind. The article was written by a respected and obviously learned international journalist, who has written several books, and is considered by (possibly millions) as a man of integrity and objectivity.
In the article, the Journalist launches some scathing and unbridled attacks against the Roman Catholic Church's integrity, the process by which the investigation into the beatification of Pope John Paul II was, according to him, so "hastily" done and was an insult to the victims of the priest sexual abuse scandal, and most of all against the late pope himself, who the writer claims was the worst pope in the history of the Church (obviously, he’s not much of a student of the Church).
Mind you, this is from a man that I have heard personally say in a television program that he is a non-theist and so the obvious question is why? If he doesn’t believe in God, and has an obvious distaste for the Catholic Church, why does he care about internal Church affairs? Why does he care if the Church decides that the man, who held the papacy for over 26 years, is worthy of being considered for sainthood?
One of the arguments that this "objective journalist" makes is that the investigation, to beatify Pope John Paul, was rushed and therefore not thorough enough. He argued that the miracle attributed to the late pope (of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who was suffering from Parkinson’s for 4 years, and after praying, along with her religious order, for Pope John Paul’s intercession, was inexplicably healed and doctors say, overnight, she stopped showing symptoms of the debilitating disease, which the late pope apparently suffered during his later years) was unsubstantiated. (Sister Simon-Pierre has been in remission since 2005)
Now, Catholics don't believe that John Paul actually healed Sister Simon-Pierre, only God can do that, but we believe he may have interceded on her behalf. Nevertheless, the Journalist says this investigation of the miracle was unscientific, and could have been just as well attributed to (former soccer legend) Pele or Elvis Presley.
Oh, those gullible Catholics with their two thousand year old mentality! I imagine he figures he was doing us naïve Catholics (67 million strong in the U.S. and over 1 billion worldwide) a favor by publicly enlightening us. In all due respect, he is an international figure with lots of credentials and "wisdom." (Did I mention he authored several books?)
First of all, since when are miracles, which are unexplainable by science, adherent to scientific scrutiny? Hmmm…. Does science explain everything? I’m sure the Journalist believes that humans developed over millions of years through macro-evolution, which has never been scientifically proven (although, maybe one day, they’ll find the missing link), from a primordial soup of atoms and “scientific stuff,” into this elaborate and complex organism that is the human body.
Or better yet, that the unscientific Big Bang Theory, which contradicts the First Law of Thermodynamics, stating that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed (in other words, nothing begets nothing), spontaneously occured (Which by the way, the Big Bang Theory was the concept of a Catholic priest who set out to prove there was a First Cause in the universe!).
Moreover, how long was this Journalist involved in the six year investigation process into the beatification of Pope John Paul to determine, firsthand, how the probe was handled?
Now, as for the sex abuse scandal, it was and continues to be one of the darkest and worst things to happen within the Church that Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter. However, what proof does the Journalist have that Pope John Paul II was aware of how deep and widespread the U.S. crisis was; because New York Times articles that basically suggest, he should have known? (Another pillar of objectivity)
Another argument the Journalist suggested against John Paul, was his connection to Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, who was revered and after his death, was discovered to have fathered several children by different women. So, is that what objective journalism has come to; guilt by association?
I think, the Journalist has some pent up frustrations and unresolved issues with God and the Catholic Church. He recently tweeted that he was raised Catholic by his mother. Hopefully, this is the beginning of his healing and search for Truth. I will pray for him and ask Pope John Paul for his intercession on the Journalist's behalf…