It’s generally being presented as a unifying gesture, but I think that the decision to canonize Popes John Paul II and John XXIII on the same day:
Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be declared saints on 27 April 2014, Pope Francis has announced.
The Pope said in July that he would canonise his two predecessors, after approving a second miracle attributed to John Paul.
Polish John Paul, the first non-Italian pope for more than 400 years, led the Catholic Church from 1978-2005.
Pope John was pontiff from 1958-1963, calling the Second Vatican Council that transformed the Church.
The decision to canonise the two at the same time appears designed to unify Catholics, correspondents say.
John Paul II is a favourite of conservative Catholics, while John XXIII is widely admired by the Church’s progressive wing.
The double canonisation will be the first in the Church’s history.
Here is why I think that this is a comment on
John Paul has been on a fast track to sainthood since his death, when crowds in St Peter’s Square chanted “santo subito” (“sainthood now”).
During his own papacy he simplified the process by which people are made saints, and created more of them than all previous popes combined.
John XXIII is remembered for introducing the vernacular to replace Latin in church masses and for creating warmer ties between the Catholic Church and the Jewish faith.
He has a big following in Italy, where he is known as Il Papa Buono, the good pope.
Two miracles have been officially attributed to Pope John Paul II – the number usually needed for canonisation.
Pope John XXIII was beatified by John Paul II in 2000, and Pope Francis took the unusual step of waiving the requirement of a second miracle in his case.
John Paul II’s canonization was on a rocket docket that Francis knew could not be stopped, but by making John XXIII, he takes some of the wind out of the sails of the inevitable JPII, and by waiving waiving the “2nd miracle” for John, he makes a comment on how standards were relaxed by John Paul.
Then again, ich bin a Yid, so my knowledge on the Catholic Church is neither deep nor broad.