Friday, September 09, 2005


Courtesy HMS, here's something which might be a bit premature:
Bishop George L. Thomas of Helena dedicated the new Pope John Paul II Catholic Church in Bigfork during an Aug. 21 Mass. The new parish church is believed to be among the first Catholic churches named for the late pope, who died April 2.
Ummmm... I don't think a church can be dedicated to the patronage of someone who's not beatified or canonized. Even if the person in question was a Pope. Even if it was John Paul II.

Too much too soon?



Blogger Dom Dominic said...

Way too much. Way too soon.

9/9/05 15:11  
Blogger Jason Cardona said...

When you say "can't", do you mean legally or traditionally?

Personally, I don't have a problem with it, so long as the local Bishop approves. Unless, of course, it is forbidden in Canon Law. Then again, perhaps the principle of Oikonomia can be applied here.

9/9/05 16:12  
Blogger Jeff said...

Hey! You know why I like this post?

Because Rocco is being "conservative"; no, he's being "traditionalist." I don't think he's saying, "This can't be done because I'm certain it's beyond the Bishop's powers in canon law." It sounds to me as if he's saying, "Hey, this isn't the way we do things, we only dedicate Churches to for-sure saints, not just to very great men."

That's the spirit of tradition. With a small 't'. If you ever want to know how a "traditional" Catholic finds themselves calling from the gut, "That's not the way we do things! Not what our fathers, and theirs, and theirs have done!", well, it comes from the same place. And though self-anointed "Traditionists" may be wrong on this or that detail, this instinct is surely the right one. And it got Rocco to the right place, too.

And it works for me. Wait a while, Your Excellency. Or choose another name.

9/9/05 17:46  
Blogger Jason Cardona said...


While I see the importance of the law/custom (whichever it is), I go back to the old truism that the law was made for man, not man for the law.

Generally, I would agree that the naming of Churches should be limited to Saints and blesseds. But there are obvious exceptions, IMO. The very nature of Sainthood was traditionally a popular movement, rather than a formal declaration of the Church. Sometimes, giants come along such as John Paul II, whose Sainthood is under no real question. Santo Subito was the cry the moment he died, and Pope Benedict recognized this by waiving the waiting period.

I would certainly understand a Bishop choosing not to name a JPII Church. But I really can't fault another one for doing so.

That's my two cents, anyway.

9/9/05 20:21  
Blogger Curmudgeon said...

Always glad when someone (even someone I mostly disagree with) throws cold water on folks who are drunk on the JP-II media imagery and have lost their perspective.

I'm quite happy to see the "John Paul the Great" thing dying down somewhat, and I have to think that someone ought to put a stop the the church-naming thing. Whatever JP-II's personal sanctity and message were, we can't judge his administration and governance for a decade or two (especially because we live in this media age). Until we can do that, we can't evaluate his papacy fairly. Don't get me wrong. We love JP-II, we're grateful to have had him as a shepherd, and we hope he's up there in heaven waiting on us, but we need to put a stop to the cult of personality that surrounded him (without questioning his motives).

10/9/05 01:29  

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