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Saint Perfect: the saint who doesn't exist

I've seen a number of blog posts and news articles this week dissing on JPII (like this one at The Week.) The basic argument of these is that John Paul II presided over the Church during the horrific sex scandal of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and thus should not be canonized.

There is no doubt that JP II could have and probably should have done more during this time. There is evidence both that he was insulated from the full scale of the situation, and evidence that he was aware of the depth of the problem and was not fully-equipped to deal with it.

Here's the thing about sainthood: it's not about being perfect. There is not ONE canonized saint, not one unrecognized saint, not one fully human person in Heaven that is with out sin except for Our Blessed Mother.

The first pope was a terrible Apostle. He had complete lack of faith, got called Satan by Jesus, turned tail and ran when the going got tough. But still: St. Peter.

One scholar of the Church was known for his horrifying temper and general grumpiness. However, we owe our translation of the Bible mostly to him. St. Jerome.

A Doctor of the Church, a man of epic faith and teaching...also a party boy, fornicator, father out-of-wedlock. St.Augustine.

A woman who was an atheist, a scholar with a Ph.D. in philosophy, stuck teaching in a girls' school, a disappointment to her mother and then a rather quiet failure at being a Carmelite nun since she had absolutely no idea how to cook, clean or do the necessary chores of a monastery. St. Edith Stein.

I could go on. FOREVER. Every single saint is also a sinner, because we all struggle with concupiscence. Sin looks shiny and pretty and good and we reach out for it, and fall right down in the slimy muck. We all do it. Even someone like John Paul II.

If there is no hope for him, there is none for the rest of us. And we all have hope: in Christ Jesus and Him Alone.

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