From the editor's desk

Holy and saintly fathers

24 April 2014

There is little doubt that the two most outstanding Popes of the past 100 years were John XXIII and John Paul II, both due to be canonised tomorrow. Catholics have a great deal to marvel at and thank them for. But no papacy should be beyond critical scrutiny.The political dimension – and there always is one – concerns the desire to elevate one phase in the Church’s history as being so definitive that later periods must be measured by it. This applies particularly to the papacy of John Paul II. One implicit suggestion by those pressing for official recognition of his sanctity is that a man who walked so close to God must have been divinely inspired, and cannot therefore have made any significant mistakes.That was rather the message of the canonisation of Pope St Pius X in

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