Catholics in Philadelphia are reacting with approval to the news that Pope John Paul II is headed for sainthood. He is expected to be canonized along with Pope John XXIII.
Heading into Mass at Center City’s Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Catherine McCuen said she’s happy Pope John Paul II is being honored. “I think it is wonderful!” she said.
As far as the child sexual abuse by clergy that caused concern among many followers, a scandal that broke out during John Paul II’s reign, McCuen said, “I think it’s kind of impossible for one person to do everything. And there’s always going to be evil in a large group. There’s always going to be people that are going to do evil. I mean we had Judas and the 12 Apostles.”
Loretta Graham calls canonizing John Paul II, who died eight years ago, a great thing. She said he was “a wonderful man.”
Of the abuse scandal, Graham said, “You know, that’s between him and God. I’m not here to be the Holy Spirit but I think when he came to Philadelphia I had my little children, they were little, and he was going along City Line Avenue.”
In addition to clearing Pope John Paul II for sainthood, Pope Francis is also green-lighting former Pope John XXIII, for canonization. He led the Catholic Church for five years starting in the late 1950s and initiated sweeping efforts to modernizer the church.