The Tablet’s Invitation to Papal Canonisations on Sunday

Dear Fr.Ron Smith

Already in Rome thousands of Catholics are gathering for Sunday’s dual canonisations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. You can watch Sunday’s ceremony, which starts at 9am BST, live on, and read reports from the Eternal City.

In this week’s print edition the legacy of the two very different popes are examined: Rabbi Jonathan Romain pays tribute to the ways they both transformed the Catholic Church’s view of Jews. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and the founder of the L’Arche community, Jean Vanier, offer their personal recollections of the two. Elena Curti talks to the widow of sculptor Arthur Fleischmann, who executed busts of both men. And historian Michael Walsh looks back over past popes who haven’t been canonised but should be – and those who have been canonised and almost certainly shouldn’t have been.


This week’s edition of ‘The Tablet’ offers a live link to the Canonisation ceremonies for the elevation of Pope John XXIII and Pope John-Paul II in Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome, on Sunday, 27 April, 2014. I’m hopeful that this link will work for us in Aotearoa/New Zealand, although the timing of the link will be important. Kiwianglo viewers will have to check their own time-zone to be able to take advantage of the link.

I am most interested in the canonisation procedure for Pope John XXIII, whose initial inspiration for convening the second Vatican Council opened up the prospect of radical renewal in the Roman Catholic Church around the world – as well as being the helpful inspiration for such 20th century renewal as has taken place in some provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Obviously, the influence of Vatican II, since the death of Pope John XXIII, has suffered from the reluctance of successive Popes to implement all of the reforming initiatives that Pope John had recommended – but, at least, Pope Francis, a worthy successor of Pope John, seems to have been a felicitous choice to follow in his footsteps at this point in the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church.

(See Also: )

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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4 Responses to The Tablet’s Invitation to Papal Canonisations on Sunday

  1. murraysmallbone says:

    One supposes it is a neat political move to put the canonisation of these two Popes together.
    Forgive the note of cynicism,but I do have sympathy with Pope Francis on this (his being the final decision on such matters).
    Though publicly acclaimed by the Roman Citizens following his death;my cynicism for the canonisation of JP 11 comes from many levels.In his pontificate I saw the Roman Church tread water and become more papal in outlook.On the scandals front; JP 11 demonstrated a reluctance of admission;which did not sit well with members of the Roman Church and portrayed an inward looking stance to the rest of the world.Personally I watched many of his anti-gay rants on Italian television; at the time I was perturbed at this hypocrisy(cover the scandals by ranting against gays.)
    Reverberations will continue around the scandals on the canonisation of JP 11.
    I do believe the world and non- Roman Christians will respect the canonisation of Pope John xx111.
    I can understand the pressures on Pope Francis to proceed with the canonisation of JP 11, however, I do not think there will be a universal unity of spirit looking on favourably.
    God Bless Pope Francis in his difficult role of servant of the servants.

    Jesu mercy. ! Mary pray !

  2. kiwianglo says:

    I tend to agree, Murray, with your comparison of the 2 santos. Having been present at a special public audience with Pope John XXIII, in 1960 – before Vatican II . I remember, also, a few days later, the palpable impression of his sanctity – on the occasion when he ordained 17 missionary bishops, mostly from the Third World. The dear old man was carried down the aisle of St. Peter’s on his sedia gestatoria, giving the papal Blessing while weeping with embarrassment at his enforced elevation complete with triple tiara. One felt he would have preferred to walk the distance, embracing the crowd. We were all weeping, too. – Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray!

  3. Brian Ralph says:

    I very much agree with you both about the virtues of the respective popes. However I am much amused at today’s NZTV website which has the heading “Auckland cathedral to hold special service in honour of Pope cannonisation”

    • kiwianglo says:

      Obviously, Brian, they have bigger guns up there!
      Have just watched the canonisation Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Loved Pope Francis’ very simple Celebration – truly Franciscan. San Giovanni, pray for us in ACANZP.

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