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 http://www.thetablet.co.uk, 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.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand