In this article a few weeks back, John Paul II: ‘Santo, ma non subito’, John L. Allen (the best Vaticaniste in English despite working for the National Catholic Reporter) lists a number of reasons why the brakes may be being applied. His source is an article by Andrea Tornielli in Italy’s Il Giornale.
1) “Two key witnesses, Cardinals Angelo Sodano (John Paul’s Secretary of State) and Leonardo Sandri (who was the substitute, or number two official in the Secretariat of State) have so far refused to testify. Sodano has voiced concern that John Paul’s cause is moving so quickly while the cases of three other popes (Pius XII, Paul VI, and John Paul I) are still pending. Long-standing tensions between Sodano and Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dzwisz, the late pope’s personal secretary, may also be involved.”
2) “Retired Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan voiced ambivalence about some aspects of John Paul’s papacy – especially his vast media exposure driven by 104 international trips, which, Tornielli quotes Martini as claiming, weakened the local church.”
3) “John Paul’s famous “kiss” of the Qur’an during an audience with Iraqi Muslims on May 14, 1999. Photos from that event appear to clearly show the pope kissing the Islamic holy book, but Dziwisz has insisted that it never happened.”
4) “the Vatican Bank scandal”
5) “Financial support for the Solidarity movement in Poland”
6) “The appointment of some bishops of “dubious morality.””
All of which is very interesting. The intra-Curial rivalry and vindictiveness is not awfully surprising. But I am especially interested that “kissing the Quran”, IF it happened (and I find it amazing that Dziwisz could deny it – I have seen those photos too – are we supposed to think the picture was some sort photoshop plot by a Muslim anti-papist?), could be an argument against his sainthood. And citing his less than happy episcopal appointments is a little surprising too – I never knew that sainthood implied an ability to see into the hearts of men.
Anyway, in the following video John Allen seems rather more confident than Tornielli that the canonisation will happen before too long: