Massive Week Will Culminate In Dramatic Canonization Of A Great Saint Named Pio
By Michael H. Brown
It's a massive week ahead, and the high point will be the dramatic, historic canonization of Padre Pio -- sure to take his place among the pantheon of greatest-ever saints. The largest crowd in the history of canonizations in Rome -- between 400,000 and 800,000 -- is expected as wave after wave of groups and nationalities parade their banner into St. Peter's Square for the climax.
There has not been a mystic of this stature since St. Francis of Assisi, so don't be surprised to hear accounts of miracles in and around the canonization Sunday. Pray for your own miracle. Pray for this great saint's intercession! And pray always for the protection of Rome against terrorism. We'll bring you constant reports.
It's a week that has already started with word the Orthodox Patriarch has said Mass at a Catholic basilica for the first time in more than 1,000 years; that a bishop in Holland has approved an apparition know as "the Lady of All Nations"; that Sister Lucia of Fatima's new book contains a motherlode of spiritual direction; and that the Pope may be speaking out on climate change. We'll have more on these stories as well.
On a down note, it's also a week that will see the U.S. bishops meeting over the sexual scandals. It's a crucial meeting, and we believe that bishops must take the strictest route to recover credibility. Those who have abused children, past or present, should be defrocked and sent to do penance in a monastery. A public that sees such action -- a sudden barrage of abusive priests sent away -- will be greatly encouraged and relieved and a healing process will have started.
The key is going to be for the bishops to take the role of "spiritual leaders" instead of that of a "religious government." It is bureaucracy, liberalism, and psychology -- which so readily excuse sin -- that threw the Church into this fix to begin with.
At the same time, the media should be cautioned that, unless and until there are additional major revelations (which may in fact occur), its coverage has reached the point of saturation. While we believe evil should be uncovered, we are aware, at the same time, that many in the media have a hidden or at least subconscious agenda, and that's to damage Catholicism (starting, of course, with the priesthood). In truth, the scandal of immorality pervades our entire culture, more so outside the Church than inside -- and in large part was brought to be by the same media. We'll take a look at phenomena like Ozzie Osbourne. And we'll continue to cover the scandal.
But we'll stay focused on Padre Pio, for this will be the most historic aspect of the coming week, when all is said and done.
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