Should Popes be made into Saints?

There will be controversy about every move by the Vatican to make Pope Pius XII a saint. The discussion should be conducted in a substantive manner within the Vatican on the criteria that exist for this process. We Jews ought to have input - if letters of recommendation from outsiders are taken into account in the "sainthood" evaluation.

We suspect such input is not officially welcomed. Catholics ask other Catholics who to make a Catholic saint.

We sure can and should express our outsider's opinion that Pius XII was not a hero because of his refusal to condemn Hitler and in his non-existent opposition to Holocaust.

From our talmudic vantage we see a deeper problem for the church.

We all know that by definition a pope is a political appointee, not chosen for his distinctive inherent saintliness, but on the basis of other and more complex criteria. Accordingly, even to consider a pope for sainthood creates a category confusion. To an objective outsider, one who is a great political leader in the church is not to be confused with one who is a great religious saint.

Plainly put our common sense tells us that if the pope is good at politics, that means by definition that he is  no saint.

Now Catholics will disagree and say that being a good pope is exactly what they mean by being a saintly person. We just don't buy that kind of muddled thinking.

We think that by rule no pope should ever be considered for sainthood. It's a category and archetype confusion of serious magnitude. The archetypal saint is a person who is a pure and elevated homo religiosus, a person of miracles, and not a political animal and a maker of deals.

If they insist that a pope can be a saint, then the only real solution for Catholics is to create another category of saint - a "papal saint." That way their other saintly saints will not be subjected to the papal taint and its concomitant controversy.
Vatican says steps to sainthood for Pope Pius XII are not anti-Jewish

The Vatican, fighting a public backlash from some Jewish groups, says the pope's decision to move controversial Pope Pius XII closer to sainthood is not an act of hostility toward Jews...more...

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