Opinions clash on Pope John Paul II canonization

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Monday, April 28, 2014


OPINIONS still vary whether Pope John Paul II should make it to sainthood or not.

Kenneth Ian Barrera, a masteral student from Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan city, said that for him, only the apostles should be credited as saints, having to contribute the largest to the Christendom.
“Although we can say that Pope John is good, but you can’t measure goodness unless we go with his inner life to really know him,” Barrera said.

He said that being a pope doesn’t mean that you’re the holiest person in the world.

For Jerryk Alico, a secondary education graduate and a Roman Catholic, a pope means “you are just the leader of Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholism is just like an administration, it is like bureaucracy, like a government. And I really don’t like people, aside ?from the apostles, to be declared as saints.”

Alico agreed that goodness and contribution should be recognized, but tagging the word ‘saint’ is? already different.

“For me, it’s timely for persons like them (Pope John Paul II) [to] be recognized as saint so Catholics and other believers be reinvigorated of their faith,” said Lorvie Jun Vermon, a political science graduate and member of Catholic Students Organization (CSO) in Mindanao State University in Marawi City.

“They say it’s controversial na agad-agad magiging santo siya (Pope John Paul II), but sinuri naman ata yung two miracles na ginawa niya,” said Aleah-Hidaya Hadji Rakhim, a Meranao-Muslim graduate of AB English.

“If that’s what makes my Christian brothers and sisters happy, go lang nang go. I am in no position to protest,” Rakhim said.

“Siguro okay lang kasi baka deserve niya siguro ang pagiging santo (Perhaps, it is okay that he deserves to become a saint)” the matter being discussed among the heads of the church, said Abdullah Lucman, a Meranao-Muslim student taking BSBA Management.

Declaring saints might become a competition among countries, said Alico. “The more saints you have in your country, the holier a nation becomes.”

“Like the Arroyo family, they tried to submit their [great] grandmother as a saint… Mura lang pud bitaw ka’g nag-apply ug awards (... It is like you are applying for an award).”

“There is an underlying loophole in that award kay basin mahimo man pud siyang motivation ba, superficial na ang imong pagbuhat ug goodness. Kay basin ma-motivate lang pud ka para mahimo kang saint (because it might just be a motivation, that doing goodness has become superficial),” Alico added.

“Canonization should be more open to the public awareness, especially that some parts of this ceremony are already modified,” said Suhaini Nasher Pagadilan, a Meranao-Muslim high school teacher in Ibn Sienna Integrated School, Marawi City.

“Somehow, it (canonization) creates a question of how credible such tradition [is],” Pagadilan added. Qualfications: When do we make somebody a saint then???“Pope John Paul II’s life is not just about becoming and being a pope. It is about the legacy he left regardless of the length of time that anyone may be canonized and regardless of the requirement set of becoming a pope, he has become an inspiration to the catholic faith ?believers,” said Vermon.

“Like what Jesus did, you have to reach out to the people. And the closest place where one can go is to one’s heart. That is where he (Pope John Paul II) had gone,” Vermon added.

“Legit naman yung canonization niya kasi ‘di ba one of the requirements is dapat naka-perform ng two miracles; one before beatification and the other, after beatification. He did that,” said Joseph Ajero, an instructor of the Communication and Media Studies Department of Mindanao State University-Marawi.

“Pope John Paul being too charismatic should be thankful to television because it made him a?celebrity, making his deeds known to all corners of the globe. And that played a huge role on his sainthood candidacy,” Ajero furthered.

“Ang assessment sa imong pagka-saint is how much you’ve contributed na good works, I think it’s wrong. Kay ‘di ba we don’t have to claim it because it’s not us who is working but God who is working through your life that we have these good deeds right now,” said Barrera.

Alico argued that not all miracles can be reliable and furthered that even devils can make miracles since they are powerful too. "So, how would you qualify that? Would you ask the Lord, 'Lord, is this a reliable miracle.'"

“Only God could say if a person really is a saint…We don’t know what God wants. And what is their measurement? Is it only based on miracles? In principle, it’s not them who made miracles, it’s God,”said Barrera.

“So dapat, if there is [someone] na dapat i-exault natin the most, [si] God na lang diretso. You don’t need to exalt human beings naman siguro. It’s because they are just servants of God,” Barrera added.

“Let us not make saints based on our assessment as humans, but more on what God wants... because it not us man gyapon man judge kung kinya’y mag-saint. It’s God. Who are you? You’re just a human being,” he furthered.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 28, 2014.

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