Chartres 2006
Photo Story

Remnant Tours

Click Here to visit
THE REMNANT Scrapbook!


See Remnant


Urgent Letter to

Angelo Cardinal Amato

(Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)

Press Release POSTED: April 3, 2011

The Remnant Press

Est. 1967


PO Box 1117 • Forest Lake, Minnesota 55025 • USA

Fax: 651-433-4348 • Email:




April 2, 2011




His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect

Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi                                   

I-00120 Città del Vaticano

Via Telefacsimile: 011-39-06-698-81935


Your Eminence:                                                                                                          

We have read attentively news reports of Your Eminence’s intervention at a conference held in Rome yesterday concerning the impending beatification of John Paul II. Catholic News Service quotes Your Eminence to the effect that “Pope John Paul II is being beatified not because of his impact on history or on the Catholic Church [emphasis added], but because of the way he lived the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love...” [Cindy Wooten, “John Paul II being beatified for holiness, not his papacy, speakers say," Catholic News Service, 1 April 2011].

In the appended Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II, signatories from all over the Catholic world—including a number of academics, scientists and intellectuals from Poland itself—respectfully present the question whether the way in which a Pope has lived the virtues of faith, hope and charity can be separated from the way in which he exercised his exalted office as Supreme Pontiff. Stated otherwise, the signatories ask whether the heroic virtue of a papal candidate for beatification can be considered in isolation from his duties of state as Pope. 

This compartmentalized approach appears to be unique in the annals of the blessed and sainted Popes the Church has recognized.  For, after all, the soul is one “spiritual organism” in which the theological virtues and the moral virtues of prudence, fortitude, justice and temperance, elevated by grace, work together in an ordered unity. This is why prudence, fortitude and justice in the governance of the Church and the defense of the Faith against error are splendidly evident in the lives of blessed and sainted Roman Pontiffs. Thus, Your Eminence, in all candor we must ask: How is it possible to assess the “personal” faith, hope and charity of a Pope without also assessing “his impact... on the Catholic Church” whose common good was entrusted to the Pope above all by Christ Himself?

We note with concern the report in the above-quoted article that John Paul’s former spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, stated in substance at yesterday’s conference that “those who question beatifying Pope John Paul only six years after his death and those who say the explosion of the clerical sex abuse scandal during his pontificate casts a dark shadow on his reign... must remember that beatification is not a judgment on a pontificate [emphasis added], but on the personal holiness of the candidate.” Are we to infer from this remark that the very pontificate of a papal candidate for beatification is now to be considered irrelevant to the assessment of his heroic virtue? How is this possible? And what does this remarkable severance of a pope from his own pontificate mean for future processes for beatification and even canonization?

We have also read attentively an interview of Your Eminence on the Vatican website in which the interviewer inquired whether “there were dissenting voices” on the matter of the late Pope’s heroic virtue. While Your Eminence did not provide a direct answer to that question, you did state: “the postulation has done a good job of dispelling all shadows.”  [Cf. L’Osservatore Romano, 16 January 2011, Italian ed.] In this regard we respectfully inquire whether the “shadows” dispelled included any of the objections raised in the appended Statement, involving papal acts and omissions without precedent in the entire history of the Church, the likes of which are nowhere to be found in the admirable legacies of the blessed and sainted Popes the Church has hitherto recognized.

To conclude, Your Eminence is also quoted as observing during the conference yesterday that “the pressure of the public and of the media did not disturb the process, but helped it...” [emphasis added]. We confess that we do not see how public and media “pressure” can have helped the process for John Paul II’s beatification, at least in any salutary way, at a time when the entire Western world is succumbing to a “silent apostasy” the late Pope himself lamented near the end of his pontificate, and vast numbers of nominal Catholics who love and admire John Paul II as a personality nevertheless reject any teaching of the Magisterium they deem unacceptable. Under these historic circumstances, amounting to a veritable civilizational crisis bordering on the apocalyptic, as Pope Benedict has suggested repeatedly, it seems to us that consulting the vox populi is problematical at best.

We will be grateful for Your Eminence’s consideration of the concerns presented in this letter and the accompanying Statement, and we hope for the favor of a reply.


 Respectfully yours in Christ,


 Michael J. Matt



cc: Vatican Press Office

  HOME    |    PRINT SUBSCRIBE    |    E-EDITION    |    ADVERTISE    |    NEWS    |    ARTICLES   |    RESOURCES    |    ABOUT    |    CONTACT
Web Format and Content   ©  1996-2010 Remnant Press