On this Easter, Maureen Dowd turns to another resurrection of sorts next Sunday: The beatification of Pope John Paul II, or "PR boost" that Pope Benedict hopes to get from the "swiftest ascension toward sainthood on record." And while there was much to love about the "skiing cardinal, mountain-climbing poet, kayaking philosopher, (and) singing author," the "indelible stain" of the sex abuse scandal that John Paul presided over makes next week's ceremony a charade. "How can you be a saint if you fail to protect innocent children?" Dowd wonders in the New York Times.
"John Paul forfeited his right to beatification when he failed to establish a legal standard to remove pedophiles from the priesthood, and simply turned away for many years," she writes. The former pontiff failed to investigate credibly accused pedophiles, refused to put the clergy under the microscope, and "was passive to an absolute fault," one author tells Dowd. "He failed in mountainous terms." So rather than mumbled apologies and checks the Vatican slips to sex abuse victims, Dowd concludes that simply "not beatifying or canonizing John Paul would be hugely symbolic."