Not So Saintly?

  • Share
  • Read Later

(4 of 4)

There is one other possibility: the Vatican simply needed a beatifiable Pope in a hurry. Even liberals admit the wisdom of balancing John XXIII with a conservative. Says Kertzer: "There are not so many recent Popes who can represent the right wing. Pio Nono's cause went through the administrative hoops in the 1980s, so everything was ready. He was from so long ago--who knew him? They thought he'd just slide by."

And so he has, after a fashion. Somewhere in Rome, a crystal casket is being readied. Pius will be beatified, and all will get a clear look at him. They will quite likely still be arguing about what they've seen years later, when his canonization rolls around.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Next Page