Earlier this year, the Polish Bishop’s Conference called for John Paul II to be named a Doctor of the Church and Patron of Europe.
Yesterday, President of the PBC Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki announced that Pope Francis had denied his request, and most all bishops worldwide ignored his proposal.
“The title of Doctor of the Church is reserved for saints who performed a special service, especially in the development of theology. The idea of patrons for all Europe is quite a new one, dating from the twentieth century when the founders of Europe’s contemporary order looked for ways of integrating our continent’s nations and states. Although the first stage of our initiative has been completed, and the appropriate seeds sown in the ground, it seems we’ll now need a lot of patience.”
Speaking at a conference in Warsaw on the spiritual legacy of JPII, Gadecki said Pope Francis has the sole power to name him the Church’s 37th Doctor and Europe’s seventh co-patron, adding in in October of 2019 he wrote “with full conviction as to the rightness of the move” to him.
“When dangerous tendencies seek to turn us away from Christian values and build European integration on alien worldview foundations and purely economic activity at the cost of our true identity, Europe’s patron saints should stand as a call to memory.”
He also said that when he “wrote to presidents of the world’s 150-odd bishops’conferences, asking their support in time for St John Paul II’s hundredth birthday this year” he was mostly ignored, saying “there was little reaction and only seven responded positively.”
Bishops from Chile, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Philippines, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine responded positively. Bishops from France, Switzerland, and Austria argued it was premature, while the rest simply never responded.
The Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, evidently along with Pope Francis, also rejected the idea.
Gadecki said what remains “is prayer and continued thinking about these titles, which the late Holy Father undoubtedly deserves.”