Pope Francis today chose April 27, 2014, as the canonization date for Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, a move that sets the stage for one of the most unusual and significant events of modern church history. Proclaiming as saints two of his predecessors taps into some deep populist sentiments among Catholic faithful. Yet it also raises questions about the saintmaking process and the relationship between sainthood and papal performance. The date chosen by Pope Francis makes sense. From a practical point of view, it gives Polish pilgrims in particular an opportunity to travel to Rome at a time of year when roads will presumably be free of snow and ice. April 27 is also Divine Mercy Sunday, wh
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