This man presided over a clerical abuse coverup and contributed to an AIDS epidemic. And now they want to make him a saint?

Anna Nolan

What happens when a little ol' nun in France says she is cured of her Parkinson's? You get one step closer to being a saint!

Pope John Paul II has been working his magic from beyond the grave and chose to cure a woman who dedicated hours of prayer to him after he died.

This process to becoming a saint baffles me. One 'miracle' - and you are beatified. Two and bingo, you're a saint.


Now it's not because I don't believe in miracles, but surely to goodness, it makes sense that a saint is decided on what someone did while they were alive, rather than what happened when they were dead? The reason the miracles are part of the sainthood process, it seems, is to make sure they are in Heaven and not just hanging around somewhere between here and the pearly gates.

I've worked around the area of miracles.


I once filmed a documentary about a healer in Limerick. She claimed she could cure people by praying over them. I spent time with her and although her intentions were good and people had faith in her, to me it was absolute nonsense.

When I heard about the little nun, (I don't know why I presume she is little, she could be a huge big nun) saying that she was cured, my cynical antennae stood to attention. She says that her Parkinson's left her body as a result of John Paul, but the evidence has not been examined by an independent doctor. Only the Vatican doctor has given the thumbs up for a miracle.

Hmm, now there's a thing.

The Vatican is desperate rushing this through. They are under pressure as they have planned a big ol' beatification party on May 1 in Vatican City to celebrate the Pope being one miracle away from sainthood.

It is going to be the biggest event since Pope JPII died. Beatification balloons, beatification streamers, who knows, maybe even a beatification cocktail - the 'Miracle Mojito'?

The fact that this man chose not to take what I and many others would deem appropriate action over much of the child abuse allegations is being swept under the Vatican carpet.

Last night the RTE documentary Unspeakable Crimes revealed Rome under Pope John Paul II urged bishops not to report clerical abuse as a criminal offence.


Add this to the fact that Pope John Paul's ban on condoms left millions having to cope with an AIDS epidemic without assistance and he's hardly worthy of sainthood, in my opinion.

I've no doubt he was a charming man who won the world over with his endless travelling to many countries. But it would be interesting to ask a victim of priest sexual abuse whether they think he should be a saint.

Or perhaps someone who contracted AIDS in Africa. Ask them if he should be put up there with the head honchos whose life works assured them front row seats in Heaven.

Now just one more miracle stands between John Paul II and sainthood.

Well, here's a suggestion. Maybe if Brian Cowen actually listened to what the country needed and resigned it would be a miracle we'd all find useful.

Nah, there are miracles and then there's the downright far fetched.

I laughed at Mrs Brown, I must be getting old

What makes you laugh? Is it someone falling over? Is it someone laughing at what you stand for? Is it someone laughing at you, right into your face?

The person who wrote the following quote must have watched all the comedy that has been on our televisions recently, "There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humour and hurt".

A cornucopia of either laugh-inducing or cringe-inducing humour, whatever way you want to view it, has come in the form of Hardy Bucks, Rubberbandits (inset), Savage Eye and Mrs Brown's Boys.

I, personally, am more in favour of the Savage Eye comedy -- offensive, cutting, smart, sharp and weird.

What comes as a complete shock is the success of Mrs Brown's Boys, written by Brendan O'Carroll. I am left with one overwhelming question -- how come it brought in so many viewers?

Over 700,000 people tuned in to watch a man dressed up as a woman perform a show that looked like it was straight out of the 1970s. There is obviously a huge audience out there for cringey, slapstick Oirish begorrah tripe. But here's the weird thing. As much as I wanted to dismiss O'Carroll's pantomine, I ended up respecting a performance that combined live audience, ad libbing and years of experience.

I want to be uber trendy and give my ultimate commitment to left-field humour. But I am a little older, and not completely averse to a suggestion of old time Irish humour. Yes, you're right. It must be a generation thing.