I wish someone could adequately explain to this average parishioner (me) why our 2,000-year-old Church is in such a rush nowadays. I suspect that it is simply a sign of the times—an offshoot of the 21st century mindset of unbridled immediacy; a facet of modernism that Pope Pius X warned of. Generally, it’s the Church’s out-of-breath attempts to “keep up,” and specifically it’s Pope John Paul II’s canonization in ictu oculi (in the blink of an eye). Nine years after his death, he was canonized.
What was the big hurry? We have waited patiently in the past: St. Ignatius: 66 years after death; St. Francis Xavier: 70 years after death; St. Thomas Aquinas: 49 years after death. I believe that any candidate for sainthood should not even be considered until every last person who knew the candidate on Earth is dead and buried, so there is no chance of any skeletons coming out of any closets with accusations of less-than-saintly behavior.
Would it really have hurt our universal Church to wait 50 more years to canonize this great man? “Delayed gratification” is still something saintly souls aspire to. My dad used to say, “Act in haste; repent at leisure.” I don’t think there is a procedure for uncanonization. So, in the future, let us move slowly.