Statement on the Canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII

July 5, 2013

It's exciting to hear that the canonization of Blessed John Paul will move forward. As pope, John Paul II demonstrated deep faith, great love for all of humanity, and a dynamic energy that helped him share the good news of Jesus Christ to people of all ages around the world. He continues to serve as an inspiration to Catholics and members of other faiths too – as Pope John Paul II always reminded us, "be not afraid."

At the same time, we are also delighted to hear of the canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII. Known for his humble demeanor and great smile, he approached his five year Pontificate with a great sense of history and genuine commitment to renewal of the Church. Many have likened Pope John XXIII to that of Pope Francis. Pope John XXIII also called for Vatican II. He did not live to see the end of the Council, but the legacy is that of a Church that was emboldened to greater engagement with the modern world and proclamation of the faith.

I encourage the faithful and all people of good will to look to the lives of saints as examples of how to live our discipleship in Christ Jesus.