Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org/)
The process leading to the possible canonization of the Servant of God John Paul II may have taken a major step forward.
The funeral of Pope John Paul II was viewed throughout the world and captivated millions. His life changed the world, the Church and countless lives.
ROME (Catholic Online) - Andrea Tornielli is a frequently cited European Journalist whose reports have sometimes been later denied by the Vatican. He writes for Il Giornale and blogs on Giornale.it. His latest report is creating quite a stir globally, that Pope John Paul II will soon be beatified.
His claim was considered accurate by Catholic News Service (CNS) - and then picked up by other news sources - the “Congregation for the Causes of Saints” has recommended the late Servant of God John Paul II be declared “Blessed”. The CNS report noted that “The Vatican did not deny or confirm that the vote took place because the process is supposed to be secret until Pope Benedict signs the decree recognizing the heroic virtue of his predecessor and declares him venerable”.
The November 16, 2009 report which is the source for all of the other stories was entitled Pope John Paul II "Santo Subito" and was written by Andrea Tornielli in Italian. It is very roughly and very loosely translated below:
“Today is a decisive day. They meet this morning in the Vatican, cardinals and bishops, members of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, called to discuss and then to speak with a vote on the process of the beatification of John Paul II.
The outcome of these meetings can never be taken for granted and last-minute surprises are always possible, as has already happened before when the case was examined by theologians and experts. The need for a second examination was not because there were doubts about the sanctity of the Polish Pope, but because those investigating requested further documentation.
But everything suggests that the outcome will be positive and that the cardinals and bishops, members of what is called "the factory of saints" will make a decision after discussing this with each other. If so, the “Congregation for the Causes of Saints” will put its final approval on the process and recommend the proclamation of the 'heroic virtues "of Pope Wojtyla, which is the final step before the beatification itself.
Such a proclamation, to become effective, must be expressly approved and authorized by Pope Benedict XVI. It would be presented by the Prefect of the Congregation, Archbishop Angelo Amato to Pope Benedict XVI. The materials were prepared to submit for the decree in recent months and that meeting is expected to occur before the end of the year.
If, as expected, today's decision is positive, then by the end of 2009, Pope Benedict’s signature will be placed upon the decree proclaiming the heroic virtues of his predecessor. At that point, there will need only to be the approval of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Karol Wojtyla, one of the many miraculous healings reported after his death by people who turned to him.
The Polish-born prelate Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the postulator of the cause for beatification, has chosen the case of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, stricken with Parkinson's disease that prevented her from working in the maternity ward of a French hospital. She was cured suddenly and inexplicably, after the nuns prayed to the recently deceased pontiff.
It is still premature to suggest dates for the beatification but it could occur in Rome in 2010, in either May or October. It is expected that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will arrive in Rome, all devoted to Pope John Paul II. As you recall, Pope Benedict XVI, a few weeks after the election and upon the request being made by the Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, agreed to waive the waiting period of five years from the death that canon law establishes as necessary before starting the process of beatification. He thus made possible the immediate start of the case, as had happened a few years before to Mother Teresa of Calcutta.