By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Vatican has confirmed that the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has given its approval for the beatification process of Pope John Paul II to proceed.
According to ABC News, Vatican sources have confirmed that a meeting took place at the Vatican on Monday in which the Congregation approved the file containing evidence of the late pontiff’s heroic virtue. Their recommendation was then sent to Pope Benedict XVI who will sign a decree which declares Pope John Paul II to be “venerable.”
Once this has been done, medical and theological commissions will meet to confirm the miraculous healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s which has been attributed to the intercession of Pope John Paul II. If this miracle is approved, he can be beatified. Another miracle will be required before he can be canonized.
The process for the canonization of Pope John Paul II was fast-tracked by Pope Benedict who waived the normal five year waiting period before a person’s cause can be opened.
Speculation is that the decree declaring Pope John Paul venerable will not be announced before mid-December, with a decision concerning the miracle to come no earlier than March, 2010. This would dispel the rumor that the beatification ceremony will take place in April 2010, which would be five years after his death. Because Easter falls in April next year, it is highly doubtful that the Church will conduct such a high-profile beatification during such a busy time in the liturgical calendar.
The beatification is expected to draw millions to Rome where the city council is already discussing plans about how to best accommodate so many visitors.
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