Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sainthood for John Paul II This Year?

The late Pope John Paul II could take a big step toward sainthood as early as this year, a longtime Vatican journalist reports.
He could be beatified in a service led by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican by the end of 2011 - an event that would be certain to draw hundreds of thousands of faithful.
Medical and theological experts have credited John Paul II with the healing of a nun whose order prayed to him after he died in 2005. Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre says she was cured of Parkinson's disease.
Photo from October 21, 2003 shows Pope John Paul II waving to 
the crowd as he arrives for an ordination ceremony.
A team of cardinals and bishops will examine the reputed miracle this month and pass their verdict to the pope.
If Benedict XVI confirms that it was a miracle, John Paul will be eligible to be beatified, the last step before sainthood.
Journalist Andrea Tornielli, who has covered the Vatican for many years, first reported the news Tuesday.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, and the Vatican office studying the case for John Paul's sainthood both refused to comment on the matter when questioned by CNN Wednesday.
But if the miracle is confirmed by the Catholic Church, John Paul II could be beatified as soon as April 2, the sixth anniversary of his death, Tornielli said.
That would be very fast in Vatican terms.
Other possible dates are May 18, John Paul's birthday, or October 16, the anniversary of the date he was elected pope in 1978, Tornielli said, suggesting the last date is most likely, to give the church time to prepare what will be an enormous event, even by the Vatican's standards.
By Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia, CNN

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