Pope John Paul II - Fast Track to Sainthood
ROME - Pope Benedict XVI announced on Friday to priests in Rome at St. Johnís Basilica that he had eliminated the five-year waiting period and streamlined Pope John Paul IIís road to possible sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
Sustained applause followed his comments in Latin, the official language of the Church. Our Holy Father then joked that there was no need to repeat it in Italian since they all understood.
After John Paul's death on April 2, if normal rules had been applied, the beatification procedure would not have begun until 2010.
This decision was announced on the 24th anniversary of the assassination attempt against John Paul, means he could be beatified and so declared a "blessed of the Church" within a few years if a miracle can be attributed to his intercession.
At John Paul's funeral on April 8 the multitudes chanted "Santo Subito" (Make him a saint now!) and held up banners attesting to John Paul's saintly ways.
Pope John Paul II, himself broke many procedural rules in his nearly 27-year-long papacy, including when he granted a dispensation and let Mother Teresa's sainthood cause start only two years after her death. She was beatified in 2003.
The news was received with joy in Poland, where television stations flashed in on the bottoms of screens.
"I thank God the new Pope made this decision," said Father Wlodzimierz Lukowicz, a priest in Skawina, near John Paul's hometown of Wadowice in southern Poland. "John Paul was a model for all of us Poles, he showed us how to love in suffering."
Many of the people who knew or worked with John Paul are still alive. This could speed up the case significantly because witnesses would be available readily to testify.
In past centuries, the saint-making procedure has often been long, bureaucratic and expensive but many Catholics said John Paul's life of suffering and service was clear for all to see and that his holiness was an open and shut case.
The immense devotion John Paul received was made clear by the some 5 million people who either saw the pope's body or attended his funeral in less than a week in April.
By comparison, the shrine at Lourdes, France, where the Madonna is said to have appeared, gets 6 million pilgrims a year.
When the sainthood cause is formally begun by the cardinal of Rome, John Paul will have the title "Servant of God."
A "postulator" will then be appointed to help gather information from people who knew him and to seek evidence of holiness. A "relator" will be appointed to evaluate evidence and make a recommendation.
John Paul's sainthood process will move faster than others because it will be classified as a recent rather than ancient cause, bypassing the Vatican historical commission and moving directly to the theological commission.
If an initial investigation ends positively, Pope Benedict XVI will issue a decree recognizing his predecessor's "heroic virtues." John Paul will then get the title "venerable."
One miracle is required after John Paul's death for the cause to move on to beatification. The miracle must be the result of prayers asking the dead pope to intercede with God. Miracles are usually a physical healing which doctors are at a loss to explain. Another miracle would be necessary between beatification and eventual sainthood.
To read more about the call for Pope John Paul to be declared a Saint, read Beatification of John Paul II.
There is also a popular movement and a petition to sign to rename John Paul II - John Paul the Great! CLICK HERE!
For more information on Pope John Paul II in his own words, CLICK HERE - or to read what others have written about him, CLICK HERE!
Peter, the Pope and Infallibility
As we as a Catholic community mourn the death of Pope John Paul II, there are questions raised by Catholics and Non- Catholics about the Papacy and its institution. Peter, the Pope and Infallibility by Dr. Marcellino DíAmbrosio will help answer many of the questions that people may ask during this time of mourning. This CD (or AT) is 45 minutes in length and was given during Dr. DíAmbrosio pilgrimage to Rome.
CD - $8.00 Audio Tape - $7.00
Brand New - The Achiement of Pope John Paul II -
In a remarkable speech given in January of 2005, internationally known scholar and writer - and friend of Pope John Paul II - George Weigel eloquently lists and elaborates upon 10 enduring accomplishments of this great man.
CD - $8.00 DVD - $20.00