The Speedy Beatification of John Paul II

Source: FSSPX News

According to the Italian daily Il Giornale in his July 1 edition, a new step has been taken in the cause of beatification of John Paul II, before a commission of theologians from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, meeting at the Vatican on June 30, 2009. After a first meeting, which took place this past May 13, the theologians of this commission examined the positio of the beatification trial of Karol Wojtyla, a thick folder about the virtues of the candidate. A majority of them approved that the cause of the Polish pope should now move on to the next step, i.e., before a commission of cardinals and bishops, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

It is very likely that this examination will take place after the summer. It will be the last step before Benedict XVI may proclaim Karol Wojtyla “venerable”. Then will come the examination of the heroicity of the virtues and of the post mortem miracle before Benedict XVI takes the decision to beatify his predecessor.

Thus a majority, but not the unanimity of the theologians chose to make the beatification cause of the Polish pope move forward. The criticisms of some concerned the position; more precisely the lack of some documents, and contradictions in some of the testimonies. To these criticisms Il Giornale answered surprisingly enough: “It is obvious that if we had to wait until all the available, or still secret documentation had been studied, as it is the custom to do for future blessed, the cause of beatification would be considerably slowed down, and it would not be possible to reach the beatification in 2010.”

At the beginning of June, the Italian press had abundantly commented upon the publication, in Poland, of the unpublished letters written by John Paul II to one of his childhood friends, Wanda Poltawska. Soon published in Italian, 41 of these letters had been published in Poland this past February. But Wanda Poltawska, who kept correspondence with Karol Wojtyla for more than 50 years, might still have in her possession a suitcase containing several hundreds of letters, which she does not plan to publish before her death. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and former private secretary of the Polish pope, had lamented the decision of Wanda Poltawska to display these letters “on the market square”, deeming that it was a “private correspondence.”

However, at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a source close to the dossier confided to the Roman press agency I.Media that this correspondence was “not new information” and that it “did not have any influence upon the cause of beatification.” “It is about elements that were already known.” Benedict XVI had asked that this cause be a priority yet that it be dealt with seriously, nevertheless, it should not suffer any delay,” he also confided.

According to the former spokesman for the Vatican, Joaquin Navarro Valls, the conditions for the beatification of John Paul II might be met by the end of 2009. In an interview published in the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, on June 4, the man who was at the head of the Press Office of the Holy See during 22 years, deemed that “the care to be taken in the study of the integrity of the documents will require work, but the procedure goes on, it does not stop.” According to some Vatican observers, the Polish pope might thus be beatified in the Spring of 2010, 5 years after his death, within time limits even more exceptional than those granted for Mother Teresa of Calcutta, beatified 6 years after here demise in 1997. (Sources: APIC/Imedia/Zenit)