Vatican panel clears John Paul II for sainthood
posted at 12:51 pm on July 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
My wife and I attended the beatification, if one can define “attended” as “got within sight of the Vatican Wall.” The Vatican may have another massive celebration of Blessed John Paul in the next few months, as a panel has green-lighted the final step of canonization:
Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the final approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said Tuesday.
The ANSA news agency reported that a commission of cardinals and bishops met Tuesday to consider John Paul’s case and signed off on it. A Vatican official confirmed that the decision had been taken some time back and that Tuesday’s meeting was essentially a formality.
One possible canonization date is Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a major feast day for the Catholic Church. This year the feast coincidentally falls on a Sunday, which is when canonizations usually occur.
In fact, there may be two Popes canonized that day. John XXIII, who launched the Second Vatican Council and breathed new life into Catholic evangelization, has waited 50 years for his canonization, and the Associated Press notes that the Vatican often likes to pair Popes for canonization:
But the Vatican in the past has sought to balance concerns about papal saints by giving two the honor at the same time. Such was the case in 2000, when John Paul beatified John XXIII, dubbed the “good pope,” alongside Pope Pius IX, who confined Jews to Rome’s ghetto, condoned the seizure of a Jewish boy and allegedly referred to Jews as dogs.
By canonizing John Paul II along with John XXIII, the Vatican could be seeking to assuage concerns about John Paul’s fast-track sainthood case by tying it together with the 50-year wait John XXIII has had to endure.
The Vatican has not yet confirmed this report, but expect plenty of celebration from Catholics when they do — for both John Paul II and John XXIII.