Green Room

Vatican panel clears John Paul II for sainthood

posted at 12:51 pm on July 2, 2013 by

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.

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He kissed a Koran.

Akzed on July 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The most interesting part of this story is John XXIII. The JPII story has been covered quite extensively but John XXIII was an unexpected and nice surprise. I wonder if this was just under the radar but moving along or if this was a personal decision on the Pope’s part. Pope Francis has a personal devotion to John XXIII who was the Pope when Jorge Bergoglio was discerning his vocation. And Francis really seems to want to model his own papacy on John XXIII. Plus it is good politics. John XXIII is getting a warm retrospective because of the fiftieth anniversary of his death and Vatican II while some of the warts of JPII’s papacy are being exposed (Maciel and the Legions of Christ.). I did think that Francis might have paired JPII’s canonization with another announcement but I was expecting Romero’s beatification as a martyr. But John XXIII makes more sense.

Awesome all around.. I got to see JPII at a vespers in Rome when was 15. We went to eat out after and JPII’s car passed by… It was very cool. I do have a greater attachment to a certain Argentine Jesuits but still very cool.

Illinidiva on July 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM

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:

I’m not so sure that the Second Vatican Council “breathed new life into Catholic evangelization”, since there was a huge decline in the number of priests ordained in Europe and America shortly after the Second Vatican Council. As a large number of priests ordained in the 1950′s (during Pius XII’s papacy) are now retiring or dying, the Church is having trouble replacing them.

Although most observers agree that the long and vibrant papacy of John Paul II did “breathe new life into Catholic evangelization”, the same cannot be said about the short papacy of John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council, which led to a sharp decline in Church membership.

Steve Z on July 2, 2013 at 4:06 PM

…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.

Good, unbiased information there.

Shump on July 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM