John Paul II to be canonized on April 27th?
posted at 9:08 am on September 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
According to National Catholic Register, the date comes from Pope Francis’ own lips, although the Vatican stopped short of confirming the date. The official timetable will be announced at the end of the month, but the previously-assumed December date turned out to have logistical difficulties for the most enthusiastic pilgrims likely to attend the ceremony for the Polish Pope:
A reliably informed source close to the Vatican asked Pope Francis about the date recently, to which the Pope replied with a laugh: “I can tell you now if you like. It will be April 27.”
“I was surprised by his frankness, but he took a step back, laughed and then told me the date,” the source said. “He was surrounded by top officials who didn’t seem to mind.”
April 27th, 2014 is Divine Mercy Sunday, officially approved by John Paul II in 2000, so this date makes more sense than the December date that had originally been assumed. That timing would have made it problematic for Polish pilgrims, too:
During a papal press conference on his return from Rio de Janeiro July 28, Pope Francis said both popes will be canonized “together,” but said it was unlikely the canonizations would take place during the autumn or winter, as many Poles will be traveling to Rome by bus, and the roads are already icy in Poland and parts of Europe in December. “I think the date needs to be rethought,” he said.
The Vatican issued a non-denial denial, or perhaps a non-confirmation confirmation:
Asked on Sept. 3 if he could confirm the date, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Register: “The consistory is held precisely in order to establish and announce the date publicly, so I don’t think it’s correct to say that the thing is already decided. If it isn’t, we should save ourselves for the consistory.”
But he added: “We can say that it is very likely, given that the Pope made an explicit reference to this date (Divine Mercy Sunday) in the interview on the return flight from Rio, saying that he realized that, in winter, it would be difficult for pilgrims from Poland and countries of Central and Northern Europe to attend, and so it was better to postpone until the spring.”
Pope John XXIII will be canonized in the same ceremony, whenever it takes place.