During a visit to Spain this week, the postulator of Pope John Paul II’s cause for beatification noted that the process is currently at a crucial moment as miracles attributed to the late pontiff’s intercession are being investigated.
In an interview with the newspaper La Razon, Father Slawomir Oder said the process “has not been blocked” as some media reports have indicated. “The only thing I can say is that the canonical process must continue,” he said.
“We have reached the end of the first phase which deals with his heroism and virtues, and now we must initiate the process dealing with miracles. When it is finished, the Church will be able to lay out the process for his beatification,” the priest said.
Fr. Oder was visiting Spain to promote his new book, “Why He is a Saint.” The priest has been John Paul II’s postulator since 2005 and was a personal friend of the revered Pontiff.
“There are two paths to sainthood,” the priest explained. “One is through martyrdom,” and the other – the path John Paul II followed – is through “heroism of virtues, how that person lived. There must be the conviction that the person was a man of God and that opinion must be shared by most, expressed by the voice of the people that he lived in holiness.
“From there, a study on his life is carried out and his virtues are identified: faith, hope, charity, obedience, purity, humility.”
Fr. Oder recalled that he was always impressed by the pastoral dimension of John Paul II more than by his role in the politics of his time. “He always acted like who he was: a pastor concerned for his faithful. John Paul II was able to speak to the masses as if he was personally speaking to each person listening. He had great charism and ability to communicate,” the priest said.
He also confirmed that Pope John Paul II put in writing that he would resign as Pope if he were to be physically incapable of continuing, “in an exercise of prudence and responsibility. In this way he renewed his acceptance of the will of God and his total openness to Christ and to the Church.”
However, Fr. Oder noted, John Paul II “maintained his clarity and his ability to discern until the end.”