.- Two days ago the cardinals gathered in Rome stated the opening of the cause of beatification of Pope John Paul II would depend exclusively on his successor. In this context, the Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Archbishop Edward Nowak, said the eventual process would not take very long to complete. Archbishop Nowak told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that confirmation of a miracle attributed to John Paul II could come in as little as six months. The miracle must have occurred after the pontiff’s death.
He said the next Pope could wave the five year waiting period normally required before a beatification cause could be opened. John Paul II himself waved such a requirement for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
“The life a Pope unfolded before everyone’s eyes and the collection of documentation is easy. Everyone saw how he died, we have all been witnesses of his heroic virtue,” Archbishop Nowak said.
He also insisted that in order to be canonized, two miracles must be confirmed, but “if these miracles are so numerous and are taking place everyday, as we are hearing, it will not be difficult to verify them.”
One should not expect an “immediate proclamation,” but it could come after a period dedicated to the collection of “adequate documentation” based on “the reputation of holiness and on signs” that, according to the archbishop, could be settled in a matter of six months.
Archbishop Nowak recalled that popular acclaim is always the first step in canonization. By hearing about the “reputation” of the person in question, “the Church convenes witnesses, collects documentation and the testimony of people.”
“There are various norms today,” he said, “but the substance is always the same: it is not the Church that canonizes, but rather the people who recognize and bear witness to the holiness of a person.”