.- 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 pontiffâs 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.
âThe life a Pope unfolded before everyoneâs eyes and the collection of documentation is easy. Everyone saw how he died, we have all been witnesses of his heroic virtue,â Archbishop Nowak said.
He also insisted that in order to be canonized, two miracles must be confirmed, but âif these miracles are so numerous and are taking place everyday, as we are hearing, it will not be difficult to verify them.â
One should not expect an âimmediate proclamation,â but it could come after a period dedicated to the collection of âadequate documentationâ based on âthe reputation of holiness and on signsâ 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 âreputationâ of the person in question, âthe Church convenes witnesses, collects documentation and the testimony of people.â
âThere are various norms today,â he said, âbut 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.â