.- The Diocese of Rome has concluded its examination of the life and virtues of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General for the diocese, announced on Saturday that the important investigation had been concluded and will be marked by a ceremony at Rome’s Cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 2nd, the AP reports.
The study of those who are candidates for being declared “Blesseds” and Saints usually begins at a diocesan level before being passed on to a Vatican congregation which conducts its own study.
Whereas all Popes serve as the Bishop of Rome, the study of John Paul II’s life began both there and in Poland, where the young Karol Wojtyla grew up and served as a priest and bishop before being elected Pope. In January, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the late Pope’s longtime secretary and current Archbishop of Krakow announced that the Polish investigation was nearly complete.
Cardinal Ruini emphasized that diocesan officials investigated “the life, virtues and reputation for holiness” of the late Pope. During the diocesan inquiry, church officials interviewed those who knew the Pope and examined documentation.
Although the conclusions of diocesan investigations are only one step, they are an important one on the way to the beloved Pope’s eventual Beatification and Canonization as a Saint. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints must now conduct a similar investigation and verify miracles attributed to the intercession of Pope John Paul II.
Shortly after John Paul's death, with scores of faithful clamoring for quick canonization, Pope Benedict XVI, the Pontiff's successor, waived the customary five-year waiting period to open the case for possible sainthood.
According to the AP, in addition to the presentation of the Rome Diocese’s study at St. John Lateran, Pope Benedict will preside at a Mass in memory of John Paul in the late afternoon of April 2nd in St. Peter's Basilica. The date marks the 2nd anniversary of Pope John Paul’s death.