In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, said that like many people in the world, the Holy See hopes the beatification of John Paul II will occur “as soon as possible” but that the normal process would be followed.
With the third anniversary of the late Pontiff’s death just a week away, Cardinal Saraiva reminisced about the events of those days. “We all remember the day of Pope Wojtyla’s funeral. We remember the shouts of ‘Santo subito!’ ‘Sainthood now!’ That phrase, that cry in St. Peter’s Square expressed what people were thinking. It meant that John Paul II genuinely had a true reputation for holiness among the faithful. And we know that is essential in the process of beatification,” he explained.
“If that reputation for holiness did not exist, a cause for beatification could not even begin,” Cardinal Saraiva stressed, noting that the process goes through a series of phases.
“Each process has two fundamental phases. One diocesan—local—and the other what we call ‘Roman,’ at the level of the Holy See. The diocesan phase was concluded on April 2 last year. Once the diocesan phase is closed, the Roman phase is opened immediately without delay, with the official handing over of all the documentation gathered during the diocesan phase to my dicastery.”
“Once this documentation is received, we immediately approve a postulator for the Roman phase, who is the same postulator that was in charge of the diocesan phase. We also appoint a relator who, guided by the postulator, puts together the so-called ‘positio,’ which is a collection of all the documents organized in a systematic and organic fashion. This ‘positio’ is printed out and is studied by the collegiate bodies of the dicastery,” the cardinal said.
“The postulator of the cause for beatification of John Paul II is the one drafting the ‘positio’,” Cardinal Saraiva continued, noting that it could consist of volumes of documentation. “It doesn’t depend on the dicastery, but rather on the time the postulator needs to finish his work. I don’t know how many months, a year…I don’t know and maybe he doesn’t either,” he said.
“What I can assure you is that once we receive the ‘positio’ we will study it immediately without delay. Because the dicastery certainly wants John Paul II to be raised to the altars as soon as possible and to be called ‘Blessed,’ responding thus to the cries in St. Peter’s of ‘Sainthood Now’.”