Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone announced the milestone during his homily at Mass in the Belluno cathedral July 20.
The beatification process of John Paul I had been slowed because the “positio” had not been completed. The positio is the document that the postulator prepares, presenting the “pros” and “cons” of a person's possible beatification.
After the positio is submitted, theologian consultants to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and the Promoter of Faith, will vote on whether to approve the document for further consideration.
If they approve, the members of the congregation then will give their response. If they too approve, the cause for beatification will be referred to Pope Francis for approval.
John Paul I was born in the Diocese of Belluno and Feltre in 1912, as Albino Luciani. He was ordained a priest of the diocese in 1935, at the age of 22, and was appointed Bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958. He then served as Patriarch of Venice from 1969 until his election as Bishop of Rome in 1978.
He served as Pope for 33 days before his death, presumably of a heart attack.
Shortly after his death, requests to begin his beatification process came from many parts of the world. These requests were formalized in 1990, with a document signed by 226 Brazilian bishops.
The diocesan phase of the investigation, held in Belluno, was opened in 2003 and closed in 2006. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the documents of the diocesan investigation in 2008.
A miracle has already been attributed to the intercession of John Paul I: the 1992 healing of Giuseppe Denora, from the Diocese of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti. Denora was suddenly healed from a malignant tumor in the stomach after seeking the late Pope's intercession.
However, the reputed miracle still awaits the approval of both the council of doctors and the council of theologians who work for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
St. John Paul II declared his predecessor a Servant of God on Nov. 23, 2003. If his cause advances, he wil next be named “Venerable.”
Luciani's positio was expected to have been prepared for the centenary of his birth, but was delayed until now because members of the team advocating for his cause wanted to double-check all of the document.
In 2012, the postulator of the cause, Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, had submitted instead the witnesses' summary, the first of the four documents which make up a positio.
John Paul I’s beatification process is very close to Cardinal Bertone’s heart. The beatification cause had been promoted in 2002 by the cardinal’s close friend and fellow Salesian, Bishop Vincenzo Savio of Belluno-Feltre.
Bishop Savio died in 2004. Since then, fame of his own sanctity has spread to the degree that many have requested the opening of his canonization process.
“We will have to wait for something more for him,” Cardinal Bertone said to CNA.
A document advancing the beatification of John Paul I is ready, and will be given to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints this autumn, according to the emeritus Secretary of State.
Congregation for the Causes of Saints, John Paul I, Albino Luciani