New pontiff to decide on beatification process for Pope John Paul

.- The start of the beatification process for Pope John Paul II is entirely up to the new Pope, said Vatican Press Office director Joaquin Navarro-Valls at an April 9 press conference.

During the funeral mass for the late pontiff, April 8, pilgrims spontaneously called on the Vatican to immediately open the process of beatification for Pope John Paul II and to raise him to the altar of the saints quickly. Several pilgrims held banners that read “Subito Santo” (Saint immediately) and thousands chanted “Santo! Santo!” (Saint! Saint!)

Several commentators have noted that the people’s call for Pope John Paul II’s canonization hearkens back to the early days of the Church, when saints were made by popular acclamation. Today, while John Paul II simplified the process in declaring a person a saint, the process is still quite long and elaborate, and it is overseen by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Since the funeral, said Navarro-Valls, he has received countless questions about the beatification process for John Paul II. This, he told journalists, is up to the new pontiff.

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