.- In his efforts to make events at the Vatican less “Pope-centered”, Pope Benedict XVI has decided that he will not preside at beatifications, reported the Honolulu Advertiser. In effect, the Vatican is returning to the tradition of having cardinals—not the Pope—preside over beatifications.
The news came in relation to the beatification of American Mother Marianne Cope, which was rescheduled by the Vatican to May 15.
Sr. Mary Laurence Hanley of the New York-based Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order of Syracuse confirmed that the Pope would not preside over the beatification ceremony. About 40 people from Hawaii and 90 others from Syracuse will attend the beatification.
"The idea of the Holy Father doing beatifications started 40 years ago but it was traditional for cardinals to do it. I think reverting back to tradition is good," Sr. Hanley told the Honolulu Advertiser.
The Pope, however, may meet with the pilgrims traveling to Rome for the beatification and venerate the relics of those being beatified, said Sr. Hanley, who led the process for Mother Marianne’s beatification.
Mother Marianne, born as Barbara Koob, served the patients at Kalaupapa for 35 years until her death in 1918 at age 80. In December 2004, Pope John Paul II accepted a report of a miracle attributed to Mother Marianne's intervention. Her beatification was announced Feb. 23