The postulator of Pope John Paul II’s cause of beatification has announced that the report documenting the heroic virtues of the Pope is nearly ready, according to a Monday announcement on the official website for the cause of the Pope’s beatification.
The announcement comes just two days before the third anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death.
The report is a necessary step in the beatification process.
Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the postulator of the Pope’s beatification cause, told Vatican Radio "In recent days, I have turned in a nearly definitive draft of the 'positio,' the report that collects all of the documents ordered in a systematic and organized way about his pontificate."
"We're dealing with some 2,000 pages that need to be edited, but that overall can be considered completed," he said.
Monsignor Oder said the relator of the cause, Father Daniel Ols, OP, at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, now must approve the official presentation after examining the material.
"For the time being, it's premature to announce a definitive date for the final turning in," Monsignor Oder said.
Cardinal José Saraiva Martíns, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said on March 25 to Vatican radio that he guaranteed the “positio” would be studied immediately “without losing a moment.”
“Obviously this dicastery desires that John Paul II arrives as soon as possible to the altars,” Cardinal Martíns said. He said the quick reaction to the report would be a response to the cries of “santo subito” from those at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
“Santo subito” means “sainthood now.”
“If that reputation for holiness did not exist, a cause for beatification could not even begin,” the cardinal said.
If the document is approved, Pope Benedict XVI could then issue a decree recognizing his predecessor’s heroic virtue. This would allow Pope John Paul II to be proclaimed venerable. To be beatified, a miracle would need to be attributed to his intercession.
Pope Benedict has already waived the five-year waiting period to consider a person’s cause for sainthood. The last case this waiting period was waived was that of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, whose cause was begun in 1999, only two years after her death. She was beatified in October, 2003.
Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass on April 2 to commemorate the third anniversary of Pope John Paul’s death.