John Paul II's canonization progress remains confidential

The Vatican's continuing work on Blessed John Paul II's cause for sainthood cannot currently be made public, said the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

"We are working on it, it is going well, and various documents are coming into the Congregation for the Saints," Cardinal Angelo Amato said, responding to a flurry of media reports about an alleged miracle that would pave the way for the former Pope's canonization.

He told CNA that at the moment, no further information could be given about the alleged miracle, as his office must maintain "absolute confidentiality."

The cardinal's comments came during the presentation of a book on the Year of Faith at the Pontifical University of St. John Lateran in Rome.

He added that "many times a miracle must be discounted," as a number of complicated steps must be taken to verify any alleged miracle.

"It's not easy to be a saint," Cardinal Amato continued, as specific criteria must be met and the case must be subjected to numerous theological and medical evaluations.

The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints studies each case rigorously, to determine that no scientific explanation for the miracle is possible and that there is a direct relation to the intercession of the possible saint in question.

Regarding a possible miracle attributed to Blessed John Paul II, the postulator of the late pontiff's cause for canonization, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, told the Italian daily Avvenire several months ago that he reviews many possible miracles that could lead to the pope's canonization.

He said instances of alleged miracles have taken place in Poland, Italy, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

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