The beatification of Pope John Paul II could take place this year, according to the respected Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale.
Tornielli—who has been consistently accurate in predicting developments at the Vatican during the past few years—reports that a medical team appointed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has submitted a positive report on a miracle attributed to the intercession of the late Polish Pontiff. The reported miracle—the sudden healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s disease, the same illness that troubled Pope John Paul II—had already been thoroughly examined and approved by a panel of theologians, Tornielli notes.
If Tornielli’s report is accurate, the full membership of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints could discuss the reported miracle at their next plenary session, scheduled later this month. If the full Congregation accepts the validity the miracle, the case would then be presented to Pope Benedict XVI for final approval.
Last December, Pope Benedict approved a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints testifying that John Paul II led a life of “heroic virtue.” The approval of a miracle would fulfill the only remaining condition for his beatification. Thus Tornielli observes that John Paul II could be cleared for beatification less than 6 years after his death on April 2, 2005. Ordinarily, a cause for beatification cannot be opened until 5 years after the death of the candidate. But in this case Pope Benedict, responding to public acclaim for his deceased predecessor, waived the usual waiting period and allowed the immediate opening of the cause.
If the miracle gains final approval, the beatification ceremony would most likely be scheduled for October 201.