Europe

Two former Popes on fast track for sainthood

Two former Popes on fast track for sainthood
File photo of Pope John Paul II. Photo: AP
Published: July 6, 4:02 AM

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis yesterday cleared Pope John Paul II, who became Pope in 1978, for sainthood, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession and setting up a remarkable dual canonisation along with that of another beloved Pope, John XXIII.

In a major demonstration of his papal authority, Pope Francis decided to make John XXIII a saint even though the Vatican has not confirmed a second miracle attributed to his intercession.

La Razon, a Spanish Catholic newspaper, reported that Costa Rican Floribeth Mora’s cerebral aneurism was inexplicably cured on May 1, 2011 — the day of John Paul’s beatification.

The then Pope, Benedict XVI, dispensed with the traditional five-year wait and allowed the beatification process for John Paul to begin weeks after his April 2, 2005, death. There remains some concern that the process has been too quick. Some of the Holy See’s deep-seated problems — clerical sex abuse, dysfunctional governance and the financial scandals at the Vatican bank — essentially date from shortcomings of his pontificate.

By canonising John Paul along with John XXIII, the Vatican could be seeking to assuage concerns about John Paul’s fast-track sainthood case by tying it together with the 50-year wait since the death of John XXIII, who assembled the liberalising Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

Such was the case in 2000, when John Paul beatified John XXIII (1958-1963) , dubbed the “Good Pope”, alongside Pope Pius IX, who was criticised by Jews for allegedly referring to Jews as dogs. AP