Possible miracle attributed to Ven. John Paul II

From the blog of the intrepid Andrea Tornielli comes this note about the possible approval of a miraculous healing through the intercession of Ven. John Paul II:

In Il Giornale today there was published the news of the upcoming apporoval, on the part of the “medical team” of the Congregaton of the Causes of Saints, of a miracle attributed to the intercession of John Paul II, the healing of a French sister with Parkinson’s.

In additon to approval by the medical specialists, the dossier on the miracle (positio super miro), was also approved by the theologians before the end of 2010.  In these last days the folder describing the healing came to the cardinals and bishops called to give their final judgment before it is presente to Benedict XVI.

The plenary meeeting of cardinals is foreseen for the middle of this month.  If they also, as is foreseeable, approve the positio on the miracle, Angelo Card. Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, could go to the Pope to ask him for the promulgation of the decree for the recognition of the miracle.  As you may remember, Benedict XVI on 19 December 2009, already approved the heroic virtues of John Paul II.  At that point, the beatification of Papa Wojtyla will be only a question of the date.. It is still possible that this would happen next summer, or it could even be in October.?

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22 Responses to Possible miracle attributed to Ven. John Paul II

  1. I pray sooner rather than later! The Venerable Servant of God was one of the significant influences to my swimming the Tiber. I’ve never regretted it and never looked back!

  2. Geoffrey says:

    I pray sooner as well, though a very small part of me hopes for later for a very selfish reason: I want to go to Rome for the beatification and can’t right now!

    Ioannes Paule Magne, ora pro nobis!

  3. Dr. Eric says:

    Santo Subito!

    I think it is very touching that his intercession helped cure a nun suffering from the very debilitating disease he publicly suffered from for the last decade of his life.

  4. restoration says:

    Slow down please! It will take decades to unpack his pontificate – both the good and the bad. Why the rush to canonize this man? There remain serious questions about the great damage that occurred in the Church under his watch and at times by his direct action.

  5. Andrew says:

    Restoration, John Paul II received a decree of heroic virtues in December 2009. So that means this element of the investigation of his sanctity, is already concluded,

    Now, the Church is awaiting the miraculous evidence in support of this, and it does look like the beatification miracle has been obtained. We await the Church’s judgment on this.

    Regarding John Paul’s role in some of the problems you mention, it may indeed be discovered, that there were some areas under his aegis, that he may have been handled better. This however, does not impinge on the matter of his personal sanctity, the theological virtues of faith, hope & charity; and the cardinal virtues of justice, temperance, prudence & fortitude.

    When commenting on the controversy over the acceptance of the heroic virtues of Pius XII at the same time (because of the widespread, and I say unfounded opinion hat he didn’t do enough to help the Jews) Vatican Press spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ had this to say,

    “When the Pope signs a decree “on the heroic virtues” of a Servant of God — i.e., of a person for whom a cause for beatification has been introduced — he confirms the positive evaluation already voted upon by the Congregation for Saints’ Causes (after an attentive review of writings and testimonies) regarding the fact that the candidate has eminently lived Christian virtue and manifested his faith, hope and charity to a degree higher that than which is normally expected of the faithful. Because of this, he can be proposed as a model of Christian life for the people of God.

    “Naturally, such evaluation takes account of the circumstances in which the person lived, and hence it is necessary to examine the question from a historical standpoint, but the evaluation essentially concerns the witness of Christian life that the person showed (his intense relationship with God and continuous search for evangelical perfection — as the Pope said last Saturday in his address to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes) and not the historical impact of all his operative decisions.”

    “At the beatification of Pope John XXIII and of Pope Pius IX, John Paul II said: “Holiness lives in history and no saint has escaped the limits and conditioning which are part of our human nature. In beatifying one of her sons, the Church does not celebrate the specific historical decisions he may have made, but rather points to him as someone to be imitated and venerated because of his virtues, in praise of the divine grace which shines resplendently in them.”

    “There is, then, no intention in any way to limit discussion concerning the concrete choices made by Pius XII in the situation in which he lived. For her part, the Church affirms that these choices were made with the pure intention of carrying out the Pontiff’s service of exalted and dramatic responsibility to the best of his abilities.”

    Exactly the same words could be applied to John Paul II in evaluating whether the choices that he made as Pope, were always constructive, and had the best impact on the life of the faithful. Even if it would be discovered, that he made errors of judgment here, that still does not impact on the question of his personal holiness, and his desire to serve the Church faithfully. So the debate over John Paul II’s role in the life of the post-Conciliar church will continue, and with its blessing.

    For those of us who like reading WDTPRS, we might appreciate that the late Pontiff didn’t accomplish all that needed to be done in the liturgical life of the Church, but as George Weigel and other authors have noted, he most certainly opened the door for this, allowing his successors to bring this new reform movement to fruition, a situation that was in complete abeyance, after the deaths of Paul VI and John Paul I, in 1978. And of course, we still have some way to go here too.

    But nothing can change the specter of the smiling Polish Pope who through his numerous travels throughout the world, made the Catholic religion, a subject of topical interest again, when it was widely thought its time had past.

    I repeat with many of the people who were present at John Paul’s funeral, SANTO SUBITO.

    In the early centuries of the Church, that would have been enough to get somebody canonized, and some saints we venerate in the Roman Canon, were acclaimed in such a manner.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    Well said, Andrew! Especially: “we might appreciate that the late Pontiff didn’t accomplish all that needed to be done in the liturgical life of the Church, but as George Weigel and other authors have noted, he most certainly opened the door for this, allowing his successors to bring this new reform movement to fruition…”

    Notice that ‘Redemptionis Sacramentum’ came out towards the end of his pontificate, his last encyclical was about the Eucharist, and he announced the Year of the Eucharist.

  7. NCtrad says:

    The damage that occurred under his watch is almost beyond measure. This is a case where the Devil’s Advocate served an important use. From Assisi 1 and 2 to his disastrous episcopal appointments to the hyper-ecumenism, to the virtual collapse of the Faith World-wide; we really need to slow down and take an objective and critical view of his 26 years. The personality cult that has developed around him needs to be tempered.

  8. JonM says:

    NCTrad offers a sober, compact response to the hysteria surrounding the cause for canonization of Pope John Paul II.

    I would add that a share of responsibility for the satanic abuse by some in the Priesthood does rest with the late pontiff. To what degree, it remains unclear that only years of research and meditation will illuminate.

    However, we do know of his fondness of and unusual closeness to one charismatic viper in particular; I am hard pressed to see how John Paul II could have any legitimate excuse to avoid convening an investigation of the founder of the Legionaries.

    St. Thomas Beckett, who was murdered in a Cathedral while saying Vespers after enduring years of exile for the sake of basic Church rights, was not canonized for some years. Yet, in our modern times, there is a pell-mell rush to churn out post-Vatican II Saints such as John Paul II and Mother Teresa despite rather complicating factors.

    I believe part of this is a step backward in the concept of sainthood, indeed almost a slide to neopagan deification of men.

    Declared Saints ought not simply be those who the Church confirms are enjoying Heaven; rather, a candidate for canonization should unambiguously be a model of Jesus Christ given the subject’s station and time.

    In addition, in terms of true ecumenism, canonization of John Paul II would further affirm for evangelical hardliners that the Catholic Church is an abomination, a false Church, etc. etc. This is so John Paul II’s categorically bizarre inculturation and many foggy statements that seem to de-emphasize the necessity of Christ in the case of any saved souls.

  9. JonM

    Just as a point of clarification: Becket was canonized within three years.

  10. I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll say it here. Pope St. Celestine V probably did more damage to the Church with his papacy and abdication than we can possibly measure, but nobody denied that he lacked heroic virtue. And he founded an order, so he should have had better administrative skills than all that. It may even be that he was right, and that God did call him to abdicate the papacy and be viciously treated by his enemies. But either way, everybody knew he was a saint.

    We don’t have to be perfect; we don’t have to be effective. We can even be totally flippin’ idiots with no common sense, though obviously reason is a good thing. And no doubt God could show us where all the greatest and wisest of saints were idiots who misused their opportunities. “Good and holy” and “fool and loser” are not antonyms.

    So I don’t think this argument against our late pope’s sanctity cuts any ice, whether you like him or not. Certainly he paid for his mistakes and failings with his patience while suffering a Purgatory on earth; that ought to satisfy even the most exacting critic. As for the rest, I don’t think you could see a purer example of “vox populi, vox Dei” than what happened at his death.

  11. Sam Urfer says:

    Honestly, it is the contradictory complaints against the late pontiff which seem to be the strongest argument for his canonization. For every cry of what a liberal/progressive/modernist/ecumenical/anti-tradition figure he was advancing the agenda of Vatican II, I can find someone saying that he was a conservative/reactionary/medieval/exclusvist/anti-progress Pope, a major step back from the “Spirit of Vatican II”. He seems to be simultaneously the most progressive Pope ever in the minds of some traditionalists, and the most reactionary Pope of the 20th century to some progressives. This tells me that he was probably doing something right, if the declaration of heroic virtue from the Church wasn’t enough. I do not call “Santo Subito” myself, but it does seem to be the judgement of the Church, in both the hierarchy and the sense of the faithful.

  12. MWP says:

    JonM wrote:

    “In addition, in terms of true ecumenism, canonization of John Paul II would further affirm for evangelical hardliners that the Catholic Church is an abomination, a false Church, etc. etc.”

    So should the Church take the advice of “evangelical hardliners” in terms of whom She should beatify?

    NCTrad wrote:

    “The personality cult that has developed around him [i.e. pope John Paul II] needs to be tempered.”

    My curiosity was piqued by the term “personality cult”. As far as I’m aware it was Stalin who was charged by Khruschev in 1956 with creating a “personality cult”. I’m curious as to how that charge can relate to the Church and John Paul II.

    If images are implied, then to some individuals even the picture of pope Benedict XVI on Fr.Z’s blog could be evidence of a “personality cult”.

    On another note, a similar accusation was raised frequently by protestants since the reformation. The protestants ridiculed the popes as vain figures mainly concerned with pomp and circumstance (and Catholics were “idolatrous” of course when they kneeled before the Pope or called him “Holy Father”). So it’s hardly a new thing to say, to put it mildly. True, not many pre- or post-Tridentine popes were beatified or canonized, but I do discern a protestant note in what you’re saying about John Paul II there, am I correct?

  13. NCtrad says:

    Sam Urfer-

    The problem is that the paradigm has shifted. Neo-Catholics call JPII a conservative because he held an orthodox line on social ills of the day: abortion, homosexuality and matters such as ordaining women. But these things are not the measure of a great pope. As a matter of fact, what else would you expect a pope to say? Unfortunately JPII allowed abuse and novelty to reign in his 26 years on the throne of Peter. Can anyone here or anywhere imagine ANY pre-conciliar pope confirming pagans in their false religion, kissing “holy” books of false religion that promulgate blasphemy, leading abominations such as World Youth Day etc? The simple fact is that JPII engaged in behaviour and made public statements that would have made his saintly predecessors tremble. JPII was an affable individual with charisma and knew how to work a crowd. On matters of solidly and clearly defending and proclaiming the Truth of the Catholic Faith, he fell well short.

    I hope and pray that JPII is a saint in heaven. But the cries for instant canonization and calling him “the Great” are simply not rational based on the objective fruits of his pontificate. I wonder if St. Pius X lived today if he would be as popular in the media as JPII was…

  14. Dr. Eric says:

    Honestly, all Saints are made Saints by first having a cult of personality surrounding them. Otherwise, no one would think them worthy of Canonization.

    JonM writes: “I believe part of this is a step backward in the concept of sainthood, indeed almost a slide to neopagan deification of men.”

    I think I’m correct here in that Canonizations are Infallible Acts and if it could be proven that a Pope erred in a Canonization, then the whole structure of Catholicism falls.

  15. cyejbv says:

    NCtrad says:
    5 January 2011 at 3:22 pm
    //I hope and pray that JPII is a saint in heaven. But the cries for instant canonization and calling him “the Great” are simply not rational based on the objective fruits of his pontificate. I wonder if St. Pius X lived today if he would be as popular in the media as JPII was…//

    I’m too smart for many Catholic blogs out there and too dumb for Fr Z’s but the two cents in this hod tenders pocket are being proffered anyway. I cannot let your assertion that it isn’t rational to bestow the title ‘the Great’ on PJPII stand. Faith isn’t all that rational, but that’s not my point.

    That he was affable, and had charisma is a needed characteristic for any leader who would be great. Beyond that, my opinion (from emotion in part, yes, which is not rational– but the opinions we have are also because we can think. Not solely formed from the warm n fuzzies) is that his goodness was such that the evil around him almost didn’t register.
    I know I will be lambasted for how simplistic that sounds to some readers, but in the Love of Christ I proclaim that I don’t care… And I will tell all why in a minute.

    Moreover, were PJPII lacking charisma I don’t know that I would be a Catholic. I’m not going into details but what that means for me personally- just one lost sheep, no wait- one sheep running away on purpose– is that a handful of people I love very much wouldn’t be Catholic.
    Yes, kissing the Koran or whatever registers as ‘huh?! Why would he do that?’ But messing up on a personal level for whatever reason has beleaguered many of Peter’s successors, and let us not forget that St Peter himself initially had a very casual relationship with the truth: Thrice denial of knowing Our Lord was it not?

    Anyway the theologian /Latin speakin’ /dissertation writing- alley is one up which I have no business being, but I could not read idly by without disagreeing.
    Pax.

  16. NCtrad says:

    cyejbc-

    Thank you for your response. Listen; my point and objective here isn’t to make JPII out to be a horrible person or claim that he did no good or judge his soul. Far from this. However charisma and earthly leadership skills are not the first responsibility of the Vicar of Christ. The pope is to boldly, clearly and fearlessly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a fallen world. JPII both directly and indirectly through his actions and statements caused confusion and scandal to the faithful by publicly praying with pagans and encouraging false and blasphemous worship. These things cannot be papered over.

  17. Geoffrey says:

    “He seems to be simultaneously the most progressive Pope ever in the minds of some traditionalists, and the most reactionary Pope of the 20th century to some progressives. This tells me that he was probably doing something right… ”

    Exactly right!

    Also, regarding the kissing of the Koran: I once heard that it was a Polish custom to kiss a gift upon receiving it. I’ve heard some Polish people confirm this, and other deny it. Just this holiday season I was watching the classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Remember the scene when the Italian family (Martin) moves to their own home? George Baily and his wife Mary give them gifts (bread, wine, and something else). The Italian couple kiss each item as they receive it and make the sign of the cross in thanksgiving.

    Personally, I think Venerable Pope John Paul the Great did it as (1) a European custom of kissing a gift and/or (2) diplomacy. Either way, it’s a minor matter that only seems to shake the faith of Mel Gibson’s father and the like.

  18. JonM says:

    Just as a point of clarification: Becket was canonized within three years.

    Yes, three years for a man who was manifestly saintly to the point of embracing a brutal martyrdom.

    I think this highlights the extreme care that used to be exercised in canonization.

    I think I’m correct here in that Canonizations are Infallible Acts and if it could be proven that a Pope erred in a Canonization, then the whole structure of Catholicism falls.

    My understanding is that souls judged by the Holy Father and declared by him as Saints are, infallibly, saints. That is why it is so important that ‘the best of the best’ merit canonization. Otherwise, people will pattern themselves after, by and large, the easy and more comfortable qualities (ex., notions that hell is not really a place but a state of mind.)

    Before I continue though, I have to chime in that invariably any criticism of John Paul II is met with the suggestion that said critics are full of vitriol: In American vernacular, we are just hatin’.

    If I may chip away at this paradigm, one could appreciate the positive acts and actions of a person, but still be of the opinion that he does not rise to the level of some title, office, or award. Perhaps decades of relative easy living has helped foment this idea that frank criticism is just a case of being a meanie.

    @MWP,

    Far from taking orders from non-Catholics, I am suggesting some consistency in our time of gross ecumenism. Anti-Catholic Evangelicals trot out the argument that the Church is really just about Italian princes fighting over spoils of the world while using a veneer of Christ. Or, many suggest the the Church is a false prophet altogether; an organ of the devil.

    When a Pope says very odd things about salvation, Heaven, Hell, etc., these spirited believers only sink deeper in their heresy. Thus, the reunification of active sects becomes less and less likely. This deeply wounds our Lord.

    Also, it is worth noting that JPII is adored by throngs of cultural Catholics (previously known as apostates) clearly not because he spoke vigorously of the need for following Humanae Vitae or face excommunication, for example.

    It is not a matter of bad judgment here or there. Rather, there has been since the 1960s an acceleration in embracing the world’s values by stripping away centuries of organic Catholic development. Novelties that would have been unthinkable in the time of Pius XII became normal from the 1980s onward (yes, I know that Biblical criticism and the terrible Holy Week revisions set the stage for ‘off the rails’ Modernism began in the 1950s. Discussion for a different time.)

  19. cyejbv says:

    First forgive me that I have no idea how to do the yellow and type the white…. but I did just make myself laugh. hehe. Thank you for your thoughtful response NCtrad. Second, sorry Fr Z if this is below par; I am conscientious about raising the level… I do think then post, I just don’t know how efficacious I am just yet. I humbly accept editing. Or deletion if it lowers the level.

    NCtrad says:
    5 January 2011 at 4:55 pm
    //…. However charisma and earthly leadership skills are not the first responsibility of the Vicar of Christ.//
    —True. I agree totally. I didn’t mean to imply his kind face gave him a pass from his obligations.

    //The pope is to boldly, clearly and fearlessly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a fallen world. //
    —Agreed twice over. But. His fearless and SPX’s fearless don’t have to be- can’t be – the same. This is too much of a rabbit hole to really address. I will say I thought the comparison of ‘how popular would he be’ was sort of unfair. Plus a bit on the logically fallacious side.

    Mostly, some of the posts (not aiming at you NC) looked gratuitously bold; I am uneasy with it, because: what it is people are trying to accomplish? Make double sure that the Church is indefectible, She might fall if everyone isn’t aware of what needs to be considered prior to canonization? Good night, I live in a state with about 8 Catholics, there is enough dissension and plenty out who “hate” RCC. So I had a bug as per the lack of respect amongst ourselves when there are plenty who will stir it up for us.
    I met an Italian priest once who gave me an intersting viewpoint of Americans that I had never even considered–I didn’t have the eyes to see it, b/c I was born and raised here. So maybe I have convert eyes that love PJP2 because he was an influence which helped get me here. That unity and loyalty was just a non issue irked me on both of the above counts. Plus, we say whatever we want, whenever we want don’t we? (again, NC… not aimed u :)

    St Teresa of Avila, who I don’t know, maybe theres a dossier on her about secret modern tendencies and I don’t dare quote her, said that since Christs hands are no longer on earth ours should do His work- same for His feet, etc and I really didn’t see that. Not really. Please please forgive me if this sounds sarcastic, with posting/texting etc it’s tough to convey emotion I do not intend sarcasm.
    And seemed to be more interest in spouting knowledge than, well. Anything.

    There is a saying in our (as in spouse and myself) business: ‘When your knowledge replaces your enthusiasm and love for what you’re doing, you’re finished.’ JPJ 2 didn’t make off the cuff ex-cathedra pronouncements, rather he made mistakes as a human being. I don’t know what personal mistakes SPX made, but information gathering and transmittal was alot more difficult then than it is now, there were no blogs to dissect what he did or didn’t do.
    Moreover, Bono wasn’t even alive then.

    We are so informed and aware and busy either googling Canon law/ whatever section yep there it is, or blowing the dust off of our 200 year old copies to look something up, that to me it looks more like a contest to impress with This Knowledge of How to Be Catholic The Right Way more than it looks like the Church.

    Finally:
    //JPII both directly and indirectly through his actions and statements caused confusion and scandal to the faithful by publicly praying with pagans and encouraging false and blasphemous worship. These things cannot be papered over.//
    —I don’t know enough about this to say anything of value, though I understand what you mean. People see him do x thus thinking x is ok. Identification like that is exactly why we do not have TV.

    But still, I’m Catholic now.

    I cant say if it was In Spite of some of what JP2 did or Because of some of what he did, but the grace of the Holy Spirit worked through him for me. In the same way that every parent thinks their kid is the best, I don’t know how to budge on PJP2.

    I saw the koala pictures and the photos with Bono and the Koran thing… but, and this was long prior to my conversion, I saw him pray too. It was mesmerizing.
    And NOW lookit: I am Mantilla hunting and found a TLM a few hours away from my home. (!!)

    I hope that sort of makes sense. I understand what you are all saying more clearly, and special thanks NCtrad to you: I appreciate your charity, and your kindness in my irritableness.
    Father Z, thanks for the blog. Sorry for rantmbling.

    Sincere Thanks.

  20. Centristian says:

    Alas, the irony is that John Paul II, having canonized in the course of his pontificate more saints than all his predecessors combined, managed to so completely dilute the importance of canonization so that it has about as much meaning today as a People’s Choice Award.

    Might not that mania of John Paul’s, itself, be something that might cause the Cause to want to take their time examining his life and legacy? Let’s be honest, it was weird that one pope should canonize so many saints. Very weird. And, in my opinion, it diminsihed the process and the title.

    The modern church’s inexplicable need for the instant canonization of celebrity Catholics makes me uncomfortable, because it seems to turn the entire institution into little more than an elaborate popularity contest. What’s next? Adding the canonization formula to the Rite of Christian Funerals?

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    I also think that we should wait. On the one hand, it’s important that celebrity issues pass and there is time to really look at the candidate’s life; on the other hand, if he is a saint, what could possibly be lost by waiting? It’s not like sainthood has an expiration date, or anything. If he’s a saint, then he’ll still be a saint 5, 10, 15 years from now. I say wait until we’re sure. This instant having to have something the minute you think of it is bad.

  22. catholicmidwest says:

    NC Trad,
    There was a strong personality cult around PJP2. It’s one of the reasons that the church would be wise to wait.