The canonization of Vatican II continues: Paul VI beatification in October

I read today at Vatican Insider that the Congregation of the Causes of Saints has approved unanimously (what else) a miracle through the intercession of Ven. Paul VI.

I suppose now the only thing left to do is beatify the Pope everyone forgets to remember and the set will be complete… at least until the pool grows by one more.

This morning, cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave their final approval for the late Pope’s healing of an unborn child

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY
Giovanni Battista Montini’s beatification is near: this morning cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints unanimously approved the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Italian Pope from Brescia, who died in August 1978. The year which marked the canonization of two Popes – John XXIII and John Paul II – will also be the year of Paul VI’s beatification. In the next few days Pope Francis will be promulgating the decree on the miracle attributed to the late Pope and the date suggested for the actual beatification is 19 October. The beatification is expected to take place in Rome on the occasion of the concluding ceremony of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family: [HEY!  This is the canonization of HUMANAE VITAE too!] it was Paul VI himself who established the Synod in September 1965 in response to a request made by the Council fathers. [And what a day’s work that was.] It should be noted that next August will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Paul VI’s first big encyclical, the “Ecclesiam Suam”, which he wrote and edited entirely by himself.

The miracle attributed to the intercession of Paul VI was witnessed in the United States in 2001. It involved the healing of an unborn child, which was found to have serious problems and a high risk of brain damage: the foetus’ bladder was damaged and doctors reported ascites (presence of liquid in the abdomen) and anhydramnios (absence of fluid in the amniotic sac). All attempts to correct the problem proved futile and in the end the doctors said the child would either die in the womb or it would be born with severe renal impairment. Abortion was offered as an option but the mother refused. Instead, she took the advice given to her by a nun who was a friend of the family and had met Montini: she decided to pray for Paul VI’s intercession using a fragment of the Pope’s vestments which the nun had given her.

Ten weeks later the results of the medical tests showed a substantial improvement in the child’s health and it was born by Caesarean section in the 39th week of pregnancy. The case was presented to the former Postulator of the Cause, the Jesuit Paolo Molinari – who passed away last week – in Rome. Faith weekly Credere revealed that the diocesan inquiry was launched in 2003 and all witnesses agree that the case in question cannot be explained scientifically.

The child has made it to thirteen and his health is constantly monitored to ensure that his psychophysical state is normal. [Healing miracles have to be sudden, complete and lasting.] Doctors are especially keeping an eye on the child’s renal function. On 12 December last year the medical consultation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints headed by Professor Patrizio Polisca, confirmed the impossibility of explaining the healing and the dicastery’s theologians gave their approval last 18 February. [Along with the doctors’ and scientists’ statement that the healing can’t be explained, then theologians have to judge whether people were praying to Paul VI, and not, for example, to “Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the saints and holy angels, and St. Rita and St. Jude, and Paul VI, and Fulton Sheen and Pauline Jaricot and….] Benedict XVI promulgated Paul VI’s heroic virtues on 20 December 2012.

In honor of Paul VI, Pope Francis should, at the beatification, bring back the sedia gestatoria, far humbler than the expensive Popemobile and far greener.

If it was good enough for St. John XXIII and Bl. Paul VI, it is good enough for any Pope!

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45 Responses to The canonization of Vatican II continues: Paul VI beatification in October

  1. Legisperitus says:

    Personally, I would rather we were canonizing Humani Generis and Mediator Dei.

  2. robtbrown says:

    After the future Blessed Pope Francis beatifies Paul VI, maybe then he’ll turn his attention toward Pius XII.

  3. Now, now. Poor old Paul VI. Someone had to be Pope during that sticky period, and God thought that he was the best choice for the job.

    I’m sticking with God’s choice on this one.

  4. And I’m looking forward to Ven Pius XII being upgraded as well!

  5. Legisperitus says:

    Many men become Pope through God’s permissive will. Not the same as God’s choice.

  6. God moves in mysterious ways, and also writes straight with crooked lines.

    Or, if you prefer: ‘Whatever.’

  7. Vincent says:

    Well, this is astounding; it would be most unfair if Paul VI didn’t get something. After all, his wise leadership of the church was (at least in part) one of the reasons we’re in this mess… but he may have been blessed in many other ways.

    The question now is, what about JPI, everybody forgets him. And Benedict XVI, he’s falling behind on the canonisation stakes because he’s not dead yet…

    I jest. What is good about this is the obvious link to Humanae Vitae. That’s good. So long as they uphold his teaching…

  8. alanphipps says:

    I’d really like to see a Pope St. Leo XIII before Paul VI. What a holy man; why he is so often overlooked these days?

  9. Robbie says:

    I’d rather they just canonize VII and be done with it. Last summer, PF also said he was interested in the cause of JPI as well. So potentially we could end up with four pope saints in a row. Hmmm.

  10. Biedrik says:

    It bothers me that some people say that they’d prefer that such and such Pope have been canonized first, and that it’s a shame that some have been passed over. Same thing happened with Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII. Remember, these miracles come when God wills them too. They come on His time, not ours. Moreover, it also must happen that people specifically seek the intercession of that Pope, as Father has pointed out. A more recent Pope will of course be remembered by more people, and so more people will seek their intercession. Basically, be patient with the canonizations. God is the one who chooses when the miracles occur, so it is hard to predict whether or not one Pope will be canonized before another.

  11. Athelstan says:

    I was troubled by the canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II (and there were things I appreciated about both pontiffs), and how they came about, and why. But such as they are, I am far more troubled by this news that Paul VI – Paul VI! – will be beatified. But this day was sure to come once he was declared a Servant of God in 2012, a truly astonishing development, given the disaster that his pontificate was, and the many questions about his character.

    I am left to agree with what Fr. Ray Blake has said: There are so many conjectures about his private life, his friendships, those he allowed influence; there are so many questions which are unanswered, so many hints of scandal, of all the twentieth centuries popes Paul VI should be left to sleep quietly in his grave, with prayers of the faithful.

  12. Geoffrey says:

    “How do you know that God thought he was the best choice?”

    Whether or not Ven. Paul VI was the “best choice” from the perspective of man, he was indeed God’s choice.

    “If you consider well what you are within, you will not care what men say about you. They look to appearances but God looks to the heart. They consider the deed but God weighs the motive” (The Imitation of Christ, book II, chapter VI, n. 3).

  13. PA mom says:

    Several of you have agreed how very heroic Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae was, and I think it is very appropriate that the miracle has to do with an unborn child.

  14. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Or rather, Humanae Vitae would have been heroic, had Pope Paul moved a finger to defend it. As it was, he made no response to the world-wide rebellion against it, leading directly to one of the greatest pastoral catastrophes in the Church’s history.

  15. Athelstan says:

    Or rather, Humanae Vitae would have been heroic, had Pope Paul moved a finger to defend it.

    Worse, he rebuked bishops – like Cardinal O’Boyle – who actually did try to enforce it, when they disciplined priests in open dissent from it.

    And there’s the case of Cardinal Mindszenty… Now *that* would be a wonderful case for canonization.

  16. kimberley jean says:

    The treatment of poor old Cardinal Mindszenty is a huge black mark.

  17. robtbrown says:

    Geoffrey says:

    “How do you know that God thought he was the best choice?”

    Whether or not Ven. Paul VI was the “best choice” from the perspective of man, he was indeed God’s choice.

    So I’ll ask you. How do you know he was God’s choice?

  18. robtbrown says:

    Athelstan says:

    I was troubled by the canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II (and there were things I appreciated about both pontiffs), and how they came about, and why. But such as they are, I am far more troubled by this news that Paul VI – Paul VI! – will be beatified. But this day was sure to come once he was declared a Servant of God in 2012, a truly astonishing development, given the disaster that his pontificate was, and the many questions about his character.

    I am not so much troubled by the canonizations of JXXIII and JPII but rather that they went to the head of the line in front of Pius IX and XII.

  19. cajuncath says:

    tcreek,

    The Supreme Pontiff has full universal jurisdiction, authority, and sovereignty over Christ’s Church. If we have had a horrific collapse in the past 50 years in the Church’s human dimension, which certainly appears to be the case, it is impossible that our recent popes do not bear meaningful levels of culpability for this calamity.

  20. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: “a horrific collapse” — St. Peter was directly responsible for the horrific collapse of the apostolic structure on the night Jesus died, and all the indications are that St. John just ran off stark nekkid. This didn’t stop them from becoming saints, or from carrying out their special assignments from Jesus exceptionally well at certain other times.

    Being a blissful saint in heaven doesn’t mean that you lived your life totally free of idiocy, sin, aesthetic misinterpretations, jerkish friends, frienemies out to destroy all that you love, etc. There are a lot of saints in heaven who had all the prudential judgment of a butterfly on caffeine. Please take it up with the master of the harvest, if you don’t like it when payday comes.

    Re: popes as chosen directly by the Holy Spirit — Actually, Benedict XVI/Cardinal Ratzinger taught that conclaves are perfectly capable of ignoring the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of letting them do it. The Holy Spirit won’t let whoever is picked as the Pope formally teach heresy, but otherwise it’s free will for cardinals too.

  21. “There are so many conjectures about his private life, his friendships, those he allowed influence; there are so many questions which are unanswered, so many hints of scandal, of all the twentieth centuries popes Paul VI should be left to sleep quietly in his grave, with prayers of the faithful.”

    That sums up my thoughts…

  22. frjim4321 says:

    If JPII was to be canonized I guess there’s no reason not to canonize PVI and scores of other popes of history, but frankly to me this is just one more illustration of the devaluation of the the currency of sainthood since the early 1980’s. When I was growing up saints were something very special, now it seems they are a dime a dozen. Most flagrant among abuses is the ignoring of established waiting periods and doing so on the basis of emotion rather than rational process.

    I’ll do everyone here a favor and not bring up political and financial issues associated with this process.

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    Can anyone answer this question please? I note what Fr. Z. says about petitioning a particular person for intercession, and not, asking all the angels and saints, but being specific. Example, right now I have an ill loved one, very ill, and who is in need of something on the order of a miracle. But is there a “format” for asking for someone in heaven to intercede? Let’s say I would like to ask PiusXII to pray for my loved one to get her miracle, God willing.
    What exactly, would constitute praying to that person to intercede? I am looking for specifics, because I really have no idea what this entails. Is it “enough” to pray once a day, or is that “insufficient”? I know this may sound basic, but, I find myself wondering what is “enough”.
    I discussed this recently with my son, no slouch he, and he said that Jesus healed in most cases, instantly, so I need not worry about number or time, but, I am very curious to know what anyone would do if they were wanting to pray to a particular blessed for a miraculous intercession.
    Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  24. Fr. Jim, you got this one right. The devaluation of the currency of sainthood in recent decades is . . . well, just very sad, and a loss for the faith and the faithful.

  25. Lori Pieper says:

    Robbie, do you recall where and when Pope Francis spoke in his interest in JPI’s cause? I would love to learn more about this.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Kathleen10,

    You can do it conversationally, as if you’re asking Pius XII (or whomever) who’s sitting next to you. You might want to finish with Pater, Ave, or Gloria.

    AND/OR

    You can Google using something like “PXII intercessory prayers”, and you’ll find formal prayers. Often there will be an address to report favors granted.

    If you’re an American, I recommend my homeboy, Fr Kapaun as an intercessor:

    http://www.frkapaun.org/

  27. This disappoints me:

    You are not talking at all about the miracle.

  28. Pingback: Why Is Saint John XXIII So Loved by the Turkish People - BigPulpit.com

  29. MikeM says:

    Undoubtedly an interesting miracle for the Pope responsible for Humanae vitae. I have to admit that I’m wary of the perception that the canonization of so many Popes could create… but, I can’t help but enjoy the idea that God and Paul VI chose a fetus as the beneficiary of the miracle for which he will be known.

  30. Pingback: Miracle attributed to Paul VI approved |

  31. george says:

    Since Father opened the topic of the miracles… [The article was mainly about the miracle.] I have heard several stories over the past decade about Bad Things being diagnosed in the womb and mothers being counselled to abort their children. Then, after refusing to abort the child and carrying the child to term, the child is born healthy and “normal.” I think those cases indicate the inaccuracy of pre-natal diagnoses for even major afflictions.

    In this case we have reports a diagnosis of “bladder damage,” “too much water in the abdomen,” and ” too little water in the amniotic sac.” Those “diagnoses” sound a bit subjective to me, though I don’t have all the medical information to back up their claims (and if I did, I am not qualified to interpret it). The child is now 13, which means that the diagnoses were about 14 years ago with the technology available at the time.

    So, isn’t it possible that the cause of Pope Paul VI is moving forward on a confirmed case of a 13 year old child being healthy and pre-natal diagnoses being flawed? That’s pretty thin evidence to me. Sure, I can trust that the people “looking into it” at the Vatican are also critically minded and not searching high and low for a miracle. But after a while, one begins to suspect some intentional credulity on the part of the “investigators.”

  32. PA mom says:

    The miracle is a beautiful one. Reliant on the mother’s trust in God, her willingness to put that trust and obedience before the recommendations of the doctors to terminate. She remembered to ASK for a miracle rather than despair.

    I have heard of other mothers who receive negative testing results but proceeded to bring their children to term just to find them to be healthy. Perhaps that trust, obedience and keeping of a faith strong enough to ask for miracles works more often than we even know.

    Whatever one’s opinion of Paul VI, it seems clear to me that more than the question of his holiness is being answered here. It speaks to me of the task God willed be accomplished through him for his holiness.

  33. Priam1184 says:

    Eh, if the miracles are validated I have no problem with Ven. Paul VI being beatified and then canonized. I never have had a firm grasp of the will of God in these matters.

    I was only born at the end of Paul VI’s papacy but what I do not understand about the man and his times is that he seems to have checked out after Humanae Vitae. He did not write a single encyclical between Humanae Vitae in 1968 and his death a decade later. From reading the history of those times it seems like the papacy almost disappeared from public view between 1968 and the election of St. John Paul II in 1978.

    Incidentally Father under your ‘Food For Thought’ headline on the right sidebar you are still referring to Saint John Paul II as a ‘Blessed.’

  34. Cathomommy says:

    Hmmm. Regarding the miracle: tomorrow is my due date with our seventh baby (our first girl). The OB/GYN referred us to a Maternal/Fetal specialist because one of the baby’s kidney’s measured larger than the other in the ultrasound, indicating a blockage of some sort or a kink in the tube leading from kidney to bladder. The specialist’s more detailed ultrasound indicated the same thing, and recommended that I be monitored every week for amniotic fluid levels to make sure an early delivery would not be required. (After baby is born, there are fairly easy surgical fixes.) But he also said that many times, these issues resolve themselves in the womb and there turns out to be no problem at all. Well, here I am , at 40 weeks, and my fluid levels are fine… Obviously, each case is different and we are not privy to all the medical details; but ultrasound diagnoses are often subjective or wrong, and I would think that would have been even more the case 13 years ago (the time of the attributed miracle) than it is today. *shrug*

  35. kimberley jean says:

    There are many women who can tell stories about how they were told that their unborn child was going to have problems and then delivered a perfectly healthy kid. Lacking public medical reports, this miracle seems to be stretching the definition.

  36. MarkJ says:

    God indicates by miracles when and whom to recognize as a saint, and the Church responds. Maybe Our Lord’s message to us is to Trust what He is doing in the Church and the world. The Council of Trent and the codification of the Traditional Mass did not stem the tide of the Protestant Revolt, and did not prevent the loss of whole countries to the Faith. Yet do we blame that Council, or that Mass, or Pope Pius V? No, we don’t! So maybe Vatican II and the New Mass and the Popes after the Council should not be blamed, either, for the state of the Church and the world. Maybe it has taken extraordinary and heroic virtues by the Popes of our era just to hold the Church and the world together through all the heresies of modern life these past 50 years. Maybe Vatican II and the New Mass are just what the Church needed, despite the many deformations of the results due to vicious attacks by the Enemy. And maybe the message is simply this: “Look at these miracles, look to these Saints for help in these times of great need, and Trust in what the Holy Spirit is doing in His Church.”

  37. Sonshine135 says:

    I will first caveat my statement that I believe that all of the Popes after VII have been holy men. I also believe all of them are on the path to heaven or are in heaven. I have no reason to think otherwise, and it would be wrong of me in any case to think otherwise.

    With that being said, I believe that the church is playing into Protestant hands where Protestants declare the whole idea of knowing someone is in heaven to be a sham. My understanding is that the normal process for Sainthood can take upwards of 400 years. Like Father Z’s statements about concelebration, shouldn’t early canonizations be safe, legal, and rare?

    If Paul VI is canonized this fall, then it is blatantly obvious that this was political and not motivated by the Holy Spirit. At the rate of canonizations, you would believe the Holy, Roman, Apostolic Church had doubled in size, and that the reforms instituted by Vatican II were a resounding success. I’m just not digging it. Canonization is being changed into little more than a pat on the back by your predecessor. It brings into question just who is in the Communion of Saints.

  38. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I think the miracle is very beautiful, and I also think it is a sign of favor from God for Pope Paul VI’s obedience in writing Humanae Vitae. (Very encouraging to those of us who have done stupid things and been applauded, and then done wise things and been pilloried.) You could also relate it to Jeremiah 17:7-10 —

    “Blessed be the man that trusts in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots towards moisture, and it shall not fear when the heat comes. And the leaf of it shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit.

    “The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?

    “I am the Lord who search the heart and test the kidneys: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.”

    I wish people would be happier about this, even if in a bemused way. Even if I don’t like somebody, it’s a darned good thing for anybody to go to heaven! If babies are getting healed, shouldn’t it be a happy moment?

  39. robtbrown says:

    Biedrik says:

    It bothers me that some people say that they’d prefer that such and such Pope have been canonized first, and that it’s a shame that some have been passed over. Same thing happened with Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII. Remember, these miracles come when God wills them too. They come on His time, not ours. Moreover, it also must happen that people specifically seek the intercession of that Pope, as Father has pointed out. A more recent Pope will of course be remembered by more people, and so more people will seek their intercession. Basically, be patient with the canonizations. God is the one who chooses when the miracles occur, so it is hard to predict whether or not one Pope will be canonized before another.

    Don’t confuse when the miracles occur with when they are approved by the Congregation. Investigators, which include physicians, investigate miracles, the approval of which goes into a dossier. How long it takes for that dossier to work its way through the system depends on many things.

    The Jesuit Father Peter Gumpel is the relator for the cause of Pius XII. And he has said that there are already several miracles, one which is extraordinary.

    Re Fr Z’s invitation to considered the miracle attributed to Paul VI: Those who approved it are professionals with much more knowledge of the case than I can possibly have, so it’s easy for me to accept their judgment.

    What I question is prior to the approval of any miracle. Obviously, he was pope during very difficult times, but many of his policies made a bad situation much worse, e.g., the persecution of those who wanted Latin liturgy, coddling liberals, and bowing to the French bishops, who created the situation that later became a schism. And then there is the destruction of the liturgy. I have a difficult time thinking he was pastorally prudent, much less heroically so.

  40. Kathleen10 says:

    Thanks Robtbrown, Fr. Kapaun it is.
    Sorry Fr. Z. I got wrapped up in my own miracle quest.
    These investigations seem thorough, and if it is anything like the approval of an apparition, they approach it with such a skeptical eye that they go out of their way to avoid concluding something is of a supernatural origin. I tend to believe them. It is a good point made that medical findings on unborn babies are often wrong though.

  41. Chon says:

    “Paulo (sp?) Sesto Beato?” would make interesting reading here. I saw this document recommended by Alice Von Hildebrand in an interview…I think around 2001 with TLM ? I forget who wrote the document and don’t have it with me here, but it is, according to Alice VH, a well researched cry to NOT make him a saint.

  42. Chon says:

    p.s. The book “Paulo Sesto Beato?” was published in Italy and a copy given to all the (Italian?) bishops. The author is Dom Luigi somebody, I think it’s Dom Luigi Villa. The interview of AVH was in Latin Mass magazine in 2001.

  43. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    If JPII was to be canonized I guess there’s no reason not to canonize PVI and scores of other popes of history, but frankly to me this is just one more illustration of the devaluation of the the currency of sainthood since the early 1980?s. When I was growing up saints were something very special, now it seems they are a dime a dozen.

    It’s just another aspect of Vat II. In trying to make the Church less remote, they produced too much familiarity–just like the liturgical changes.

    The thought before Vat I was that the Transcendent was overemphasized to the point that it usurped the Immanent. Giving each its proper due is a good idea, but now it has flipped the other way.

    And we’re still Protestants.

  44. robtbrown says:

    Kathleen10,

    My experience is that sometimes it’s necessary to fish around for the right intercessor, but

  45. robtbrown says:

    . . . that seeking intercession from someone almost but not yet beatified is a good idea.