Benedict XVI may approve John Paul II as “Venerable” on 19 Dec

From Rome Reports

Benedict XVI to declare John Paul II venerable at the Vatican

December 17, 2009. The late Pope John Paul II is one step closer at getting a spot on the altars, now that Benedict XVI will name him venerable.

Benedict XVI is expected to sign the decree Saturday December 19th.

When the Pope gives a candidate to the altars, the title "venerable" that means he recognizes that they lived the Christian virtues as heroes.

To beatify a candidate, the commission of cardinals and Vatican theologians must certify that God has performed a miracle through his intercession.

In the case of John Paul II, just two months after his death, several medical teams have classified the cure of a French nun with Parkinson’s, as “scientifically inexplicable”. The nun says, with much difficulty, she wrote John Paul II name on a piece of paper and a couple of hours later she was 100% cured.

To name venerable John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI analyzed the documentation collected during the last 5 years by the postulator of the Cause of beatification, Father Slawomir Oder. Thousands of pages with specific facts and that show what many proclaimed the day of his funeral: that John Paul was a saint.

John Paul II road to sainthood, is perhaps one of the shortest on record. It started just one month after he died.

And lasted only 5 years. The traditional road to sainthood usually takes 10 times as long.


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  1. boko fittleworth says:

    I think the only reason it’s taken this long is they were waiting for the report from the Devil’s Advocate.

  2. Prof. Basto says:

    I just hope that our most holy Lord the Pope will use this opportunity to take out of his table’s drawer that other decree on heroic virtues, also relating to a late Supreme Pontiff, a decree that has been submitted to His Holiness for quite some time now, and that I hope and pray the August Pontiff will sign, in spite of all opposition that may come from certain quarters and from a certain State.

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    Personally I do not think that JP2 should be cannonized due the extremely wacky prudential judgements he made e.g. asisi one and two, as well as his failure to address the concerns of the SSPX which resulted in Archbishop Lefevbre (may he be cannonized)and Bishop Castro de myer thinking that they had no choice but to ‘ilicitly’ concecrate the current 4 SSPX bishops. On the other hand I think the current Holy Father will make an excellent candidate when he is finally called home.

  4. Clinton says:

    I trust our good Pope Benedict to know what is right to do. If miracles due to the intercession of the late Pontiff are occurring, well,
    it’s hard to argue with that!

    John Paul II was an extremely prolific writer, both before and during his pontificate. I understand that the process of evaluating his
    cause involves sifting through all of that material, interviewing people who knew him, and examining incidents that might be considered
    controversial. It’s a big job, and it will take time. I know that the final verdict will be based on truth, not expediency. ‘Festina lente’.

    If the late Pope is raised to the altars, I will be delighted–because it would have been the right thing to do.

  5. Sam Urfer says:

    If you want to make the argument that it is somehow inappropriate to canonize the late Pope, it is certainly in no way appropriate to canonize a rouge dissenting schismatic bishop. I feel confident in saying that Lefevbre will never, ever be canonized due to his open and rebellious schism from the Church. Maybe if he hadn’t made the move of ordaining bishops against explicit orders to the contrary, as he did some good work, but that final act of open disobedience disqualifies him from the dignity of the altar, full stop.

  6. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    See Sam Urfer’s comments above.

    Joannes Paulus II, ora pro nobis.

  7. Thomas S says:

    No to John Paul II, but yes to Marcel Lefebvre?


  8. Jack Hughes says:

    Sam Ufer, Thomas S, sotl.

    Firstly as I said JP2 did some waky things, for example ‘interfaith events at assisi, kissing the koran need I go on?

    Secondly although I no longer frequent SSPX chapels I fully admire the work that Archbishop Lefebre undertook either before or after the unjust and at best shady suppression of the SSPX

    Thirdly there would be NO Tridentine Masses, no summorum pontificum if it were for the good Archbishop and the work he undertook, now continued by the SSPX

    Fourthly Remember that JP2 had nine years before 1988 to listen to the Archbishop and his concerns, at the same time modernism was running rampent throughout the Church and after the breakdown in talks between the SSPX and Rome, the Archbishop felt that he had no choice but to do what he did (remember he died in 1991)in order to make sure that there would be a Catholic order to fight modernism. The reason that he did what he did was in part to make sure that any future traditionalists would have their own bishops so that they would not be reliant (as the ICKSP,FSSP&IGS are) on Bishops outside the order to ordain their priests.

  9. Sam Urfer says:

    Sure, Lefebre did some good work. That doesn’t change the fact that he died an unreconciled excommunicate in schism from the Church. Every dissenter has reasons for their actions, that does not justify them. Lefebre did not die in the graces of the Church, and as such is completely ineligible for canonization, just as with Tertullian. There is no getting around that.

    As to John Paul II’s sanctity or lack thereof, that’s above my paygrade. Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

  10. I certainly pray for the canonization of Pope John Paul II.

    He is one very significant reason that I am a Catholic.

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    We shouldn’t be rushing canonization proceedings.

    This one’s no doubt safe, but one of these days we’re going to canonize somebody whose police record shows up after the ceremonies and then where are we going to be???

    If a person is really a saint, then no amount of waiting is going to change that. If what God wants is their canonization because he intends to use it for the sanctification or edification of the faithful, then he won’t be stopped, but only glorified by our doing this right, which means in due order, after a suitable delay for passions to cool off.

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    I think the very same thing about Mother Teresa’s cause as well as the causes of the founders of many other movements. There is no harm in waiting until we are sure; on the other hand, if a mistake is made there would be grave harm.

  13. Jerry says:

    re: Jack Hughes — “Thirdly there would be NO Tridentine Masses, no summorum pontificum if it were for the good Archbishop and the work he undertook, now continued by the SSPX”

    This claim is mere speculation, not to mention denying the power of the Holy Spirit. I could just as easily assert that we would have had Summorum Pontificum (or an equivalent) much earlier if it weren’t for the Holy Fathers having to deal with the SSPX situation. Which, if either, of these claims is correct? We’ll never know, at least in this life.

  14. Jack Hughes says:


    I’d argue that the excommunications pronounced on Mgr Lefebvre and Bp Castro De Myer were invalid due the state they both found themselves in on that fateful day in 1988- btw he never tried to set up ‘another’ Church, he said as such at Econe.

  15. Sam Urfer says:

    So what’s the principled difference between Lefebre’s act of disobedience and that of the Women Priests folk? He was told that if he went forward with his actions, he would be excommunicated. He went forward, he was excommunicated. He was never reconciled, and died in excommunication. None of these facts is seriously in question.

    Martin Luther always maintained that he did not want to start a new Church, but merely to reform the Church. Should we canonize Luther because he had good intentions?

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    Actually, Jerry, it is hard to see how the TLM could have been maintained in any way at all were it not for the situation that came about in 1988.

    The erection of Ecclesia Dei followed within three days of the ordination attempts which ultimately brought about the excommunications of Abp Lefebvre. The stated intention was a rather thinly veiled attempt to preserve the attendance of as many traditionalist Catholics as possible, whilst preventing them from going over to the SSPX.

    I don’t want to speculate about the technical details of this, but I can offer this: Sometimes God draws straight with crooked lines. When and where He chooses to do this is his prerogative.

  17. catholicmidwest says:

    Sometimes, God does what he wants and it takes years, maybe even generations, to see what’s happened. Have you ever read the old testament all the way through just like that? Everyone should, at least once.

  18. Sam Urfer says:

    I absolutely wouldn’t deny that, or that good came from Lefebre’s works. Just that he can never, ever possibly be canonized, as he died outside the Church. Tertullian is an important early Church theologian, who provided much of the Latin vocabulary for theology. But he died as a schismatic outside the Church, and can never be canonized.

  19. Jack Hughes says:

    This will be my last response to sam as I feel we may be going down a rabbit hole

    The difference is that that it is impossable to ‘ordain’ a women, also Mgr Lefebre only three years from his death wanted to make sure that there would be a successor to ordain new priests for his order, Now remember this is at a time in Church history where modernsim was wreaking havoc in parishes, seminaries and even in the curia itself- the latter day Athanasius knew he was close to death and therefore needed a successor to continue the fight, with JP2 apparently unintersted in the plight of the Church and not willing to discus the difficulties in the V2 documents +Lefebvre and +Castro de myer didn’t have the luxury of papal aproval even though they first sought it. The cannonists of the Soceity present a compelling defense of their position on this matter and I would refer you them for it.

    In my view the Curia should also re-open the cause of cannonisation for +Lefebvre’s mother which was shut down when he wouldn’t play ball with the ‘spirit of v2’ modernists.

    Going back to the original subject of this post I have given my reasons as to why I believe that JP2 should not be cannonised, those wishing to view it in more depth can look at it on the excellent blog athanasius contra mundum (which I can highly reccomend to all trads), however if he is cannonized I shall give said cannonization the full assent that it requires of me, I do however believe as did the late Michael Davies (a man every traditionalist owes a great debt) that one day +Lefebvre will be raised to the alter

    Good day
    Jack Hughes

  20. here is something I wonder about….maybe Father Z can clarify this for me:

    “Are cannonizations infallible decrees?”


  21. Maltese says:

    Atila Sinke Guimarães raises the interesting question that many who were fast-tracked to Sainthood by John Paul II may actually not be Saints:

    Such a question is beyond my pay grade and theological training, but I do wonder if John Paul II really considered declaring non-Catholics saints?

    In any case, I agree with Mr. Hughes that +Lefebvre could one day be declared a Saint.

  22. I would very much like to see Pope Pius XII canonized first. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has already recommended that he be declared Venerable.

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    If they ever were to canonize a non-catholic, enormous damage would be done. I don’t think it will happen, at least anytime soon. It would make the church look like an optional requirement for holiness.

  24. Nan says:

    Maltese, I clicked the link and you really should warn people when linking to possibly heretical information. I don’t think the author says that Pope John Paul II considered canonizing those who are not Catholic, but was critical of him for having praised Luther and others, as well as critical of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Edith Stein. If you recall, Edith Stein was martyred for her Catholic faith and my understanding is that martrydom is the basis for Beatification without a miracle.

    The author of that article is wrong inasmuch as the beginning of the changes in canonization procedure; it was on behalf of St. Therese of Lisieux that changes were made. She was Canonized 28 years after her death because Pope Benedict XV dispensed with the required 50 year waiting period between death and Beatification; she was Canonized two years later.

  25. joan ellen says:

    re: Jack Hughes—“Thirdly there would be NO Tridentine Masses, no summorum pontificum if it were for the good Archbishop and the work he undertook, now continued by the SSPX”

    This claim is mere speculation, not to mention denying the power of the Holy Spirit. I could just as easily assert that we would have had Summorum Pontificum (or an equivalent) much earlier if it weren’t for the Holy Fathers having to deal with the SSPX situation. Which, if either, of these claims is correct? We’ll never know, at least in this life.

    Comment by Jerry — 17 December 2009 @ 6:16 pm

    The EF Mass has always been offered by some priests, somewhere on the planet. Some priests were never able to offer the NO Mass, and only offered the EF. The sequence of events may have been a little different, but they would have occurred, maybe at a different time, and that we won’t know till later, wouldn’t that be true? In other words, I’m saying it is not just because of the SSPX that we have Summorum Pontificum, or even Ecclesia Dei. I could be mistaken.

  26. No, St. Philip Neri did some wacky things. “Purposefully mispronouncing the words of Mass out of a misguided sense of humility” sails very close to sacrilege, and so do a lot of other things he commanded his spiritual direct-ees to do at church and in view of as many people as possible.

    And then there’s St. Francis of Assisi. Public indecency is just the beginning of it.

    Given the kangaroo court of public opinion some people run, it’s a wonder we have any saints at all.

    “Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.”

  27. Geoffrey says:

    Deo gratias! Ioannes Paule Magne, ora pro nobis!

    Regarding Pope Pius XII, I personally think both John Paul the Great and Pius XII should be beatified or canonized in the same ceremony. During the Great Jubilee of 2000, the Holy See purposely beatified Blessed Pius IX and Blessed John XXIII on the same day to emphasize the “hermeneutic of continuity”. I think a similar ceremony could send the same message, especially to the SSPX, etc.

  28. Dave N. says:

    Too much, too soon. Not saying he shouldn’t be, but what exactly is gained by a potential rush to judgment?

  29. Sam Urfer says:

    Yeah, canonizing non-Catholics should not happen. Which is why Lefebre, the unrepentant schismatic whose soul should be prayed for rather than lauded, will not be canonized.

  30. Kimberly says:

    This caused a lot of confussion in me. I love JP2 but I cannot understand how the Church could raise him to sainthood, considering his actions, such as when he kissed the Koran – so many Saints gave thier lives when they refussed to do the same action.

  31. MikeJ9919 says:

    Kimberly, the difference is in the intention. There are, of course, some acts (abortion, for example), that are intrinsically morally wrong. No good intention can change the fact that the act is a sin (though it could potentially alleviate some of the culpability attached.) On the other hand, kissing the Koran is not an intrinsically immoral act. Saints refused to do it for the same reason they refused to bow down to false idols…in the particular context in which they were being asked, it would have meant rejection of Christ and acknowledgment of the accuracy of the Koran or the divinity of the false god.

    But, since John Paul the Great’s life demonstrates his deep personal holiness and adherence to the Catholic faith, I sincerely doubt that was his intention in kissing the Koran. He wanted to show gratitude for the gift itself, a certain respect for Muslims, and an openness to dialogue. What it does not mean is that he was denying the Truth of the Gospels or the Catholic faith or admitting the truth or supremacy of Islam.

    While I acknowledge that the image itself is somewhat troubling, when one considers it in the whole of the former Holy Father’s life, I cannot imagine any other explanation. And I believe the vast majority of criticism over the Koran incident (and please don’t take this as a personal attack, I am not presuming you to be part of this group) comes from SSPX partisans who want to delegitimize this particular Successor of Peter in order to legitimize the public and repeated disobedience of Lefebvre and others.

    What they refuse to acknowledge with all their quoting of questionably applicable canons is that they legitimize said disobedience in direct contravention of the Lord’s promise of the Keys and his command to Peter to confirm the brethren. That worries me, and it should worry them.

  32. MichaelJ says:


    No amount of prayers will ever help those who are already condemned to hell. If Archbishop Lefebvre died “unrepentant”, “schismatic”, and “outside of the church”, as you assert, he is mose assuredly in hell.

    It seems curious, then, that you would recommend that we pray for his soul.

  33. Sam Urfer says:

    Well, Michael, you raise an excellent point. The fate of the poor bishops soul is in a precarious position, as far as we can know. He is far, far more likely to be burning in the fires of everlasting damnation than he is to be saved. But to assume out of hand that he is in Hell would, I think, be a sin against hope that he didn’t repent in his soul by the end and assert that he is damned (there is no litany of the damned!). In terms of his canonization, though, it would be a public scandal to canonize someone whose fate is unknown due to their repeated, public and unrepentent life of sin, besides the fact that there is a decent chance that he is in Hell. The late Pope, om the other hand, has miracles ascribed to him within months of his death, and the Church has determined he lived a life of heroic sanctity. There is a difference between

  34. Sam Urfer says:

    *oops, continued* There is a difference between canonizing a Pope after spending years examining his life and writings and finding nothing wrong, and canonizing a schismatic who might very easily be damned with no evidence to the contrary.

  35. Tim Ferguson says:

    He did it this morning – declared John Paul II Venerable – AND ALSO, declared Pius XII Venerable…along with many others

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