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Palestra 5-6-2011

The beatification process of John Paul II in the context of binding canon law

During the funeral of John Paul II on 8 April 2005 calls for „Santo subito” (saint now!) resounded in St. Peter’s Square. Card. Joseph Ratzinger who closely cooperated with the Holy Father for many years was convinced of his sainthood. As Pope, he gladly gave the dispensation from the 5 years that are required by canon law for the beatification process to begin. The rescript of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was issued on 9 May and announced during the meeting of the clergy with Pope Benedict XVI on 13 May. The process officially begun in the Basilica of St John Lateran on 28 June 2005. The tribune, which in accordance with the requirements of the law commenced with questioning the witnesses, was sworn in. On 4 November 2005 in Wawel Cathedral, the rogatory (auxiliary) process was opened in the Archdiocese of Cracow and came to a close on 1 April 2006. The process in the Diocese of Rome ended on 2 April 2007 during which approx. 120 witnesses were questioned, a censorship of the writings was performed and the historical commission examined unpublished writings and prepared its report. Work on the Positio paper on the heroism of virtues lasted almost two years and were submitted by the Postulator to the Congregation on 8 March 2008. The discussion of consultant theologians that took place on 13 May 2009 on the heroism of virtues had a positive outcome and the Commission of Cardinals and Bishops confirmed this positive opinion on 16 November 2009. Pope Benedict XVI signed the decision of the Congregation on 19 December 2009 and the Decree on the heroism of virtues was subsequently announced. Work on the alleged healing of Sister Marie-Simon Pierre from Parkinson’s Disease began in January 2010. In December 2010, the medical consultants pronounced the supernatural nature, instantaneity and permanence of the healing that took place through the intercession of John Paul II. The Commission of consultant theologians gave a positive opinion of the theological aspect of the healing on 12 January which was soon confirmed by the Commission of Cardinals and Bishops. On 14 January, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed and set his hand to the decision of the Congregation and personally announced the date of the beatification for 1 May 2011. The Beatification Ceremony took place in Rome on St Peter’s Square on Divine Mercy Sunday. Pope Benedict personally performed the beatification with the participation of many Church dignitaries, cardinals, bishops and priests, crowned heads of state, state and government delegations and around one and a half million faithful.

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