Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018

Pope OKs sainthood for John Paul II, John XXIII


(By Denis Greenan).
Vatican City, July 5 - Pope Francis on Friday made
the last key move to make saints of his two most popular recent
predecessors, John Paul II and John XXII, whose impact on the
Catholic Church and charismatic leadership many think the new
pontiff will end up rivaling.
Francis, who has already gained comparisons to those two
titans of the Church with his common touch and moves to shake up
an entrenched and allegedly corrupt Vatican hierarchy, signed
the decree needed for their canonisation, confirming recent
speculation that it would take place at the same time.
The joint canonisation "will most likely take place before
the end of the year," Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi
He said the date would be set by a special meeting of
cardinals, called a consistory, to be convened after the summer
The move is bound to boost Francis' already sky-high
approval ratings and solidify his image as following in the
footsteps of the most transformative recent pontiffs.
John Paul II and John XXIII are widely considered the
best-loved and most influential popes of the modern era.
Polish pope John Paul reigned from 1978 until his death at
84 in 2005, spreading the faith on charismatic missions and
helping hasten the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe.
John XXIII was pope from 1958 to his death in mid 1963,
having called the historic Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) to
retool the Church for the modern era.
His passionate views on equality were summed up in his
famous statement "We were all made in God's image, and thus, we
are all Godly alike".
Francis ordered John XXIII, known as 'the good pope', to
become a saint despite his not having a second miracle to his
credit. The northern Italian-born pope, who was beatified in
2000, was exempted because of the strong advice of a special
Vatican panel, Lombardi said.
The miracle needed for John Paul, whose funeral in 2005
featured choruses of "Saint Now", took place on the day of his
beatification, the Vatican said earlier last month.
The board of theologians of the Congregation for the Causes
of Saints approved that second key miracle, whose nature has not
been revealed, on June 18.
It has been widely speculated that John Paul II will be
proclaimed a saint on October 20, approximately the 35th
anniversary of his election as pope - although Lombardi did not
confirm this.
The first miracle attributed to John Paul for his
beatification - the first of two steps on the path to
sainthood - was, as required by the Vatican's rigorous standards
which include vetting by non-Catholic doctors, an "inexplicable
The pontiff's successor Pope Benedict XVI, who abdicated
earlier this year, sanctioned the beatification after a Vatican
commission officially attributed as a miracle the inexplicable
recovery of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, from
Parkinson's Disease.
The Vatican ruled that this came through the intervention
of John Paul II.
The second miracle, it emerged Friday was the inexplicable
recovery from a stroke by a Costa Rican woman, Floribeth Mora
Diaz, who prayed to the Polish pope in 2011 and got better after
doctors said they could "do nothing for her".
In another keenly awaited move Friday, also involving two
popes, Francis published his first encyclical, built on work by
his predecessor Benedict.
"Lumen Fidei" or "The Light of Faith" includes extensive
work by Benedict before his shock abdication in February.
"It's an encyclical written by four hands, so to speak,
because Pope Benedict began writing it and he gave it to me,"
Francis said.
In the encyclical, written to mark the Catholic Church's
Year of Faith, Francis stresses that "Faith is not a refuge for
people without courage, but an expansion of life.
"Faith is a light for life," he says.
The encyclical also cites writers and thinkers such as
Dostoyevsky and Nietzche, in order to refute key statements by
"They were wrong: faith is not an illusion," he says.
Francis was elected pope less than four months ago, making
the publication of this encyclical something of a modern record.
The encyclical was to have been Benedict's fourth,
following the best-selling trilogy Deus Caritas Est (God Is
Love), published in 2006, Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope), in 2007,
and Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), in 2009.

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