Pope Benedict XVI begins process for sainthood of Pope John Paul II

Friday, May 13, 2005

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Today Pope Benedict XVI announced, in a meeting with the Roman clergy at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, that the process for beatification of Pope John Paul II can be started soon. The process of beatification is the first step in the Catholic Church towards the proclamation of santification (canonization) of a person.

Usually there is a five year waiting period after the death of a candidate for beatification before the procedures may begin. Pope Benedict XVI waived this period on May 9. The only other case where the waiting period has been waived was Mother Teresa, whose beatification was begun in 1998, a year after her death, and completed in 2003.

John Paul II can not be styled a saint until he has been both formally beatified and canonized, processes that have no timetables and may take several years.

Since the process of beatification should be started in the diocese where the person died, the process should be started by the Cardinal Vicar, Camillo Ruini, who should instruct the process under the competent Court.