John Paul II could move toward sainthood this year, report says
File photo from October 21, 2003 shows Pope John Paul II saluting the crowd as he arrives for an ordination ceremony.
January 5th, 2011
02:58 PM ET

John Paul II could move toward sainthood this year, report says

By Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia, CNN

The late Pope John Paul II could take a big step toward sainthood as early as this year, a longtime Vatican journalist reports.

He could be beatified in a service led by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican by the end of 2011 - an event that would be certain to draw hundreds of thousands of faithful.

Medical and theological experts have credited John Paul II with the healing of a nun whose order prayed to him after he died in 2005. Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre says she was cured of Parkinson's disease.

A team of cardinals and bishops will examine the reputed miracle this month and pass their verdict to the pope.

If Benedict XVI confirms that it was a miracle, John Paul will be eligible to be beatified, the last step before sainthood.

Journalist Andrea Tornielli, who has covered the Vatican for many years, first reported the news Tuesday.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, and the Vatican office studying the case for John Paul's sainthood both refused to comment on the matter when questioned by CNN Wednesday.

But if the miracle is confirmed by the Catholic Church, John Paul II could be beatified as soon as April 2, the sixth anniversary of his death, Tornielli said.

That would be very fast in Vatican terms.

Other possible dates are May 18, John Paul's birthday, or October 16, the anniversary of the date he was elected pope in 1978, Tornielli said, suggesting the last date is most likely, to give the church time to prepare what will be an enormous event, even by the Vatican's standards.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (317 Responses)
  1. riceandegg

    Sainthood for John Paul II? Why don't we call him Supreme God of the Gods? What had he done beside waving his hands in the air for years? What miracles were done by him that were witnessed? Call whatever you want! It's just like a joke! Who falls for this crap?

    January 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  2. midnightrambler444

    We'll just forget about the whole 'nazi' thing, rubber stamp it, and it's a done deal!

    January 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  3. houstongal

    They should make him the saint of pedophiles. He allowed more abuse by shuffling Priests around than any other Pope.

    January 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • shinden58

      Great post and very accurate.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  4. Zambone PopTart

    Christians: No one cares that you feel your savior is a zombie cannibal

    Atheists: No one cares that you have an itch to proclaim your disbelief at every turn.

    Y'all need to be logical and turn the other cheek and Live and Let Live.

    Now kiss and make up. The world is watching!

    January 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  5. Zambone PopTart

    I enjoy religious blogs, nothing like seeing the nutbags from the atheist and theist camps fighting like school yard bullies.

    "Zomg! My troof is better den yers!"

    "Zomg ROFL!!!!@ I has Darwin!"

    "LoLz I has Bibul...gawds werd pwns Darwin!!!"

    Keep it up guys, keep it up!

    January 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Logic

      I love people who can't communicate. All they do is post with a series of l's and o's. It's so sad to see a mind wasted.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Zambone PopTart

      I feel I've communicated adequately enough for theists and atheists to understand.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • shinden58

      Too bad you are not smart enough to embrace science. Instead you would rather live in fear. It may be the god or the bomb but it's all the same it is only fear under another name.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  6. Logic

    Pin the badge of sainthood on the donkey (oops .. I meant the pope).

    Nice game, can I play? I'm an atheist whose doing good. Do I get one if I die? No? Why?
    See now I know why you need more saints.. it's to back up your supposedly system of rewards. I'd thought I'd help you see that, and I'll mock you for it.

    But it doesn't mean much in the whole scheme of things. He's too dead to realize it. And you're too naive to believe it will have any effect upon your current lives. But hey I'll let you have it. Go ahead and pin more donkey badges to all your believers/followers.

    January 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Zambone PopTart

      "I'm an atheist"

      Good for you, now if only you'd realize how illogical labels are then perhaps you'd be worthy of the SN "Logic"

      Now go flagellate yourself with a beef stick and recite the Origin of Species word for word in Pig Latin.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • shinden58

      zambone pop fart is too stupid to embrace logic.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  7. Paul Flynn

    I am Catholic and think Pope John Paul was a great leader, but I would be worried if he were declared a saint. It is against biblical teaching to honour the gods of other religions, the evangelical Christians have always rightly proclaimed this, but Pope John Paul did not. No pope ever gave greater honour to other gods than he did. He may have been in good conscience but based on the Bible he was not a saint.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  8. Annie

    A saint by definition is one of great holiness and virtue. Pope John Paul II was a good man, but was not particularly faithful to his Church. He tried to be a friend to all. But, when looking at tradition which means to look at what the Church has always taught and believed, he was not a very good friend to the Catholic Church. In turn, he was not the Pope that he could have been which is a shame.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  9. Mick

    "Medical and theological experts have credited John Paul II with the healing of a nun whose order prayed to him after he died in 2005. Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre says she was cured of Parkinson's disease."

    What a ridiculous statement. Who were the medical experts? What kind of tests did they do that would show a connection between praying to a dead pope and a nun being cured of a disease? Medical experts my butt.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • nick2

      Sort of desperation from a religious organization that has lost the bulk of its educated congregations and is left with rather simple believers.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      I bet being the Vatican's "Medical Expert" in the Office of Saintification must be a really cush job. Don't even have to be a doctor – attending medical school probably disqualifies you from the position. Do an entertaining little pseudo-scientific ritual to make it seem like you know what you are doing, then solemnly declare that some nun's remission of Parkinson's is a miracle that could not otherwise occur on Earth, and her praying to a dead Pope means unequivocally that the dead Pope did it. You don't have to worry about malpractice or being challenged. Sounds like a great job!

      The present Pope will someday be a saint too. His miracles are becoming Pope despite having been a Nazi, and being personally involved in the abuse cover-up but not being held accountable. Them thar is real Catholic miracles!

      January 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Mick: Well you try to replicate the results! You get three nuns with Parkinson's. One prays to JPII. One is a control who prays to no one. And the last prays to Satan. And none get any medical treatment whatsoever! If the one who prays to JPII gets better then sainthood it is!

      January 6, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  10. There are no gods!

    Ha! I got the old pope beat. I now declare myself a saint at this very moment! Saint me 1 old pope 0!

    January 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  11. Mr. Sniffles

    I think it is a true miracle that so many Catholics can turn a blind eye to the centuries of atrocities of their own church, and even turn the victims of abuse into the perpetrators.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  12. Lawrence

    It is great news

    January 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  13. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    The church will canonize anyone who's popular as long as it packs the pews. Hell, they canonized the Mexican folk hero Juan Diego, and he didn't even exist. They should just drop the miracle requirement- it inevitably turns into a hunt for whatever crackpot they can get to say has been magically healed. It just makes all modern Catholics look ridiculous.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  14. Barbara

    @Bosnm8...I will have to look it up...but we Catholics pray to God. When it comes to the saints, we pray to them–asking them to intercede for us. Do you ask friends to pray for you? Do you have friends who ask you to pray for them? Is there someone special from the past (i.e. a grandparent) whom you were close to that has passed away? Do you have a picture of that person, and ever ask him/her to "put in a good word" with Jesus/God? This is how/why we pray to the saints–we are not worshiping them, we are not equating them to God. We just ask them to intercede on our behalf, because we believe these saints that we pray to are in heaven. Saints are those who lived lives of strong faith and are examples to us as to how we live our lives today. None of these saints were 'perfect' while on earth–they're all just like us–they were all sinners too. God Bless

    January 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • JT

      And this bunch of men in the Vatican decides if this particular man should be put in the "special" category to where he will be able to hear you speak to him as you request he put in a good word to the big guy for you? Or are they trying to determine if, although dead and on the other side, already has this mystic ability? You trust that these men always makes the correct decision as to which passed person has this gift? This is just fascinating.

      January 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  15. CyndyP

    Amazing, from what has been reported he knew about the cover-up of molesting priests in the U.S. and other countries. Not a candidate for sainthood in my book!

    January 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  16. James Moninger

    I am a Catholic Christian and am not writing here to debate who is a "Christian" versus who is not. I respect the process of naming saints when it is appropriate. A reasonable example of this would be (Saint) Father Damien of Molokai, who devoted his entire adult life ministering to lepers under deplorable conditions on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

    The case for making John Paul II a saint seems to pale when compared to the likes of Fr. Damien. Perhaps John Paul's most outstanding accomplishment was his tenure in the papacy. There aren't too many other accomplishments that differentiate him from his predecessors. Yes, he was a jolly fellow (at least in earlier years) and people loved him. Still, there were a number of issues in the church he didn't handle as well as he might have, and he had a reputation for being autocratic and somewhat unapproachable. Again, compare this to Fr. Damien or Mother Theresa.

    I think most Catholics recognize John Paul's sainthood is a done deal, but I agree with others on here who have stated that sainthood should require more than someone stating that they prayed to John Paul about a health problem and they got well. The entirety of John Paul's life and service to cause of the Christian church should be judged saintly before looking into specific miracles (which are remarkably easy to find if you are determined to find them).

    January 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  17. rcjone

    I wonder how many boys he molested..?

    January 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  18. JT

    So, someone can pray to some dead man who wore a dress in life and this man "heals" a person? Why didn't the dead man heal the other 100,000 who prayed to him? Does this man take these prayers and pass them along to the big guy or does this dead man do the healing himself? Why does god hate and never heal amputees? When the poor little altar boys are pleading to the dead man on the stick hanging on the wall to get the pack of sodomizing priests off him, why won't they help?

    January 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  19. elidude

    He's responsible for untold deaths in Africa and around the world for his aversion to condoms. Saint, yeh, whatever, like we're paying attention..

    January 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  20. Doc

    I am 22 and raised catholic, but have been driven away from the church because of scandals and things like this where they claim "miracles" happen. Its amazing how normally rational people who need facts will do a 180 as soon as its about any religion and then say I have faith.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Do you think these could be miracles?

      January 6, 2011 at 11:58 am |
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