July 2nd, 2013
02:55 PM ET

Vatican: Pope John Paul II close to sainthood

By Hada Messia and Brian Todd, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The Catholic Church is on the verge of declaring late Pope John Paul II a saint, a Vatican source familiar with the process told CNN on Tuesday.

The committee that considers candidates for sainthood voted Tuesday to credit the late pope with a second miracle, the source said, asking not to be named discussing internal Vatican deliberations.

It is not clear which of several miracles under consideration would be credited to the late pope. Pope Francis must now sign off on the decision before it is official.

John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and was essentially the first rock star pontiff – drawing vast crowds as he criss-crossed the globe.

At his funeral, thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square chanted "Santo Subito" - Sainthood Now!

The Polish-born pope was fast-tracked to beatification when he died in 2005, and became "the blessed" John Paul II barely six years after his death - the fastest beatification in centuries.

"For an institution that typically thinks in centuries, this is remarkably quick," said CNN Vatican analyst John Allen.

There are essentially three steps to becoming a Catholic saint after death.

First, the title "venerable" is formally given by the pope to someone judged to have exhibited "heroic virtues." Secondly, a miracle must be attributed to the deceased person's intervention. Canonization – or sainthood – requires a second attributed miracle.

In 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI approved John Paul's first reported miracle: a French nun cured of Parkinson's disease.

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, a nun whose order prayed to the pope after he died, said she was cured of the disease, an ailment that also afflicted John Paul.

The second miracle reportedly occurred in Costa Rica, where a woman said she recovered from a severe brain injury thanks to the intervention of John Paul, Vatican sources told Allen.

Patrick Kelly, executive director of the Blessed John Paul II Shrine in Washington, explained the church's process for investigating reported miracles.

"A team of doctors first examine the miracle. Secondly, the team of theologians look at the miracles and then they discuss amongst themselves the legitimacy and all the facts surrounding the miracles," he said.

The record for the fastest canonization is modern times is St. Jose-Maria Escriva, the Spanish-born founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic order of laypeople and saints dedicated to finding God in daily life. Escriva was made a saint 27 years after his death.

John Paul could shatter that record.

But there are critics who say, not so fast on canonization.

Despite being beloved, John Paul didn't live up to expectations at a crucial moment in the church's history, as sexual abuse scandals involving thousands of Catholic priests erupted across the world, critics say.

In the United States alone, nearly 17,000 people have come forward with abuse claims and the church has paid $2.6 billion in settlements, therapy bills, lawyers fees and expenses related to removing priests from ministry, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Eight American dioceses have declared bankruptcy as a result of sexual abuse claims against its priests.

"The rap against John Paul in terms of the sex abuse scandals is basically that this stuff metasticized during his papacy - and he didn't respond adequately to it," said Allen.

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl defended the late pope, saying "his ministry was so clearly a ministry for everyone."

"Now when you're presiding over a worldwide church with over a billion members, surely there are going to be things that happen over which you don't have a lot of control - or maybe no control," Wuerl said.

In any case, the cardinal and other Catholic leaders say the measure of a saint is not the list of accomplishments or setbacks – but how holy the person was.

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (685 Responses)
  1. Bob

    I guess all pedophiles go to heaven, eh Paul?

    Investigate him and the cardinals and bishops as the criminal child molester protecting pieces of trash they are.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Donna Moran

      Then lets add the Baptist the Pentecostal ect

      July 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  2. Ryan

    All one has to do is look at Peter who told a lame man to rise up and walk, just like Jesus did, and he rose up. Truly it was God though Peter who did this. Men don't go around performing miracles on the spot anymore. Why? I don't know, ask God. Maybe it is because God's church is already established, and people would do what the Catholic church does and praise man instead of God. Jesus said that greater faith will be those who do not see and believe. At any rate, to attribute miracles to a man is fallacy, we give God the glory for any miracles that do happen, it is God who performs it, not man.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • CGAW

      Considering you don't belong to the original Christian church which is Roman Catholic or Orthodox, you think a lot of yourself and your knowledge of the church. You are part of an ecclesial community that believes in God and thats good but you have much to learn especially when it comes to criticizing others.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Ryan

      Considering the Catholic church is responsible for the murder of millions of people, I don't think you have any argument against my little knowledge about what the Bible actually says. I don't get my knowledge from a priest, I line things up with what the Bible says.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • CGAW

      Look – you are easy spot as one of those God believers that only knows what their pastor tells them and what they read in the Bible with no education or thoelogical guide. The entire Christian Church has been responsibel for millions of deaths, maybe even a billion. Most idiotic protestants of the American south are at fault for perpetuated slavery and the killing and abuse of slaves. Get beyond your cult and seek enlightenment outside Brother Jim Bob's Church.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • OTOH


      Peter really did this? Really? Pics, video, audio and peer reviewed proof, please (a real god would know exactly how do provide this evidence). Does "greater faith" get you a cloud with a better view for eternity?

      Here is just a sampling of other ancient "miracles", written by your much-vaunted Josephus and Tacitus:

      Josephus's 'Wars of the Jews' was written with ten years of the events , by a direct participant , and he records eyewitness testimony – "I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it" . He is referring to a heifer giving birth to a lamb in the middle of the Temple.

      In the "Histories" by Tacitus, he records that the Emperor Vespasian cured blindness with spittle and cured lameness. Tacitus writes, "Persons actually present attest both facts, even now when nothing is to be gained by falsehood."

      July 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Ryan

      Oh, sorry, I didn't know I needed a theological guide to show me what to know. Apparently God's Word needs years of educational training to understand according to you. Apparently, when Jesus said, NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME, he must have been lying, because that goes against your teaching...So where can I go to get the proper education to know how to understand the Bible, because I really want to know where it says to pray to Mary. I really want to know where it instructs us to pray to John Paul.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • CGAW

      You do need a guide an education – we all do. That's the problem with people like you – you lack humility and in your arrogance you think you know everything reading the Bible on your own. That is why we have Bible scholars and theologians and holy people to help us understand God's Word – it is rich with instruction and message and God wants us to operate as one Body – not as individuals that think we can do it all ourselves. Humility is God's message to you today and I'm spiritually serious – please take the advice and pray on it.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Ryan

      It's not that I lack humility...I just hate false teachers.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • CGAW

      Yes, everything you have written here today is strong evidence of a lack of humility and a basic education of Christianity. One cannot even begin to even consider you a Christian until you begin to behave diferently. You still have the old man on and have not put on the new one becasue you lack humility. You have found some good knowledge (that of Christ) and you have taken it to make yourself feel better than others and possess a special knowledge. Much to learn and do before you can even begin to look at what is possibly wrong with communities of Christianity.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Ryan

      Christ rebuked false teachers, He didn't admonish them.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Too bad no one bothered to heal amputees. "Miraculous healing" always seems to occur in ways that are easily faked, difficult to measure, or both.

      July 2, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • derp

      "Too bad no one bothered to heal amputees. "Miraculous healing" always seems to occur in ways that are easily faked, difficult to measure, or both."

      Not a single proven example of "faith" ever healing anything in the entire history of earth.

      There is greater evidence of alien visitors.

      July 3, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  3. Ryan

    The whole 'sainthood' propaganda is all based on miracles. The Catholic church continues to lift up the names of men instead of Christ. ALL miracles are performed by God.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • CGAW

      All miracles are performed by God through the intercessory prayers of humans. What Roman Catholic doucment are you referring to that stipulates humans perform miracles? Oh that's right, there aren't any. If you are going to criticize best to have facts on your side.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Ryan

      Who's name is being lifted up here? My point exactly. Intercessory prayer is only through Jesus Christ. Jesus says NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME. That excludes MARY, PETER, JOHN PAUL, or any man you can think of.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Ryan

      Don't you think it odd that Catholics go to a man to confess their sins, even though King David said when he sinned, "Against You alone, God, have I sinned"? We need not go to a priest for forgiveness, and we need not human dribble in order to be forgiven of our sins. It is Jesus who forgives sin, not a priest. And forgiveness is not based on performance of the words we say. Forgiveness is based upon faith in Jesus Christ.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • CGAW

      Your response in indicative or your ignorance of the Bible and the glorification of God. God is glorified through the love and holy deeds of mankind. we are God's eyes, ears, hands and feet – he calls us to help our neighbor, the widow, the orphan. Man's response to God's call is glorifying God – recoignizing one as a holy person is never about WHAT that perosn did but God's grace in answering His call. You are a typical uneducated God believer – you speak of what you do not know.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • CGAW

      Forgiveness of sins – this one speaks ULTRA loud of your ignorance and lack of education on th eBible and Catholic belief. Only Christ forgives sins but Christ gave Peter and the the others apostolic authority to preach the gospel and tell people to repent. Apostles are representatives of Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit – "whose sins you retain are retained, whose sins you forgive are forgiven" Asking one to repent requires a cathartic spill of sins and reassurance that God loves them regardles of what they have done if they are truly sorry and amend their ways. So again, priests don't forgive sins, God does. Do you know anything that is factual or truthful about the RCC?

      July 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ryan

      Wow, that is a pretty unbelievable statment... God needs man's deeds in order to be glorified? Wow....that is a pretty sad statement that shows how small you consider God to be. And that is exactly why I disagree with the Catholic church. God does not need you or me in order to be glorified. God is glorified in himself. He doesn't need you or me. Creation is a big example of that. God is glorified in His creation. All things that give God glory are done by God. If your singing glorifies God it is because God gave you the voice to sing. Stop trying to take away God's glory. The Catholic church is a systematic idol worship of man.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ryan

      There again, David didn't need to go to a priest to confess his sin. David went to God in prayer. No man forgives sins. Yes those filled with the Holy Spirit can forgive sins, but since when have you seen a man walking around performing miracles on the spot on behalf of God filled with the Holy Spirit like Peter? The only name I will confess to is Jesus. There have been plenty of people confessing to pedophiles in the Catholic church. I'm sure that doesn't get anyone closer to God, confessing to a pedophile.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • CGAW

      I can see you don't debate well either. I never wrote God NEEDED to be glorified by man's deeds. I wrote that God is glorified when man responds to His call. How do others leaarn of God and how is He glorified to others? Through us responding to Him and helping others. Humiltiy – you lack it severely. While you don't need to be a Catholic to believe or achieve salvation, you would do well to at least study a bit on Catholicism and early Christian history. The hate you spew of the Church is very unbecaoming of one who professes to be a Christian.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Ryan

      You said God is glorified by the love and deeds of mankind...No God is glorified by the Faith He bestows upon men who believe on His Son, Jesus Christ....God is also gloried by those who perform evil in His sight, as His justice will be exacted upon them when they are cast into hell. There is no purgatory, the rich man lifted his eyes in hell. Did you not read that in the book of Luke? Just more lies of the Catholic church.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Ryan

      While I would say that there are Christians in the Catholic church, for the most part, those in the Catholic church are completely lost because of the false teachings within the church. Purgatory, praying to those other than God, mindless dribble they spew after they confess to a sinful priest, crucifying Christ over and over again by believing the wine actually becomes the blood of Jesus, and the bread actually becomes his body. Jesus died once for the sins of man. And that is enough to cover all sin. Confessing one's sin before God Is enough for forgiveness for the Christian who believes. The dribble they recite afterwards is works for forgiveness program and is not Biblical, and is not faith based.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  4. cobalt100

    If Johnny Paul gets a sainthood, and Jesus finds out about it, why Jesus would roll over in his grave.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      meh. john paul supported child molestation - jesus supported slavery. six of one, half a dozen of the other.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus bought us at a price. All that love and follow Him, then there's the unbelievers who will buy into any lie.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus said to beat disobedient slaves "with many stripes."

      July 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • cobalt100

      As you can see in my posts about Jesus rolling over in his grave, I'm being very naughty. Christians would have a fit. They believe that Jesus was the first man into space. HA! HA!

      July 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Bootyfunk, imagine if that slave were exactly like you. Then you'd understand the answer. No arrogance allowed.

      July 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • J

      @Heavensent – who has really bought into the lie? We are like a footprint in the sand in the middle of a desert. We landed, we are evolving and eventually we will all be gone. There is nothing else. It just makes you feel better to have some "greater being" to look up to.

      July 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • derp

      "why Jesus would roll over in his grave"

      As would sasquatch, santa claus, and all of the rainbow colored unicorns.

      July 3, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • HeavenSent

      J, without learning Jesus Christ's truth, you are left with vain man made lies.

      July 4, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  5. Bootyfunk

    john paul's claim to have cured a woman of parkinson's is a lie. what a fake and a fraud. religoius leaders are such charlatans. how come faith healing never cures amputees? the simple answer is you can't fake that. you can pretend to be blind, deaf or lame, but you can't fake having half a leg. so how come god only heals ailments that can be faked?


    July 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Booted. just your post wreaks of doubt.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      and yours wreak of brainwashing.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      We can't all hide behind science.

      July 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • *

      It's "reeks", kids.

      July 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Spontaneous limb regeneration would indeed get my attention. Why does god not heal amputees? Are all amputees irrevocably damned and not worth god's time? Do they deserve the hand they've been dealt (npi)?

      As senor (or senora) Funk stated above, it seems a bit fishy that faith healing only heals ailments that are easily faked.

      July 3, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • My Dog is a Jealous Dog

      And the interesting bit is that limb regeneration is not even out of the ordinary. Salamanders and other creatures can regenerate limbs, and soon science and modern medicine will learn the secret and we will be able to do it also. But, no amount of prayers are ever going to regenerate a limb. How much do you want to bet that once it is medically possible, some religious charlatan will figure out a way to convince his congregation that prayer did it – of course this will not happen until some doctor has actually perfected the technique.

      July 3, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  6. fintastic

    He's just a man... nothing more. "sainthood"??...... please...

    July 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • pockets

      Keep in mind that "christ" has forgiven EVERYONE, that apparently occured when he offered up his son to be slaughtered by Romans during a Crucifixion, so that means the Pope will be a "saint" with the likes of Pol Pot, Stalin, Adolph Hitler, and every executed child molester on the planet.....so he's in good company. Move over Ted Bundy...

      July 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  7. Bootyfunk

    what to see real miracles? look to science. faith healers pretend to help the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk. science really does those things. perhaps they should give sainthood to doctors/scientists that perform real miracles.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm |

    hinduism, absurdity of hindu santans, crook goons of Vatican, by their hindu secular ism, self center ism, no one knows place of dead pope, but truth absolute GOD, he was nothing more than a human being, nor any one knew what was in his heart, but truth absolute GOD,

    July 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Winkie

      Then why are muslims so hung up about Muhammed that they go berserk if someone draws a cartoon of the guy? Muhammed was just a man like any other man – and maybe a lot worse than most men. Double standard?

      July 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • G to the T

      Winkie – they take the "no idols" thing much more seriously than most cross-wearing christians...

      July 3, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • Saraswati

      What does G to the T mean? I think I asked this before but missed it if you answered.

      July 3, 2013 at 7:48 am |
  9. Honey Badger Don't Care

    What a bunch of gullable idiots.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  10. HotAirAce

    The RCC, and all religions, are merely 2,000+ year old voodoo crap. Still waiting for proof of any god or the the first restored amputation. . .

    July 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  11. Doc Vestibule

    Given that Sister Marie Simon-Pierre had a relapse of her Parkinson's, I don't think that should count as a "miracle".

    July 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The Sister's initial diagnosis has been called into question. Allegations of her relapse are also speculative so, yes the investigators have need and duty to settle the matter.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Once properly scrutinized, miracles never prove to be supernatural in origin.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You can't substantiate that but you are welcome to try. Believe me when I tell you that the Church takes very seriously the claim of miracles. There is a serious vulnerability to ridicule which requires the utmost diligence. Skepticism, of course, remains but can you name any organization that investigates these cases to the depth the Church does?

      July 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ BD

      Believe me when I tell you that the Church takes very seriously the claim of miracles.

      Do they take them as seriously as they took the cases of pedophilia in their ranks?

      but can you name any organization that investigates these cases to the depth the Church does?

      The AMA would probably do a better job, if their job included investigating supernatural claims. They don't stand to make millions from selling Saint JPII souvenirs, relics, and other good luck charms.

      The RCC wants to make JPII a saint, and they want to do it quickly. They need to distract the sheep from all of the corruption that has become public.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How many miracles have withstood investigation by a truly independent investigative body? How many claims of supernatural power have survived the James Randi challenge? I believe the answer is currently zero in both cases and I don't expect that to change, any time soon if ever.

      July 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • derp

      "Skepticism, of course, remains but can you name any organization that investigates these cases to the depth the Church does?"

      Maybe you missed all of the current television shows that chase after ghosts, bigfoot, and aliens.

      They have had the same level of success as the catholic church has had proving miracles.

      July 3, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  12. ReligionIsBS

    What exactly do these loons think he has done from beyond the grave that is considered a miracle?

    July 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Wait? He's still alive? LOL. Silly religion.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Alias

    It was a miracle he kept all his priests and bishops out of prison.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    john paul went through south america and africa telling people not to wear condoms because it's a sin. the catholic church has helped spread HIV/AIDs throughout the world. john paul gets a sainthood for helping to spread one of the worst diseases in history? millions have died because they took the pope's advice and didn't put on a jimmy hat. way to stay classy.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm always curious at why people who may have taken the advice not to wear a condemn could not take the advice to refrain from promiscuity as well. That seems inconsistent to me. If the people you speak of are just blind sheep who do what they were told, wouldn't they follow the entirety of the teaching? Or do you also blame the Church for not making the rest of it clear enough?

      July 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Because it is human nature to want to have se.x and not human nature to wear a condom. Telling people to not wear a condom might work fairly often, but telling them not to have se.x will not work nearly as often. The difference between those two might be proportional to the rate of spread of AIDS.
      And yes, the RCC has some responsibility to the consequences of partial compliance with its recommendation if that partial compliance is reasonably foreseeable. In other words, it should have been obvious that people wouldn't adhere to the entire recommendation.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      @ ME II

      Your own admission shows that you recognize that people will reject the teaching even when they understand it is for their own good and that the consequences might be death. Is there any level at which you will accept responsibility for your own choices?

      July 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      I'm not sure I follow, what admission?

      "Is there any level at which you will accept responsibility for your own choices?"

      I didn't think I was avoiding any responsibility. Personally, I am responsible for my actions which includes what I say to other people.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Alias

      Reality check here please.
      AIDS is most widespread inplaces where r.a.p.e is common. Yes Boys and girls, the crime of r.a.p.e is considered minor in most of Africa. While the church hasn't helped the situation any, it is really a minor part of the problem.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • ME II

      I don't know that you are wrong, but I think that the RCC has some responsibility for the message that it sends,

      July 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • ME II

      p.s. What is your source for r.a.pe as a significant factor in the spread of A.I.D.S.?

      July 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      where r.ape is extremely prevalent, yes, it certainly has an effect. but the facts don't back up what you're saying. for instance, compare rates of r.ape vs. rates of HIV/AIDs - there are south american countries where r.ape is not unusually high, but the spread of HIV/AIDs is. you're wrong, the church plays a major part. next to abstinence, condoms are the best protection against the virus. telling people that are going to have s.ex not to use the best and only means of protection is helping to spread the virus. it's telling people not to wear a helmet at speeds past 65.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Condom use has been shown to cause anywhere from a 60-93% reduction in HIV transmission in controlled studies depending upon varying factors (here's a link to one).
      Also, regarding r.ape, how many rapists in the less-developed portion of the world use condoms? I'd venture a semi-educated guess of none.

      July 3, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  15. Bill Deacon

    Canonization Process

    VATICAN CITY, SEP 12, 1997 (VIS) – Today the Holy See Press Office made public the following note on canonical procedure for causes of beatification and canonization:

    "1. Canon norms regarding the procedure to be followed for causes of saints are contained in the Apostolic Constiitution 'Divinus Perfectionis Magister,' promulgated by John Paul II on January 25, 1983.

    "2. To begin a cause it is necessary for at least 5 years to have passed since the death of the candidate. This is to allow greater balance and objectivity in evaluating the case and to let the emotions of the moment dissipate.

    "3. The bishop of the diocese in which the person whose beatification is being requested died is responsible for beginning the investigation. The promoter group ('Actor Causae'): diocese, parish, religious congregation, asks the bishop through the postulator for the opening of the investigation. The bishop, once the 'nulla osta' of the Holy See is obtained, forms a diocesan tribunal for this purpose. Witnesses are called before the tribunal to recount concrete facts on the exercise of Christian virtues considered heroic, that is, the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity, and the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortiitude, and others specific to his state in life. In addition, all docuuments regarding the candidate must be gathered. At this point he is entiitled to the tiitle of Servant of God.

    "4. Once the diocesan investigation is finished, the acts and docuumentation are passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The public copy used for further work is put together here. The postulator, resident in Rome, follows the preparation of the 'Positio', or summary of the docuumentation that proves the heroic exercise of virtue, under the direction of a relator of the Congregation. The 'Positio' undergoes an examination (theological) by nine theologians who give their vote. If the majority of the theologians are in favour, the cause is passed on for examination by cardinals and bishops who are members of the congregation. They hold meetings twice a month. If their judgment is favourable, the prefect of the congregation presents the results of the entire course of the cause to the Holy Father, who gives his approval and authorizes the congregation to draft the relative decree. The public reading and promulgation of the decree follows.

    "5. For the beatification of a confessor a miracle attributed to the Servant of God, verified after his death, is necessary. The required miracle must be proven through the appropriate canonical investigation, following a procedure analogous to that for heroic virtues. This one too is concluded with the relative decree. Once the two decrees are promulgated (regarding the heroic virtues and the miracle) the Holy Father decides on beatification, which is the concession of public worship, limited to a particular sphere. With beatification the candidate receives the tiitle of Blessed.

    "6. For canonization another miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed and having occurred after his beatification. The methods for ascertainment of the affirmed miracle are the same as those followed for beatification. Canonization is understood as the concession of public worship in the Universal Church. Pontifical infallibility is involved. With canonization, the Blessed acquires the tiitle of Saint."

    July 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Doobs

      Instead of cutting and pasting rules from a religion that doesn't bother to follow most of them, why don't you respond to legitimate discussions, such as the one where you called me ignorant and put words into my mouth?

      July 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I thought the basic methodology might be a useful reference to those unfamiliar with it.

      Yes I accused you of being ignorant when you said that most of the saints cannot be verified to even have lived. I didn't mean ignorant as in stupid, I meant ignorant as in uninformed.

      Do you think John Paul II never lived?

      July 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doobs

      Bill, that's not what I said, and you continue to put words into my mouth. Go back to my response on the proper thread and read what I actually said, as well as my response to your ad hominem attack and disingenuous post.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If you want to back pedal on what you meant it's ok with me. Maybe it would be more fruitful to begin again. I say that a common trait among saints is that they willingly embrace pain and death when it comes for the glory of God and that they pray for their enemies.

      What do you say?

      July 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Doobs

      Bill, you're just fishing now. It was in another thread, go respond there instead of highjacking this one.

      July 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • OTOH

      Bill Deacon,

      The sainthood candidate must be a Catholic– yes?

      July 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Doobs

      Bill Deacon ran off again. Coward.

      July 3, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • derp

      "Bill Deacon ran off again. Coward"

      He always does.

      Then again, can you imagine how frustrating and tiring it must be trying to defend the indefensible.

      July 3, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  16. Bootyfunk

    john paul just has to molest 3 more kids before the year's end and he's guaranteed a sainthood. st. touchy-fingers.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Funniest thing I've heard all day!

      July 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  17. OTOH

    Sainthood is simply one of many Catholic fantasy rituals.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  18. Doobs

    I'd like to see the documentation on the two miracles JPII is supposed to perform to get into the VIP club.

    Maybe he found the millions of dollars that Mother Teresa collected from Charles Keating, Duvalier and countless other donations. Now THAT would be a miracle.

    July 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mother Theresa could be the Saint of Unnecesary Suffering after the way she ran her hospitals for the dying.
      Anasthetic is for heathens and heretics. A true Catholic embraces agony as a way to get closer to Christ.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Doc

      “Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.” Mother Teresa

      She was a chronically depressed old hag who refused pain relief for dying patients, never built a decent hospital despite raking in millions, and, when she was ill, flew in private jets to some of the most expensive hospitals in the USA and elsewhere.

      I guess Jeebus isn't a good kisser. Probably too much tongue.

      July 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  19. Lee

    Why do people believe a supernatural force from the middle east will grant their souls eternal life upon their deaths if they blindly worship him?

    It's so......dumb. ::sigh::

    July 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Where did you get the idea blind worship was required?

      July 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Lee

      @Bill Deacon
      "Where did you get the idea blind worship was required?"

      Um...if you believe a book written 2,000 years ago in the desert by wandering jews about a god who grant you eternal life if you have blind faith in him....then you won't understand.
      Faith is belief in something that is obviously false because of fear, ignorance or "simple-mindness" (not dumb, but...simple). You believe in an old book an old group of men wrote thousands of years ago to keep their people in line. It could say anything, heck I could add a small mis-translation and every essence of you would still worship it.

      Heck Bill, I bet even if you could travel back in time 2,000 years ago, see a bunch of ugly old men make up stories in the desert so their idiotic group follows their rules so they can survive longer.
      What do you think was happening before Jews wrote the first word in the bible? Other religions were sparking up all the time.
      Christianity has endured because of pure luck and pure force. Nothing more you say will ever change that. Accept you might as well believe in the tooth fairy....at least she isn't constantly asking her charity!

      July 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • John

      So the only way it would be true is if you were actually there to witness it yourself? When you picture the state of Texas in your mind -you can see it's shape correct? Do you believe it is that shape? Was it other people that reported on the navigation of it's borders that revealed it's shape to you or did you yourself go on an expedition? Your description of the male Jews is quite confirmed. Someone must have written about their behavior that you describe? I'm just eager for enlightenment.

      July 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • J

      Well said Lee! Santa Claus and the easter bunny can join in as well. What a farce...

      July 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @John I can clearly picture the Kingdom of Gondor in my mind. Does that mean it is real?

      July 3, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Lee

      " When you picture the state of Texas in your mind -you can see it's shape correct? Do you believe it is that shape? Was it other people that reported on the navigation of it's borders that revealed it's shape to you or did you yourself go on an expedition?" huh? I saw it on a map in school, but a border around a state is solely decided/accepted by the government and state itself.
      Just last month, the border between North and South Carolina changed...Do you know why? Because the BORDERS AROUND STATES ARE COMPLETELY MADE UP. A WHITE MAN MADE THEM UP ONE DAY AND WE ALL ADHERE TO THEM BC THE ESTABLISHED GOVERNING FORCE ACCEPTS IT.
      If you want to know the truth John, these states don't really exist in the US. This was native American land that taken by force by white Europeans obsessed with God, Glory and Gold. It's extremely basic history.

      "Your description of the male Jews is quite confirmed. Someone must have written about their behavior that you describe? I'm just eager for enlightenment."
      Love that sarcasm....did your Jesus teach you that? And NO, no one has ever written that the first Jews who made up the old testament were ugly, hairy, middle-eastern, uneducated and desperate. But if you read Leviticus and have a ounce of common sense, you will realize the "rules" written (that white in 21st century America seem intent on following to the core) were merely strategies to survive in the desert (don't eat pigs, two gays = less chance of reproduction i.e. survival)...if you need everything spelled out for you like your a friggin' child, without doing any historical research, then you deserve to believe in an old dusty book and have your entire life controlled by an unseen supernatural force who will grant you eternal life in the cosmos after you fart your last fart. ::shakes head::

      July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  20. Reality

    The path to sainthood is so corrupted by the required "miracles" that no rational human considers sainthood to be anything but another way to sell trips to Rome, T-shirts, hats, rosaries, relics, pictures and statues. Time to get rid of this practice.

    Actually, it is time to rid our minds of religion all together!

    July 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Then what reality, take what you approve, throw the rest away, change the name, and claim it as your own?

      July 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • OTOH


      Reality suggests no such thing.

      That *is*, however, precisely what Christianity did when compiling what they call "The Bible" (or "Holy" scriptures).

      July 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      OTOH, remove Jesus Christ's truth from man (meaning women too) leaves us man made vanity. You wouldn't know this OTOH because the sin of pride blinds you.

      July 4, 2013 at 10:29 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.