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Fast Track To Being A Saint

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Fast Track To Being A Saint

There is no waiting list to become a saint. Instant access, like the internet, is now available if one can prove a few miracles and get enough people to rally in ones' behalf to become a saint in less than a few years. On May 9, 2005, Pope Benedict read a letter in which "he asked the head of the Vatican Congregation, for the causes of saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, to waive the five-year waiting period between the time of a person's death and when the process for beatification, a key step toward sainthood, can begin (Fisher and Goodstein1). There are certain requirements to become a saint that must be adhered to before beatification, (being blessed) can be sanctioned by the church.

"The first requirement is that the deceased enjoy a genuine 'reputation for holiness' among the faithful. The church then interprets this as the work of the Holy Spirit" (Woodward 9). A beatification requires that the candidate has performed a miracle during his lifetime. "It must then certify a miracle attributed to his intercession after his death for him to be beatified" (Winfield 1). Peter Gould describes that the findings are reviewed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints who will present their conclusions to the pope. The blessed may be given a day of feast, and personal items and relics are attained from the candidate. The last step for canonization is proof of a second miracle (4). The Vatican laws are explicit regarding steps required to be canonised, and the required time to process potential candidates. "At one time, the process of creating saints took decades, if not centuries" (Gould 1). The fast track approach to beatify and canonise John Paul before due process of church doctrine demonstrates the inconsistency of the Roman Catholic Church and its approach to self-serving methods, which is not in the best interest for them or the people.

The Vatican documents several miracles attributed to John Paul. "Among them came from one Cardinal Francesco Marchisano of Italy, who said his vocal chord had been paralyzed by a medical error" (Goodstein and Fisher 1). In a telephone interview with Goodstein and Fisher, the cardinal explained that 'the pope caressed his throat, and after seven months of therapy Marchisano was able to speak again' (1). In Italy, "Italian newspapers are already reporting supposed miraculous events attributed to John Paul's intercession even though he has been dead for only a week" (Winfield A1). There is no doubt that John Paul has been one of the most popular popes of all time. "Even those who disagreed with some of the Pope's views accept that he was a remarkable man, who had an extraordinary impact on the church and the wider world" (Gould 1). Kenneth Woodward describes that during the Pope's funeral there were shouts and signs demanding "Santo Subito" (Saint soon)(9). The Italian media spoke with Archbishop Edward Nowak who declared "that the emotional outpouring was a signal that 'the people' recognized the late pope's holiness and wanted him declared a saint immediately" (Woodward 9). The momentum of the crowd was increasing and John Paul was being called a saint before he was even interred. "Pope John had created a modern system for the process of beatification so Catholics could identify with real people during their lifetime instead of martyrs of many years past.). The Pope had created many saints during his reign as Catholic Leader. By reorganizing the process of canonization, the pope was able to add many people to the ranks of sainthood. "John Paul became the most prolific saint-maker for many centuries, canonising more than 480 and beatifying 1,300" (Popham 22). "He tapped an Italian who died postmortem after ignoring his doctors advice to abort her baby and a Mexican peasant to whom the Virgin.

Mary appeared" (Stein 74). The Pope had changed the course of history for people canonized during his leadership. "John Paul waived that five-year period for Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, and the beatification process began less than two years later. She was beatified in 2003" (Fisher and Goodstein 1). It was on January 25, 1983 that the canonization process was officially changed. "On that day, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Constitution 'Divine Perfectionis Magister,' mandating the most thoroughgoing reforming of the saint-making process since the decrees of Urban VIII"(Woodward 90). This new reform expedited the process and made it more productive.

Pope John Paul had certainly made an impression among the faithful and leaders of this world. His gentle and loving nature was apparent to most who watched him during his years as Pope. Miracles however, are subjective that requires careful study. The process of beatifying is supposed to be thorough for proper information to be assessed and defined clearly if indeed a miracle event has occurred. It is for this reason a waiting period is necessary to accumulate all the necessary data required to make a proper decision of the so called miracle. A combination of virtues and miracles is assessed of the potential candidate." Pope Gregory IX, in connection with the canonization Of Saint Anthony of Padua, established the principle that neither virtues without miracles nor miracles without virtues provide sufficient grounds for canonization" (Woodward 214).

What is the urgency to make John Paul a saint? Public acclamation could be one reason to expedite the beatification of John Paul. "There is no doubt it will be a hugely popular move throughout the Catholic Church" (Gould 1). In the early days of Christianity, martyrs were beatified by public acclamation. Most of the Cardinals appointed by the pope believe that John Paul was a saint. However, some of the cardinals had suspicions about the demonstrations during the pope's funeral. "The placards, they noticed were uniformly produced, indicating that the demonstration had been organized ahead of time and was not spontaneous" (Woodward 17). Organized acclamation for sainthood is unacceptable since the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is not influencing the demonstrators. Another possibility



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