VATICAN CITY, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Former Pope John Paul II
will move a step closer to sainthood this week when his
successor Pope Benedict approves the case for his beatification,
Vatican sources said on Wednesday.
In "a few days" the Vatican's Prefect for the Causes of
Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, is expected present Benedict with
the evidence that John Paul performed a miracle and should be
beatified, one source said.
At that point Benedict is expected to approve the
recommendation and set a date for the ceremony less than six
years after the death of the Polish pontiff.
One miracle is needed for beatification, while two are
required for sainthood.
On Tuesday a Vatican commission of cardinals and bishops,
members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, approved
medical and theological evidence that John Paul had miraculously
cured a nun with Parkinson's disease, paving the way for the
beatification request to be presented.
The initial phases of a canonisation cause can usually take
decades or, in some cases, hundreds of years. However in May
2005, a month after his death, Benedict put John Paul on the
fast track by dispensing with Church rules that normally impose
a five-year waiting period after a candidate's death before the
Crowds at John Paul's funeral on April 8, 2005 chanted
"santo subito" ("make him a saint now").
His 27-year papacy, which began in 1978, was one of the most
historic and tumultuous of modern times.
During his pontificate communism collapsed across eastern
Europe, including in his native Poland. John Paul, the first
non-Italian pope in 450 years, was seriously wounded in a 1981
Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a 47-year-old French nun
diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, from which Pope John Paul
himself suffered, said it inexplicably disappeared two months
after his death after she and her fellow nuns prayed to him.
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