Pope John Paul I beatification moves closer

Smiling Pope

Pope John Paul I’s Cause is moving ahead, after Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, former Vatican Secretary of State, announced that the document advancing his beatification will be submitted this autumn, reports the Catholic Herald.

The position, prepared by the Postulator, sets out the pros and cons of the case for beatification. Once it is submitted, theologian-consultants to the congregation and the Promoter of Faith (popularly called the Devil’s Advocate) vote on whether to approve it for further consideration; if they do it is then put to members of the congregation for their approval. Then the Cause will be presented to Pope Francis.

Cardinal Albino Luciani, Patriarch of Venice, was elected Pope on August 26 1978. Born in 1912, he was ordained a priest in 1935 at the age of 22, and became Bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958. His sudden death on September 28, after just 33 days in office, led to conspiracy theories that he had been murdered.

The process towards John Paul I’s canonisation began with a petition by Brazilian bishops and cardinals in 1990. In 2003 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave its approval, and documents and testimonies began to be collected.

For beatification, one certified miracle is necessary; for canonisation two miracles are normally required, though this was waived by Pope Francis in the case of St John XXIII. One miracle has already been attributed to John Paul I’s intercession: the healing of Giuseppe Denora from a malignant stomach tumour in 1992.

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