Waiting Period Waived for
John Paul II
Benedict XVI Opens John Paul
II Cause of Beatification
ROME, MAY 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).-
Benedict XVI announced the he will dispense with the five-year waiting
period, established by Canon Law, to open John Paul II's cause of
In his meeting with priests of the Diocese of Rome, held today in the
Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Pope read the following announcement
in Latin: "The Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, has dispensed with
the period of five years of waiting, after the death of the Servant of
God, John Paul II, Supreme Pontiff."
An immense applause, which resounded in the diocesan cathedral,
interrupted the Holy Father's words. The Pope smiled with evident
With this announcement, 42 days after the death of John Paul II,
Benedict XVI responded to the cry that took over St. Peter's square
April 8, the day of his predecessor's funeral: "Sainthood
now!" ("Santo subito!").
The Pope chose the feast of the Virgin of Fatima, May 13, as the date
to make the announcement. John Paul II had a special devotion to the
one he believed, as he acknowledged in his testament, intervened to
save his life on May 13, 1981, when he was the target of an
The Vatican press office published the rescript, or formal decree, of
the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, which recorded the Pontiff's
decision, "at the request" of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar
for the Diocese of Rome.
John Paul II dispensed with the established waiting period only once,
in the case of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The blessed died Sept. 5,
1997, and was beatified by John Paul II Oct. 19, 2003.
Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for
Sainthood Causes, commented that John Paul II dispensed with two years
of the five-year waiting period for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, while
Benedict XVI dispensed of the entire waiting period in the case of his
In statements on Vatican Radio today, the Portuguese cardinal
explained that now the Diocese of Rome "will have to proceed to
the official opening of the cause of beatification, as well as the
appointment of a postulator."
"Under the guidance of the postulator, documents are collected
and a list is prepared of the witnesses who will attest to the heroic
virtues of John Paul II," he added.
Later on, the process will call for the recognition of a miracle
realized after his death, attributed to the intercession of John Paul
"Obviously, all this requires time, but we hope that everything
will proceed with speed, and that we will be able to see John Paul II
on the altars as soon as possible," concluded Cardinal Saraiva.