declaration of saint john paul II
Question from ian on 4/17/2005:

i have three question

1)is it possible that the next pontiff will declare the miracle attributed to john paul authentic and divine intervention (i've read on vatican.va that pope john paul's miracle was the healing of cardinal's throat). is possible to used this kind of healing as his miracle for his cause?)

2)can a new pontiff declare pope john paul II a great and blessed even if it's not five years of waiting or posthumous period?

3)can pope john paul II be saint and great?

thanks for the answer anyway...

Answered on 4/17/2005:

Pope John Paul II can be a blessed if a Cause is introduced five years after his death, or sooner if the new Pope waives or reduces the time, and the process concludes positively with the declaration of heroic virtues by the Pope, and the approval of a posthumous miracle. At that point he can be beatified. With a second posthumous miracle he can be canonized a saint.

So, in answer to your question about Cardinal Macharski, who says his throat was healed after the Pope touched it, it could not be counted toward the Pope's cause. The candidate must be dead for the miracle to be attributed to his being present before God and interceding for someone on earth. It then shows that he is in heaven. While still alive a person who performs a miracle can still, because of free will, die in mortal sin and go to hell. So, miracles tell us nothing, really, about the preson's ultimate destiny, unless they occur after death.

"Great" is more the judgment of history than a formal declaration of the Church. However, if cardinals, bishops, priests and laity, and especially if the next Pope, continue to refer to John Paul II as "the Great," the title will probably stick. Like St. Leo I and St. Gregory I, someday he could be universally called Pope St. John Paul the Great.

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