John Paul II sainthood 'fasttracked'
Vatican City - The process leading to sainthood for late Polish pope John Paul II has recently been accelerated, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said on Saturday after talks with Pope Benedict XVI.
"We expressed our hope for a continuation of the process and the latest signals show that this process has been recently speeded up," Komorowski told reporters after the talks on the 32nd anniversary of John Paul II's election.
Komorowski also attended a mass in honour of John Paul II in the Vatican.
Italian daily Il Giornale this week reported that the medical confirmation of John Paul II's first miracle - a vital step towards beatification and eventual canonisation - could come "in the next few weeks".
A spokesperson for the Vatican declined to comment on the report.
There had been speculation in Poland earlier this year that Saturday's anniversary could see the beatification of John Paul II - the first step toward formal recognition as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
The procedure leading up to sainthood usually takes many years.
Benedict congratulated Komorowski ahead of the canonisation of Stanislaw Soltys, a 15th-century Polish priest who is due to be recognised as saint at a ceremony on Sunday alongside five others including Australia's first saint.
"Tomorrow Poland will have a new saint," Benedict told the president.
Komorowski is set to attend the ceremony on Sunday on the square in front of Saint Peter's basilica where around 50 000 faithful are also expected.
The two leaders also discussed collaboration between church and state "for the common good", as well as European affairs, the Vatican said in a statement.