Wartime pope closer to sainthood

2009-12-19 21:59

Rome - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday moved controversial wartime pontiff Pius XII closer to sainthood by declaring him "venerable", bestowing the same honour on beloved Polish predecessor John Paul II.

The beatification process of Pius XII has been a source of tension with Jewish groups due to the view among many historians that he remained passive while Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews.

The decree was unexpected on a day when Benedict also paved the way for the beatification of John Paul II's compatriot Jerzy Popieluszko, the "Solidarity chaplain" who was murdered by the Polish secret service in 1984.

Benedict has hesitated over Pius XII's dossier over fears of compromising relations with Jews.

The Vatican has defended the wartime pope, saying he saved many Jews by having them hidden in religious institutions in Rome and abroad and that his silence was born out of a wish to avoiding aggravating their situation.

Meanwhile John Paul II's sainthood dossier has been criticised as a "fast-track" campaign to answer the prayers of millions who adored the Pole, who headed the Roman Catholic Church for nearly three decades.

Benedict launched the lengthy process - which can take decades if not centuries - just two months after the death in 2005 of John Paul II, whose funeral was marked by calls of "Santo Subito" (Saint Now).

The final stage for beatification is providing evidence of a miracle, usually a medical cure with no scientific explanation which is reviewed by several commissions.

In John Paul II's case, the miracle under consideration - and subject to another papal decree - involves a French nun who was cured of Parkinson's disease in 2005.

Vatican watchers expect Benedict to approve the beatification, which could be celebrated next year, either on the April 2 anniversary of his death or in October on the anniversary of the start of John Paul II's papacy in 1978.

Popieluszko's beatification dossier does not require evidence of a miracle because he is considered a martyr.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  pope benedict xvi  |  pope john paul ii  |  italy  |  war
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.