John Pauls journey to sainthood begins...

From CNN:

John Paul sainthood process begins

Tuesday, June 28, 2005; Posted: 4:37 a.m. EDT (08:37 GMT)

ROME, Italy (AP) -- The process to beatify Pope John Paul II officially opens in Italy with a solemn ceremony in which all the clerics involved will take an oath of secrecy -- and promise not to be corrupted by taking any money or gifts that might sway their decisions.

Yet even before the cause opened, it seemed that virtually everyone involved was in favor -- including the official whose job it is to play "devil's advocate," or to investigate any doubts about the late pope's saintliness.

In an interview Monday, the Reverend Giuseppe D'Alonzo, promoter of justice for the Diocese of Rome, said he was neither for nor against beatification for John Paul, who was viewed as a saint by many even before his April 2 death.

But when asked his personal opinion about John Paul's merits, he conceded: "It's the opinion that ordinary people have, simple people who we all saw in St. Peter's Square when there was the funeral Mass."

D'Alonzo was apparently referring to the chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood Immediately!" that erupted during John Paul's April 8 funeral.

The calls prompted the new pope, Benedict XVI, to waive the traditional five-year waiting period and allow John Paul's saint-making process to begin immediately.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, a close adviser of the late pope and his vicar for Rome, will preside over the Latin-filled rite in St. John Lateran basilica to open the cause.

D'Alonzo and the other clerics involved will swear to "faithfully and diligently" do their work, keep their proceedings secret and not accept "any type of gift" that might corrupt the process.

The postulator, or main advocate for the cause, Polish Monsignor Slawomir Oder, will hand over the list of witnesses who will testify -- a number he said last week was "more than a few dozen." D'Alonzo will also present the list of questions to be put to the witnesses.

Also attending the ceremony is an official church delegation from John Paul's native Poland, including the outgoing Archbishop of Krakow Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, and his replacement, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, the late pope's personal secretary.

In an interview Monday with the Polish Press Agency, Dziwisz said he hoped Pope Benedict XVI would announce John Paul had been made a saint when he travels to World Youth Day this August in Cologne, Germany.

"The chances of that happening are close to zero," he acknowledged, but he added: "The world already canonized John Paul II, we are now only waiting for the final confirmation of this fact."

Indeed, by Monday, the Diocese of Rome reported that more than 20,000 people had visited the official Web site for the cause, and that 100 emails a day were arriving at the postulator's address testifying to John Paul's virtues.

Most of the messages had arrived from Latin America, followed by Europe.

Devil's advocate

Aside from Oder, D'Alonzo has one of the key tasks in the process -- a job that used to be known as the "devil's advocate."

John Paul dispensed with the title "devil's advocate" in 1983 reforms to streamline the saint-making process -- a move that drew criticism from some that it removed the only checks and balances in the system.

"Put another way, everyone involved in a canonization process now has a stake in its positive outcome," Kenneth L. Woodward wrote in his 1990 book "Making Saints: how the Catholic Church determines who becomes a saint, who doesn't and why."

D'Alonzo insisted the promoter of justice fulfills the same task as the devil's advocate -- which is to raise objections, investigate doubts and seek clarification about a candidate's virtues.

"I ask questions about weak points that I have to try to clarify for the cause so it can proceed," he said.

Once the cause officially opens, theological experts will review John Paul's published works to determine if they are theologically sound, a historical commission will gather information to document his life and D'Alonzo and Bella will start interviewing witnesses.

Once all the material is gathered, the Diocese of Rome turns the case over to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which appoints commissions to review the case and make a final report to the pope, who must decide if John Paul has lived in a "heroic" way.

If the Vatican then confirms a miracle has occurred after John Paul's death thanks to his intercession, he can be beatified. A second miracle is needed for him to be made a saint.

Oder said last week he had already received "interesting" reports of a possible miracle that warranted further investigation.
The link is here.

This issue was pulled apart on these hallowed boards at the time of his passing, most notably here and rather more irreverently, here.

If nothing else, it shows how highly he was regarded by the Catholic Church, an organisation not noted for moving swiftly. Or is there something else at work here - is even The Vatican susceptible to creeping 'Dianification' or is Ratzinger/Benedict XVI merely seeking to deploy a smokescreen....?
Many of the saints that are venerated today became saints for political reasons, or to generate revenue from pilgramages. don't worry about it john.

There might even be a Saint Lairdx one day. You never know i might turn my back on my sinfull ways.
Nahhhh, it's traditional. Roman, even.

I think most Caesars after Caesar Augustus were declared Gods after they'd croaked. This isn't much different.

Think of it as the Vatican version of Honours and Awards, and given they (by definition) believe that Il Papa is around to watch afterwards, it's the Papal equivalent of a GCMG (bad joke in there, I know).
Lardix does this mean no Saint for Bangkoks finest Kathoys (Ladyboys to you)?
The RC run schools out here are the ones where all middle class Thais want their kids to be educated. Discapline wham bam Shut up.
Luv these pacifists
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