I’ll start playing catch-up as some very interesting things have happened. First, the Pope’s Last Will was published. Unlike a will to just describe who gets what possessions and whatnot, it is an examination of death. Also, the papal funeral, and the unique liturgical rite, is well-worth examination. This is ignoring the activities of the cardinals during the 4th, 5th and 6th meeting.
However, this caused me to smile so I didn’t want to forget to write about it. In today’s Vatican briefing e-mail, it makes note that Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, received “countless” questions regarding Pope John Paul II and his beatification process.
Beatification is one step on the route to being declared a saint by the Church. Under rules created by Pope John Paul II (that he bended himself for Mother Teresa’s beatification process), there is a five-year “waiting period” before starting the process. This is to help ensure that we, both the faithful and those who are investigating, do not get too caught up in the emotional aspects. It allows time also to give a proper investigation to ensure there is nothing that would cause great scandal to the faithful’s spiritual guidence if the person is lifted up as being a role model. Many saintly stories are of conversions to the faith and so the mere presence of something questionable does not mean anything; however and in any case, the Church wishes to investigate as fully as possible the life of the proposed saint.
That being noted, the Vatican Press Office is receiving question after question regarding when will the process start for Pope John Paul II.
What I really enjoyed was the response by Navarro-Valls in which he did not mention anything of what I just said above about a normal waiting period. His response was simply that it is completely up to the new pope.
Bishop Aymond of Austin has said on multiple occasions that he thinks it would be a great thing if the new pope’s first act would be to beatify Pope John Paul II. The Vatican Press Office has helped spark that thought in my mind. There’s a bed calling my name to catch up on sleep, but more entries are on the way.