Pius XII document is on B16’s desk (since May)

Speaking of beatifications, the possibility of Pope Pius XII’s continues to get big coverage in the media, following Pope Benedict’s positive comments about it last week.  Though most of it repeats the same old material, I did spot one interesting detail this weekend about the potential beatification of Pope Pius XII that I had not seen before.

An article by Agence France-Presse cites the well-known postulator of Pius’s cause, Fr. Peter Gumpel, saying that the decree attesting to Pius XII’s heroic virtues is complete and “has been on [Pope Benedict’s] desk since May 8,” awaiting his signature.  Fr. Gumpel says that the Pope has not yet signed it because “he wants good relations with the Jews.”

The Pope’s signature on this decree would be a major step toward Pius XII’s beatification / canonization, giving him the title “Servant of God.”  The only thing left for beatification would be the verification of a miracle, followed by another for canonization.  (Sounds odd to use that word only there — we only need a few dramatic cures that are inexplicabale by modern science!  No problem at all!)

But if Benedict is concerned about offending the Jews of the world (and I think it’s worthy concern), given the current state of opinion of most Jewish leaders and media outlets, it may be a long time before it happens.

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