John Paul II to be “beatified within months”?

That’s a grabber of a headline — at least for fans of the late, great Pope.  But it’s a real one and just up today, on the website of the London Telegraph.  I have to say, I’m a bit skeptical. 

The claim that JP2 will beatified “by 2010” was put forward recently by the Mayor of Rome, in public statements made while on a visit to Krakow. 

First of all, he is not exactly a high-ranking Vatican official … or a Vatican official of any kind, for that matter.  Secondly, we’re already into November, which means a beatification by 2010 would need to take place in the next 8 weeks or so.  And I have a feeling that when the beatification of John Paul II actually does happen, it will be an event of massive proporations that will take months, even a year, of planning and preparation.

This does raise the interesting question of where it will happen.  Almost all beatifications in the B16 pontificate have taken place in the homeland of the new blessed, presided over by the local bishop or the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  Will JP2’s be in Poland?  On the other hand, he was the Bishop of Rome and “belonged” to the Universal Church for over a quarter of a century.  Does that, plus the added element of the level of global interest even outside the Church, mean it could be held in Rome? Presided over by the Pope himself?  Not difficult to imagine happening.

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