DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY     December 8-9, 1999     vol. 10, no. 233-234
Special Issue for the Solemnity of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- On December 20, the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints will read a series of decrees approving beatification and canonization for a number of candidates.

        Many of these beatifications and canonizations will be scheduled for the Jubilee Year. And according to the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana, the beatification of Popes John XXIII and Pius IX have already been set for September 3, 2000.

        The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has not confirmed the beatification of either pope; in fact, no statement about the cause of any candidate will be made until the official decrees are read in the presence of Pope John Paul II.

        In the case of Pope John XXIII, there are two steps remaining before he can be beatified. The Congregation has not yet issued a decree recognizing his "heroic virtue." If such a decree is among those read on December 20, the Congregation must still recognize the validity of a miracle attributed to the late pope's intercession. However, informed sources say that a miracle-- the 1966 cure of an Italian nun-- has already been approved, so that the cause of John XXIII could proceed quickly to beatification.

        The case of Pope Pius IX is quite different. The decree recognizing his "heroic virtue" was promulgated in 1985, and in 1986 the Congregation approved a miracle through his intercession. Thus the path is clear for his beatification. But Pope John Paul II has delayed scheduling the ceremony, because of sensitivities in Italy over the role of Pius IX In the political events that led to the unification of Italy. Pope John Paul sought the advice of a panel of historians, who recently delivered their judgment that the political passions had cooled, and the beatification could now proceed.

        Other possible candidates for beatification in 2000 include Don Marmion, the Irish Benedictine and spiritual writer; and Cardinal John Henry Newman, the renowned English convert and author.

        Despite the absence of any official confirmation from the Vatican, it is already common knowledge that one of the December 20 decrees will clear the way for the beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three children to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima. That beatification is already scheduled to take place in Fatima on May 13.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 8-9, 1999       volume 10, no. 233-234


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