The late Pope John Paul II has gone through one of the last hurdles before canonization, as a commission of cardinals and bishops met earlier this week and gave their consent for his sainthood. All that is left now is for Pope Francis to make a final decision.
"We should be very happy if it is confirmed," the Rev. Robert Necek told Polish TVN24. "This is the next and the last step towards canonization. It will be presented to Pope Francis and the pope will take the appropriate decision."
Necek serves as a spokesman for Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the former private secretary of the popular Polish pope, who has led the push for his canonization.
In June, a second miracle was attributed to John Paul II, relating to a case in Costa Rica where a woman with severe brain damage experienced a miraculous healing, and the faith of her entire family was restored.
The miracle allegedly occurred in May 2011, on the day of the pope's beatification. The pontiff's previous miracle reportedly occurred in 2005, when a French nun recovered from Parkinson's disease after her order prayed on her behalf and she wrote down John Paul II's name on a piece of paper
The Associated Press noted that the cardinals' meeting on Tuesday was essentially a formality, as the decision to push forward John Paul II's sainthood had already been taken. While the Roman Catholic Church has yet to announce a date for his possible canonization, it is believed it could take place before the end of the year – only eight years following his death in 2005.
It would be the fastest path to sainthood in modern history – Josemaria Escriva, the Spanish priest who founded Opus Dei and was canonized 27 years after his death holds the current record.
A Vatican official who wasn't named suggested that John Paul II might be canonized together with Pope John XXIII, who died in 1963 and has had to wait 50 years for his sainthood. It is understood that two popes are sometimes beatified or canonized together in order to "balance one another out."
Catholic News Service noted that while the Vatican has confirmed the cardinals' meeting, the details behind the case for John Paul II will remain private until Pope Francis issues a decree.