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Cardinals ‘approve miracles attributed to Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII’

John Paul II meets the nephew and nieces of John XXIII in 2000 (AP)

The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints met today and, according to Italian news reports, took steps to advance the canonisation Causes of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII.

The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting, but said that all deliberations in Causes are secret until the Pope issues the relevant decrees.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the cardinals approved the miracle needed for Blessed John Paul’s canonisation. Previously, a panel of physicians said there was no medical explanation for the healing that occurred, and a panel of theologians said there was evidence that prayers asking God to heal the person in question were addressed through the intercession of Blessed John Paul.

The canonisation would be scheduled after Pope Francis approves the publication of a decree recognising the miracle and after he consults members of the College of Cardinals.

Although early reports had expressed optimism about a canonisation ceremony in October to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Blessed John Paul’s election, news reports today said there was not enough time to organise the event. Instead, the dates under discussion were November or December, or even spring 2014. Apparently, the idea would be to canonise the two popes at the same ceremony.