During an already busy news day at the Vatican, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints released a slate of decrees concerning the causes for canonization of several individuals, most notably Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII. It was announced that Pope Francis has approved a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope John Paul II, clearing the way for his canonization just eight years after his death; the Holy Father also approved the decision—voted upon by the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops—to canonize Pope John XXIII without a second miracle attributed to his intercession.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that while the decision to canonize in the absence of a second miracle is unusual, the move is valid. One miracle attributed to the intercession of John XXIII was approved before the late pope’s beatification and, according to the Vatican Radio report, Father Lombardi stated that “it was [Pope Francis’] will that the sainthood of the great Pope of the Second Vatican Council be recognized.”
A special Consistory of the College of Cardinals has been called to decide upon the details of the canonization of Blessed John Paul II; Father Lombardi said that while dates have not been set, it is possible that John Paul and John XXIII will be canonized at the same time. He also stated that he believed the canonizations would take place before the end of the year.
Developments in the canonization causes of several other individuals were also announced by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, including several miracles and declarations of heroic virtue.