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JPI-CAUSE Sep-26-2012 (290 words) xxxi

Pope John Paul I sainthood cause moves forward

Pope John Paul I, the "smiling pope," is pictured at the Vatican in 1978. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Promoters of the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul I, who served as head of the church for just over a month, met Pope Benedict XVI Sept. 26 to bring him up to date on their work.

Bishop Giuseppe Andrich of Belluno and Feltre, Italy, the diocese in which the late pope was born, and Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo, the postulator -- or official promoter -- of the cause, said major documentation on Pope John Paul's life and ministry would be submitted formally to the Congregation for Saints' Causes Oct. 17, the 100th anniversary of the late pope's birth.

The documentation, called a "positio" or position paper, includes a biography, an analysis of the candidate's writings and summaries of testimony offered by people who knew him. A "positio" usually runs to several thousand pages.

Bishop Dal Covolo, rector of Rome's Pontifical Lateran University, told the Vatican newspaper, "what is most captivating today" about the figure of Pope John Paul is that he was "a good shepherd who gave his life for his people."

Bishop Andrich said people devoted to the late pope remember him for his "traits of humility and simplicity."

Born Albino Luciani, he was the cardinal of Venice, Italy, when he was elected Aug. 26, 1978, to succeed Pope Paul VI. As Pope John Paul I, he served just over a month, dying Sept. 28.

The diocesan phase of his cause for sainthood formally opened in 2003.

The "positio" will be studied by the cardinal-members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes. On the basis of their recommendation, the first step toward canonization would be the recognition by Pope Benedict XVI that Pope John Paul heroically lived the Christian virtues. Approval of a miracle would be needed for beatification.


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