Once again, I was caught by surprise by the news, just as I was back in September. And it is glorious news, thanks be to God! I’ve literally been waiting almost 40 years for this. This is my reporting, which has already gone up on the Pope John Paul I Association website.
On November 7, 2017, the Cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints unanimously approved the heroic nature of the virtue of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I. Pope Francis is expected to soon sign the decree declaring him Venerable. When a miracle is approved, it will open the way to his beatification.
There are two possible miracles already waiting in the wings: the diocesan process has concluded for one miracle in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Pope Francis’ home diocese), and the process for a second miracle, the location of which has not specified, is still ongoing. When a miracle is chosen, it will be presented to the Congregation by Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the Postulator of Pope John Paul I’s cause. A previous potential miracle, of a man healed from non-Hodgkins lymphona in Altamura, Italy, has not been approved by the Vatican.
Pope John Paul I’s cause for beatification was opened just 14 years ago in November 2003, 25 years after his death. The diocesan process concluded in November 2006. The Roman phase finished in 2008. The first part of the Positio on his virtues was submitted to the Vatican in October 2012, and the complete Positio in October 2016. On June 1, 2017, a panel of theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved his heroic virtue, leaving the way open for the cardinals and bishops to vote.
Reporting from La Stampa and Corriere delle Alpi. Please keep coming back for updates!
Update. There is also more news. A new book published in Italy chronicles the Pope’s death. It was written by journalist and historian Stefania Falasca, the vice-postulator of his cause. It says that of course, he died of natural causes, and suggests a heart attack. It is based on documents originating with the Vatican, and his canonization process. There are sure to be questions about this as well. I have chronicled his death for a long time myself, and it is unquestionable that the Pope died of natural causes, but there is also question whether it was a heart attack. I will go into it in a later post.
Update, Nov 9: Yes! Pope Francis has wasted no time publishing the decree approving John Paul I’s heroic virtues, announced Nov. 9 and published in the Nov. 10 Osservatore Romano.
I have bought and downloaded a digital copy of Falasca’s book Papa Luciani: Cronaca della sua Morte and have started reading it. It has a really fantastic level of detail and documentation not only about John Paul’s death but also his pontificate. I will write a lengthy treatment of it as soon as I can.
EWTN’s Nightly News has a good story with some more details about book: (when you hit play, it should start from the beginning of the story; it runs from 10:00-12:35).