Vatican City — The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes met Tuesday and, according to Italian news reports, took steps to advance the sainthood causes of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII.
The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting, but said all deliberations in sainthood 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 canonization. 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 canonization would be scheduled after Pope Francis approves the publication of a decree recognizing the miracle and after he consults with members of the College of Cardinals.
Although early reports had expressed optimism about a canonization ceremony in October to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Blessed John Paul's election, news reports Tuesday said there was not enough time to organize the event. Instead, the dates under discussion were November or December, or even spring 2014. Apparently, the idea would be to canonize the two popes at the same ceremony.