Pope John Paul II needed confirmation that he had performed a second miracle in order to qualify for sainthood.
The Italian news agency, ANSA, reported this week that a meeting of senior cardinals and bishops in the Vatican had now agreed that the recovery of Floribeth Mora from a cerebral aneurism was, indeed, such a miracle.
In 2011, on the day of Pope Paul II’s beatification, she was watching a TV broadcast of the event in her home in Costa Rica. She says that she fell asleep after praying for the Pope to heal her. When she awoke, she felt a change had come over her.
A medical check by neurosurgeon Alejando Vargas confirmed that the aneurism had gone. He could not explain it medically:”What we found remarkable, unbelievable really, was that by November there was absolutely no trace in her brain that she ever had an aneurysm,” he said. “I had never seen this in my career.”
The news of the imminent elevation to sainthood of, probably, the most popular Pope of recent years, comes at a time when the Vatican is reeling from a series of scandals that seem never ending.
First came the news that senior officers of the Vatican Bank were forced to resign after accusations of fraud and money laundering. Then the revelations of priestly sexual abuse in America surfaced again.
The Vatican was in need of some really good PR, so this news about Pope John Paul II could not have come at a better time.
Critics allege that he didn’t do enough to deal with these problem when he had the chance. But these criticisms will doubtless be pushed aside in the interests of improving the image of the Catholic Church when it is so sorely needed.
How do you feel about making John Paul II a saint at this time? Do you think the timing is a coincidence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.