Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fed chair calls for 'pragmatic' US approach to inflation

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Controversial wartime pontiff moves one step closer to sainthood

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-19

Pope Pius XII (photo), whose silence during World War II is frequently criticised, has become "venerable", the last step before sainthood. Pope Benedict XVI, who bestowed the honour, did the same for John Paul II.

AFP - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday moved controversial wartime pontiff Pius XII closer to sainthood by declaring him "venerable," bestowing the same honour on beloved Polish predecessor John Paul II.
   
The beatification process of Pius XII has been a source of tension with Jewish groups due to the view among many historians that he remained passive while Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews.
   
The decree was unexpected on a day when Benedict also paved the way for the beatification of John Paul II's compatriot Jerzy Popieluszko, the "Solidarity chaplain" who was murdered by the Polish secret service in 1984.
   
Benedict has hesitated over Pius XII's dossier over fears of compromising relations with Jews.
   
The Vatican has defended the wartime pope, saying he saved many Jews by having them hidden religious institutions in Rome and abroad and that his silence was born out of a wish to avoiding aggravating their situation.
   
Meanwhile John Paul II's sainthood dossier has been criticised as a "fast-track" campaign to answer the prayers of millions who adored the Pole, who headed the Roman Catholic Church for nearly three decades.
   
Benedict launched the lengthy process -- which can take decades if not centuries -- just two months after the death in 2005 of John Paul II, whose funeral was marked by calls of "Santo Subito" (Saint Now).
   
The final stage for beatification is providing evidence of a miracle, usually a medical cure with no scientific explanation which is reviewed by several commissions.
   
In John Paul II's case, the miracle under consideration -- and subject to another papal decree -- involves a French nun who was cured of Parkinson's disease in 2005.
   
Vatican watchers expect Benedict to approve the beatification, which could be celebrated next year, either on the April 2 anniversary of his death or in October on the anniversary of the start of John Paul II's papacy in 1978.
   
Popieluszko's beatification dossier does not require evidence of a miracle because he is considered a martyr.
 

Date created : 2009-12-19

COMMENT(S)