LIVE VIDEO: THV 11 This Morning    Watch

    Pope John Paul II on fast track to sainthood

    12:54 PM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
    • Share
    • Print
    • - A A A +

    UNDATED (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II may be one miracle closer to becoming a saint. He could break the record for fastest canonization by more than a decade.

    At his funeral, thousands chanted "santo subito": 'sainthood now'; a tribute to John Paul II, maybe the most popular pope in the modern history of the catholic church.

    It's now eight-years later, and it's about as close to 'sainthood now' as you can get. CNN Vatican analyst John Allen says, 'For an institution that typically thinks in centuries, this is remarkably quick."

    Allen says, according to Vatican insiders who spoke unofficially, a second miracle has been performed by John Paul posthumously, a miracle that will likely make him a saint. National Vatican reporter John Allen says, "In this case the Vatican is saying that there is a report of a miraculous healing of a woman in Costa Rica."

    Allen says according to the reports, the woman recovered from a severe brain injury. Church protocol says it takes two miracles performed after death to make someone a saint.

    John Paul's first, curing a nun who reportedly had Parkinson's, led to his beatification, the final step before sainthood. If a second miracle then happens, executive director of John Paul II shrine Patrick Kelly says, "A team of doctors first examine the miracle- and secondly the team of theologians then look at the miracles and then they discuss amongst themselves the legitimacy and all the facts surrounding the miracles."

    John Allen says that's already happened. Then a body of cardinals has to approve sainthood, and finally, the pope signs off on it.

    The record for the fastest canonization in modern times was Jose-Maria Escriva, founder of the conservative order of Opus Dei. He was made a saint 27-years after his death. John Paul could shatter that.

    But there are critics who say not so fast on canonization. they say, despite being so beloved, John Paul II didn't live up to expectations at a crucial moment in the church's history, a moment of shame that church leadership is still dealing with, a crippling sex-abuse scandal involving thousands of victims with several church leaders accused of cover-ups. Allen says, "The rap against John Paul in terms of the sex abuse scandals is basically that this stuff metastasized during his papacy and he didn't respond adequately to it."

    Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl says to those critics, "His ministry was so clearly a ministry of concern for everyone. Now when you're presiding over a worldwide church with over a billion members, surely there are going to be things that happen over which you don't have a lot of control- or maybe no control."

    Cardinal Wuerl and others say the measure of a saint is not the list of accomplishments or setbacks but how holy the person was.

    John Allen says at this point, it's very likely Pope Francis will approve the sainthood of John Paul II and could come as early as October of this year or as late as sometime next year. Either way, John Paul II would obliterate the record for the fastest canonization.

    Most Watched Videos