Vatican cardinal says John XXIII, John Paul II united by council

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The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, said that connections between Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II make them a good fit to be canonized together.

Cardinal Amato said the two former pontiffs “have two points of common reference: the (Second Vatican) Council, as an event of the Gospel of charity and of peace, and the Church, as a generous and thoughtful mother, who makes herself close to every human being, to give comfort, help, support and hope.”

“John is the Good Pope, the father of all, Catholics and non-Catholics. He embraced humanity and blessed it,” Cardinal Amato said. “John Paul II is the Pope who in his hundreds of journeys visited the entire world, becoming a messenger of peace and a promoter of life, of brotherhood among peoples, and of generous hospitality to the needy.”

“Both were protagonists of Vatican II,” he continued, in an interview for the July 6 edition of the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano. “Secondly, both achieved heroism of Christian virtues, that is, holiness. Holiness is their essential characteristic. Holiness means living the good life of the Gospel in the situations in which Providence places us.”

“For John XXIII it was responding with courage and diligence to the aspiration to convene an ecumenical Council,” the cardinal said. “For John Paul II, it was making Vatican II current by highlighting its rich theological, liturgical, pastoral, devotional, canonical and catechetical implications.”

“Today, the Church is experiencing this double inheritance of the simplicity of the Good Pope and the dynamism of the merciful and suffering Pope.”

Cardinal Amato also emphasized the great importance of the Virgin Mary in both pontificates, noting that John Paul II thanked the Mother of God for saving him from an assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter’s Square.

After noting that Benedict XVI allowed John Paul II’s cause for canonization to be opened before the end of the typical five-year waiting period after his death, Cardinal Amato said that “every process has been scrupulously followed, without hurry or superficiality.”

The canonization of these Popes will add two more names to the list of “wise and holy pastors: the venerable Pius XII, (the future) St. John XXIII, the venerable Paul VI, the servant of God John Paul I, (the future) St. John Paul II. These are pontiffs whose magisteriums have coincided with holiness of life,” Cardinal Amato said.

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