John Paul II beatified for holiness, not his papacy

April 11, 2011
Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II is being beatified not because of his impact on history or on the Catholic Church, but because of the way he lived the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

The cardinal said the Church wanted to respond positively to many Catholics' hopes to have Pope John Paul beatified quickly, but it also wanted to be certain that the pope, who died in 2005, is in heaven.

Amato said the sainthood process is one of the areas of Church life where the consensus of church members, technically the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful), really counts.

Organizers are planning for at least 300,000 people to attend the May 1 beatification Mass in St. Peter's Square.