VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - On 1 May, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI will preside at the rite of beatification for John Paul II in the Vatican.
According to a note released by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, "today 14 January, Benedict XVI, during an audience granted to Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorised the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). This concludes the process which precedes the rite of beatification...
The Holy See's decision on the beatification of John Paul IIis an implicit and yet certain confirmation of its positive stance on Naju
Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the former Apostolic Nuncio to Korea (1991-1997) and to Albania (1997-2008), retired from his duties in 2008. He arrived in Rome in the early summer of 2008 and visited Vatican City for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope thanked the Archbishop for his long and fruitful service to the Church and gave him several specially-made rosaries as tokens of his gratitude. Then, the Archbishop asked the Pope: "I wish to make a report to Your Holiness on Naju in Korea. To whom should I present this report?" The Holy Father answered: "Present it to Archbishop Amato." Archbishop Angelo Amato had been the closest assistant to the Holy Father when he as Cardinal Josef Ratzinger had been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Secretary of the Congregation and was being transferred to the Congregation for Causes of Saints as its new Prefect. In November 2010, the Archbishop was elevated to a Cardinal.
Several days after his audience with the Holy Father, Archbishop Bulaitis visited Archbishop Amato and presented to him a detailed verbal and written report on the actual status of Naju. It was a solemn, official act by Archbishop Bulaitis making his report to the Holy Father through Archbishop Amato, as the former Apostolic Nuncio to Korea. After hearing and seeing Archbishop Bulaitis' report, Archbishop Amato said, "I believe in the truthfulness of what has been happening in Naju. I will write a letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." This letter that Archbishop Amato sent to the Congregation that had been formally investigating the case of Naju since April 2008 carried much of the dignity and authority of the Holy Father himself, as he commissioned Archbishop Amato to receive the report from Archbishop Bulaitis on his behalf. In other words, the highest officials at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received a written note or letter that clearly indicated where the Holy Father stood regarding the discernment of Naju and what he wanted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to do.
Later, in the fall of 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said to Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples that he was favorable on Naju. As this was a statement made by the Pope during his official meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation which was in charge of pastoral guidance and supervision of the Catholic Church in Korea, it carried a huge weight that could not be taken lightly by anyone, especially by the few liberal and secularized priests who had being wielding enormous power in the Church in Korea in abusive ways for the past several decades.
Earlier, in the fall of 2009, Archbishop Bulaitis also told me by phone that the Holy See was conducting an investigation of John Paul II's life to determine if he could be beatified and that there was an inseparable connection between the Holy See's decision on John Paul II's beatification and the official recognition of Naju. The reason for this connection was that John Paul II had not only personally believed in the truthfulness of the supernatural events in Naju but had taken several official actions based on his positive judgment on Naju:
Because of these official decisions and actions of John Paul II regarding Naju, it would have been impossible for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to reach a positive conclusion on John Paul II's beatification unless the Congregation was convinced of the soundness of John Paul II's judgments and actions on Naju. If there remained any serious concerns or questions about the truthfulness of the events in Naju, the Holy See's decision on John Paul II's beatification would have surely been postponed.
Recently, on November 13, 2010, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, sent a letter to Fr. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang in Naju with kind comforting words. Certainly he had been aware of the many severe persecutions and difficulties that Fr. Chang had suffered from other priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese. This letter from Cardinal Amato, who was the very person who had conducted the investigation of all the records on John Paul II and his activities and decided to recommend his beatification, implies a lot concerning the prospect of the official church recognition of Naju. We don't know when it will come, but there are reasons to believe that it will not take too long. One reason is that the Kwangju Archdiocese's negative Declaration of January 1, 1998 has never been officially reversed and, therefore, the Church's official position on Naju still remains negative and, if this negative position is not officially reversed before May 1, 2011, it will be a serious insult to the decision and rite of John Paul II's beatification. How can the Holy See beatify a person who believed in and took official papal actions for a false revelation? As this is an unthinkable scenario, there has to be an official action by the Church reversing the official negative position of the Church on Naju well before May 1. The spring session of the Korean Bishops' Conference due in late February seems to be a good time to implement that reversal. Also, both John Paul II and Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis must be ardently praying in Heaven for the official recognition of Naju soon so that the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother may triumph over the evil power of Satan without delay and that more vigorous evangelization efforts may sweep over the whole world (including the West which is in desperate need of a re-evangelization) for the greater glory of God.
Sang M. Lee
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