Sainthood sought for Pope John Paul II

May 22, 2008 at 3:36 PM

VATICAN CITY, May 22 (UPI) -- Pope John Paul II could be beatified by next spring, possibly in time for the fourth anniversary of his death, a cardinal at the Vatican predicts.

At the time of his death, many of his admirers called for John Paul to be immediately named a saint. If he is made "blessed" next year, it would be the fastest Roman Catholic beatification ever, The Telegraph said. The process to elevate Mother Teresa took five years.

However, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, told The Telegraph the rigorous steps toward becoming a saint could push John Paul's elevation back.

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