Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vice-Pope: "Pius Proceeds"

Laying to rest the past week's misreports of a "freeze" on the cause for beatification of Pope Pius XII, the Holy See's second-in-command has indicated that the next major step in the wartime pontiff's controversial progression toward the altars remains in the offing.

Opening a Vatican exhibit yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of Pius' death, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB said that the late Pope's cause "continues forward like all other causes."

"We can expect the decree on his heroic virtue, and then the miracle [for beatification]," Bertone added. "It will be seen."

The comments were first reported by the Italian bishops' daily newspaper, Avvenire.

Green-lighted by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the document marking the successful close of the customary investigation into Pius' Christian character is currently pending before Pope Benedict.

Bertone's predecessor as Secretary of State prior to his 1939 election to the papacy, Pius' legacy has long remained under fire from much of the Jewish community, who believe that the late pontiff failed to do enough in the face of the Holocaust. Recently requested to put the brakes on the cause by a global group of Jewish leaders meeting with him, Benedict's reply that he was "seriously considering the matter" had been interpreted in some reports as an indicator that he was given to halting the process.

Tomorrow, Bertone is slated to deliver a major address on Pius' relations with Judaism at the Pontifical Gregorian University as part of a seminar on the late pontiff.