An Italian bishop has renewed a proposal for “honoring Pope John” which he made last year in writing in the name of 70 council Fathers. His proposal was reported to be that the council canonize the late Pontiff.
At the end of a speech on schema 13, Auxiliary Bishop Luigi Bettazzi of Bologna said:
“As regards the question of honoring Pope John, whom all men of good will have willingly recognized as a father and teacher, and as regards the manner in which this most significant schema can recall him in a significant way, I now renew a proposal, as I already did last year in the name of 70 Fathers, which I am submitting in writing.”
This was the conclusion of Bishop Bettazzi’s speech. He gave no further indication of the nature of his suggestion for honoring Pope John.
The well-informed Catholic daily L’Avvenire D’ltalia however, reported: “Concerning last year’s proposal, to which he publicly referred, it became known that it contained a request that the council, together with the Supreme Pontiff, include Pope John in the list of the saints.”
This report took on added significance because of the newspaper’s long ties with Church officials in Bologna. Before it assumed the “goodwill” of the defunct national Italian Catholic Action newspaper Quotidiano and opened offices in Rome, it was published in Bologna.
It was recalled that during last year’s debate on schema 13, Bishop Michal Klepacz of Lodz, Poland, proposed Pope John’s beatification. It is known also that other bishops have discreetly moved for Pope John’s beatification. Some petitions with thousands of signatures have been submitted to the Holy See.