According to the headline from The Vatican Observer, Pope Paul VI to be beatified soon
. All that is left is for the miracle needed to be approved.
In reality it is a little more complicated than this. Currently Pope Paul VI is recognized as a Servant of God. The 1st step. But the investigation required for his being declared venerable is in its final steps.
Recently the theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints finished examining the “Positio” with the documents of the canonical process. They have now voted in favour of the former pope’s beatification, without raising any objections. On 11 December the cardinals & bishops of the Congregation will also vote. Since there were no objections from the theologians, the final “yes” from cardinals looks highly likely. Then it goes on to the Pope.
This means that Papa Benedetto XVI could officially recognize Pope Paul’s “heroic virtues” in the next consistory for the promulgation of the decrees on beatifications & canonizations. This is expected to take place next Christmas. All that will then be left before the beatification ceremony takes is the official recognition of a miracle that occurred through the intercession of Paul VI. Out of the alledged miracles put forward Antonio Mazzaro, the Postulator promoting his cause, has already chosen a healing case which initial analyses proved “unexplainable”. The alleged miracle involves the healing of an unborn child which took place sixteen years ago in California.
According to the article "During the pregnancy, doctors found a serious problem in the foetus and because of the repercussions it would have had on the brain, they advised the young mother that the only solution was to abort. The woman had wanted to follow the pregnancy through and entrusted herself to the intercession of Paul VI, the pope who wrote the “Humanae Vitae” encyclical in 1968. The child was born without problems but the family would have to wait until the age of 16 to have full confirmation perfect healing."
The Vatican’s formal examination of the miracle cannot begin until the announcement of the candidate’s heroic virtues. But this could all be over & done with quite quickly. So it is very possible that sometime next year Pope Paul VI could be officially declared blessed & be 1 step away from sainthood.
Like I said, can you imagine the huge outcry from the progressive (as they label themselves) Catholycs who want to change the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception & abortion. Pope Paul's beatification would send a clear signal that God does not agree with what they are trying to do & affirm, once again, the Church's teaching on these subjects.
In huge part, the alledged miracle, should it be approved, will shout that very message out loud & clear. These days, we hear the arguement about quality of life for the child to justify aborting those babies who may be born with serious mental or physical problems. That the mother specificly called on the Pope who reaffirmed the Church's teachings on birth control in his encyclical makes it all the clearer that those, from even before the encyclical came out, wanted to change the Church's teaching, were wrong.
There is an old saying "God works in mysterious ways!" While this is usually true, in this case, I think God is making the way He is working pretty clear. & those who oppose the Church's teaching will ignore what He is doing & saying at the eternal peril of their souls.
As for the other recent Popes from Pius XII to John Paul II, the process is at various stages for each of them.
Venerable Pope Pius XII's cause is waiting for a miracle to be approved so he can be declared blessed. Blessed Pope John XXII's cause is awaiting a 2nd miracle for him to be declared a saint. For Servant of God, Pope John Paul I, the cause was opened in 1990. The Roman phase of the investigation began in 2009. For Blessed John Paul II, the investigation into the 2nd miracle so he can be declared a saint has begun. I am also willing to bet that some of the same "theologians" who opposed Blessed John Paul II's beatification because he opposed bith control will take the same stand when it comes time to officially beatify Paul VI.