As expected

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The late Pope John Paul II moved closer to sainthood in the Catholic Church on Sunday when his successor, Pope Benedict, approved a decree recognising that John Paul had lived the Christian faith heroically.
The Vatican said Benedict had approved the “heroic virtues decree,” one of the key steps in the procedure by which the Church recognises its saints, after a recommendation by a Vatican panel of experts.

In addition, Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958 was also declared venerable. We should expect to get some grief on this one.

And for the record, there were others as well. Catholic Culture reports:

Five of the December 19 decrees testified to the authenticity of miracles attributed to candidates who have already been beatified, and are now qualified for canonization. They are:

  • Bl. Stanislaus Soltys (Kazimierczyk) (1433-89), whose liturgical cult was formally recognized by Pope John Paul in 1993
  • Bl. André Bessette (1845-1937), a Canadian renowned for his devotion to St. Joseph who developed a reputation as a miracle worker in his lifetime
  • Bl. Mary MacKillop (1842-1909), who founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart and will become Australia’s first canonized saint
  • Bl. Giulia Salzano , foundress of the Congregation of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart (1846-1929)
  • Bl. Camilla Battista da Varano (1458-1524), a Poor Clare nun
  • The Congregation also approved miracles for five other candidates who, like Father Popieluszko, will now be scheduled for beatification:

  • Father José Tous y Soler (1811-71), a Capuchin Franciscan
  • Brother Leopoldo de Alpandeire (1866-1956), a Capuchin Franciscan
  • Manuel Lozano Garrido (1920-71), a Spanish layman
  • Teresa Manganiello (1849-76), a Third Order Franciscan
  • Chiara Badano (1971-90), a laywoman of the Focolare Movement
  • In addition, the Congregation declared the heroic virtue of Bl. Giacomo Illirico da Bitetto, a Franciscan.

    The Congregation also proclaimed the heroic virtue of nine others, who now qualify for the title “Venerable” and may be beatified with the approval of a miracle:

  • Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) (1876-1958)
  • Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) (1920-2005)
  • Father Louis Brisson (1817-1908), founder of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales
  • Father Giuseppe Quadrio (1921-63), a Salesian
  • Sister Mary Ward (1545-1615), an Englishwoman who founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters)
  • Sister Antonia Maria Verna (1773-1838), foundress of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception of Ivrea
  • Sister Francesca Farolfi (Maria Chiara Serafina of Jesus) (1853-1917), foundress of the Missionary Franciscan Clarists of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Sister Enrichetta Alfieri (1891-1951)
  • Giunio Tinarelli (1912-56), a layman and member of the Silent Workers of the Cross