Cause for Solidarity Chaplain Is Advancing, Says Official

Postulator Thinks Ceremony Could Occur in June

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WARSAW, Poland, OCT. 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The process of beatification for Father Jerzy Popieluszko might be concluded within a year, says the postulator of the cause.

The postulator, Father Tomasso Kaczmarek, has finished the “positio,” or report, on the cause of martyrdom.

The 1,100-page volume describes both events in the life of Solidarity’s chaplain, as well as evidence that “demonstrate that he was killed out of hatred of the Church and God,” said the postulator.

He contended that the “positio” shows that “Father Jerzy died reconciled with God and that he accepted the sufferings and violent death he received in the spirit of Love.”

According to the postulator, the beatification could take place in June 2006, during Benedict XVI’s possible visit to Poland.

The “positio” will be handed to the relator, Father Hieronim Fokcinski, who represents the Congregation for Sainthood Causes. It will then be read by seven consultors. If their opinion is positive, the secretary of the Vatican congregation will prepare a report on the state of the cause, which the prefect will present to the Holy Father.

If the Pope accepts it, the decree of the heroic virtues will be read in the Consistory. In the case of a cause of martyrdom, in fact, this means that the Servant of God could be proclaimed blessed.

The postulator underlined that the date of beatification would depend on the work of the consultors, who he said will treat this as a “priority” cause.

Kidnapped

Father Popieluszko, Solidarity’s chaplain, was only 37 when he died. The Communist regime regarded him as a fanatic, an example of militant clericalism. Many Poles, however, considered him a wise and courageous pastor.

Father Popieluszko was kidnapped and killed on Oct. 19, 1984, by secret service agents, who beat him and threw him into the icy waters of the Vistula River. His body was found later in a lake at the Wloclawek dam, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Warsaw.

The priest’s tomb, located in Warsaw next to the church where he celebrated Masses for the homeland, has drawn millions of pilgrims.

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