VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI announced he will dispense with the five-year waiting period established by Canon Law to open the cause of beatification of Sister Lucia, one of the three Fatima visionaries.
The news was announced today in the cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal, by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, on the third anniversary of the Carmelite’s death.
The Holy Father dispensed with the established waiting period once before for the cause of Pope John Paul II. Benedict XVI made the announcement on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, some 42 days after the Pontiff’s death in 2005.
John Paul II waived the waiting period in the case of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The blessed died Sept. 5, 1997, and was beatified by John Paul II on Oct. 19, 2003.
A communiqué of the Vatican press office states: “Benedict XVI, taking into account the petition presented by Bishop Albino Mamede Cleto of Coimbra, and supported by numerous bishops and faithful from all parts of the world, has revoked the five-year waiting period established by the canonical norms (cf. Article 9 of the ‘Normae Servandae’), and he has allowed for the diocesan phase of the Carmelite’s cause of beatification to begin three years after her death.”