Members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted yesterday to approve a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable John Paul II, according to the latest report from Andrea Tornielli.

“The last obstacle was overcome,” the Vaticanist for Il Giornale writes in today’s paper. “The cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gathered yesterday morning and reviewed and approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of John Paul II: the healing of the French nun from Parkinson’s disease.”

“Now all that is missing is the final signature of Benedict XVI,” he adds, and repeats his earlier speculation that the beatification “could take place in the spring or in October.” He reports that the cardinals gave their OK “without difficulty” and, “according to some indiscretions, without votes against.”

There’s been no official Vatican announcement so far. That will happen when Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presents a dossier on the miracle to Benedict XVI, calling for his final decree.

The Vatican hasn’t confirmed or denied these reports but has stressed that the final decision on the beatification rests with the Holy Father. Once he promulgates the decree, a date will be set for the beatification.

In his article, Tornielli recalls that there was a slowdown in the cause in 2009 because the congregation wanted “to take a good look at every possible objection and rely on other experts.” But now, he says, “the series of meetings gives the impression of acceleration.”

(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 13:

Work has begun in St Peter’s on moving late Pope John Paul II’s body up from the crypt and into a chapel near Michelangelo’s famous Pieta’ statue, Vatican sources said Thursday.

The Pope’s body will be placed in a new tomb in the Chapel of St Sebastian when he is beatified, the second of three steps towards sainthood.

The beatification is expected to take place later this year, perhaps as early as April 2, the sixth anniversary of his death.

The chapel was chosen because it is close to the entrance to the basilica and so it will be easier for the Polish pontiff’s hosts of admirers to get to, the sources said.

A mosaic of St Sebastian is being cleaned up and preparations are being made to move a previous pope, 17th-century pontiff Innocent XI, out of the chapel to make way for John Paul.

An official announcement that the final stages of the beatification cause are reaching their conclusion is expected Friday, according to some sources.