A meeting of theological consulters was held at the Vatican May 13 to decide on the process of the beatification of John Paul II.

According to my fellow Vatican journalist the reliable Andrea Tornielli, writing in today’s Il Giornale, the consulters have given a positive opinion on the process, but they were not unanimous. Several parties “raised objections and difficulties,” he says, and so the meeting has been postponed to a later date, probably before the Vatican summer holidays in August.

However, he reports that “none of the consulters doubts the personal sanctity of the great Pontiff” and that there are “no insurmountable obstacles.”

What is at issue are “other aspects of the long Wojtyla papacy,” says Tornielli, where there is insufficient documentation in the “positio,” as well as contradictions that emerged from some of the testimonies. He says it’s not clear if these latest setbacks will put a brake on the beatification process, which is expected to be concluded in 2010, but a beatification next year “still remains a possibility.”

What is certain is that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is not rushing matters, despite the wave of requests and invitations from Poland for an early beatification. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI waived the usual five-year waiting period until a cause can be opened after a candidate’s death.

Tornielli says the congregation “intends to carry out its work with due care and depth.”