The Ambassador to the Holy See, the Hon. Mr Tim Fischer (see picture of famous hat below sitting next to my laptop at the Parliament of the World’s Religions Catholic Communities Night), the Sisters of St Joseph, and Australian Catholics in general are rejoicing that a second miracle has been accepted in the cause of Blessed Mary of the Cross (aka Mother Mary MacKillop) will finally become Australia’s first saint after approval by the Holy Father on Saturday.
But the Holy Father has given us two other “Christmas gifts” this year at the same time, by approving the causes of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Pius XII, so that they are now both to be named “Venerable”.
The latter was something of a surprise – although anyone who was paying attention during the controversy last year will know that Pope Benedict has been favourable toward his predecessor’s cause. We can expect that this will cause a little comment around the place from those opposed to his canonisation.