From a Rome Correspondent The initial process for the possible beatification of Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII has been completed. This process, initiated by Pope Paul VI on October 17, 1967, was completed during a ceremony at the Lateran Palace, headquarters of the Rome vicariate, at which the causes for the beatification of the two late Pontiffs were forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for final study.
Relatives of both Popes were present at the ceremony which was presided over by Cardinal Ugo Poletti, Papal VicarGeneral of Rome.
Fr Paolo Molineri, Si, for Pius XII, and Fr Antonio Cairoli, OEM, for John XXIII, had been postulators in charge of the seven-year long inquiries into the lives of the two candidates for beatification and their findings were officially transmitted to the congregation by Mgr Marcella Magliocchetti, chief official of the vicariate tribunals.
Speaking during the ceremony, Cardinal Poletti expressed his appreciation of the tasks undertaken by those in charge of the process and said that the conclusion of this initial process marked a signifi cant step in such an important event.
He underlined the witness to Christian life that the two Popes had given the whole world and, according to a Vatican Radio broadcast, "stressed how these processes were taking place at a particularly historic moment for the Church, on the eve of the Holy Year."
Princes Marcantonio and Giulio Pacelli, nephews of Pope Pius, together with Marchese Marcella Pacelli, other relatives and friends, including Mother Pasqualine Lehnert, who had headed the Pius XII papal domestic staff, attended as representatives of Pope Pius' family.
Pope John's brother, Giuseppe Roncalli, together with his nephew, Mgr Giovanni Battista Roncalli, and his niece, Sister Angela, were accompanied to the vicariate by Bishop Clemente Gaddi of Bergamo, Pope John's native diocese, and Archbishop Egano Righi Lambertini, Papal Nuncio to France, where Pope John had served for many years.
The causes for the beatifications of the two Popes, linked into one process by Pope Paul VI, will now be examined in depth by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
This examination, involving almost a complete restudy of the initial investigations which, in the case of Pope John, spread into France and the East Europe an and Mid-Eastern countries in which he had served, may last several years.