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LA STAMPA (Italy)

Worldcrunch

VATICAN CITY - The canonization of Pope John Paul II could be celebrated as soon as October, writes La Stampa, as Vatican sources say a presumed miracle has been approved by Church doctors.

The beloved Polish pontiff, who died in April 2005, is on his way to sainthood in record time. The second miracle -- as yet undisclosed -- has occurred after his beatification, and has been verified by a medical panel. The miracle must now be approved by theologians, and then by the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation, before finally being submitted to Pope Francis for the final “yes”.

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Photo by Ejdzej

Monsignor Slawomir Oder filed for a preliminary council of an alleged miraculous healing back in January, yet it was kept quiet until now. Although a date has not yet been announced, La Stampa"s Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli points out that it could potentially coincide with the feast day of Pope John Paul II on October 22nd.

As it is only eight years since his death, this is considered a very fast canonization. Emeritus-Pope Benedict XVI had celebrated the beatification quickly on May 1, 2011, and it has been indicated that Pope Francis is in favor of fast-tracking the sainthood of the second-longest serving pope in history.

The canonization of Karol Wojtyla will make him the second pope from the 20th century to be proclaimed a saint, after Pius X. Two others have been beatified, but not yet declared saints, and three more have been put to the council for consideration for sainthood. This shows that, in terms of the papacy, the 20th century may turn out to be quite crowded with halos.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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