Geopolitics

Revelation: Cardinals Petitioned For John Paul II Sainthood Inside Conclave

Influential Italian Cardinal Camillio Ruini says inside the secret Conclave to elect John Paul's successor, he was given a signed petition from his brother Cardinals to push for fast-track sainthood for the recently deceased pontiff.

The future Benedict XVI presiding over John Paul's funeral in April 8, 2005.
The future Benedict XVI presiding over John Paul's funeral in April 8, 2005.
Giacomo Galeazzi

VATICAN CITY - "The beatification was asked for inside the conclave." The scoop arrives from an Italian news agency just four days before the solemn ceremony in which Benedict XVI will become the first Pope in 11 centuries to proclaim "blessed" his immediate predecessor.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who was then the powerful head of the Italian Bishops Conference, revealed to the AGI news wire how members of the College of Cardinals had pushed for the acceleration of the beatification process for John Paul II even before his successor had been chosen.

Ruini recounted how a large group of Cardinals had signed a petition calling on the next pope, still not yet elected, to waive the standing five-year minimum wait for the process of beatification to begin in the case of John Paul.

"Entering the conclave, a letter was given to me signed by many Cardinals who joined in the popular request (heard after John Paul's death) to begin the process for sainthood right away," said Ruini, who also served at the time as Vicar of Rome. "The letter was given to me because the Cardinals didn't know who would be elected in the conclave."

Ruini recalled his own feelings in seeing how many people were lining up near St. Peter's Square to give a last goodbye to John Paul, and the chanting for "Santo Subito!" (Saint Right Away!) "I understood how deep and widespread the feeling of the people. For them, the pope was already a saint."

Ruini cites John Paul's battle "against Communism to defend man," along with his work on behalf of the poor, inter-religious harmony and world peace.

"In difficult years, he was able to reaffirm the entire Church in its faith," Ruini concluded.

Benedict XVI will preside over Sunday's beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, with some 2.5 million pilgrims expected to flock to Rome for the event.

Photo - blues brother

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Society

Dutch Cities Have Been Secretly Probing Mosques Since 2013

Revelations of a nationally funded clandestine operation within 10 municipalities in the Netherlands to keep tabs on mosques and Muslim organizations after a rise in radicalization eight years ago.

The Nasser mosque in Veenendaal, one of the mosques reportedly surveilled

Meike Eijsberg

At least ten Dutch towns and cities have secretly used a private agency to probe mosques and other local religious organizations, Amsterdam-based daily het NRC reports in an exclusive investigation.

The clandestine operation — funded by NCTV, the National Security Services, the Netherlands' leading counter-terrorism agency — was prompted by the social unrest and uncertainty following multiple terror attacks in 2013, and a rise in Islamic radicalization.


The NCTV, which advises and financially supports municipalities in countering radicalization, put the municipalities in touch with Nuance by Training and Advice (Nuance door Trainingen en Advies, NTA), a private research agency based in Deventer, Netherlands. Among the institutions targeted by the investigations, which came at a cost of circa 500,000 euros, were the Al Mouahidin mosque in the central Dutch town of Ede, and the Nasser mosque east of the city of Utrecht, according to NRC.

Photo of people standing on prayer mats inside a Dutch mosque

Praying inside a Dutch mosque.

Hollandse-Hoogte/ZUMA

Broken trust in Islamic community

Unlike public officials, the private agency can enter the mosques to clandestinely research the situation. In this case, the agents observed activity, talk to visitors, administrators, and religious leaders, and investigated what they do and say on social media.

All findings then wound up in a secret report which includes personal details about what the administrators and teachers studied, who their relatives are, with whom they argued, and how often they had contact with authorities in foreign countries, like Morocco.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed.

It is unclear whether the practice is legal, which is why several members of the Dutch Parliament are now demanding clarification from the outgoing Minister of Justice and Security, Ferd Grapperhaus, who is said to be involved.

"The ease with which the government violates (fundamental) rights when it comes to Islam or Muslims is shocking," Stephan van Baarle, member of the leftist party DENK, told De Volkskrant, another Dutch newspaper.

Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed. Hassan Saidi, director of one of the mosques investigated, said that the relationship with the local municipality had been good. "This puts a huge dent in the trust I'd had in the municipality," he told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

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