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Reporters want John Paul II to be 'communicators' patron

Polish pontiff had close relationship with the media

23 June, 15:18
Reporters want John Paul II to be 'communicators' patron (ANSA) - Vatican City, June 23 - A Rome journalists' union has asked Pope Benedict XVI to name his predecessor, the late John Paul II, the patron saint of 'communicators' of the digital age once his canonization takes place.

The request was made by Sindacato Cronist Romani (Roman Reporters Union) chief Romano Bartolini, who said the act would recognize the late pope's ''wise and courageous openness to all new technologies''.

The Polish pontiff had a close relationship with the media during his 26-year papacy and exploited it in a way no other pope had before. Reporters and television journalists and crews closely shadowed him in his journeys abroad, often travelling with him on the same plane.

Journalists already have their own patron saint, Francis de Sales.

John Paul II was beatified May 1 at an ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict in St.Peter's Square, with a crowd of around 1.5 million watching one of history's most popular popes move a step from sainthood.

Benedict sanctioned the beatification in January after a Vatican commission officially attributed a miracle to John Paul - the inexplicable recovery of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, from Parkinson's Disease through the intervention of the late pope.

The now blessed Polish pontiff also suffered from Parkinson's Disease.

John Paul will have to be attributed with another miracle before he can be canonized.

Pope Benedict XVI put his predecessor's beatification cause on a fast track, waiving a rule requiring a five-year wait before the start of the process, after crowds called on him to be made a 'Santo Subito!' (Saint Now!) at his funeral.

The Vatican, however, has insisted this did not mean the process had been any less rigorous than otherwise would have been the case.

John Paul died on April 2, 2005, at the age of 84. Pope Benedict proclaimed October 22 to be his feast day, the same date he became pope in 1978.

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