ROME - Church officials were nearly finished documenting the late Pope John Paul II's life as part of the beatification process toward making him a saint, the pontiff's personal secretary said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz told Italian state radio that interviews had been completed with people in Poland who knew John Paul before he became pope, and testimony was wrapping up with witnesses in Rome.
John Paul died in April 2005 after serving for more than 26 years as pope. Shortly after succeeding him, Pope Benedict XVI waived the five-year waiting period following a person's death to begin a case for possible sainthood. Beatification is the last formal step in the process.
"I am happy because the cause (for beatification) is proceeding well," said Dziwisz, who was John Paul's personal aide for decades and was named to the Krakow post after the pope's death. "People are discovering, even those who before watched with curiosity... the true face of John Paul II and his heritage."