WRIGHT (voice-over): "His name will forever be blessed," Pope Benedict proclaimed at today's beatification mass. At that moment, an enormous tapestry unfurled. Blessed Pope John Paul is now well on his way to sainthood.
WILLIAMS: In practical terms, to declare a person blessed or beatified means that they're in heaven. It's really just a statement by the church. It's a recognition of heroic virtue, of a life of sanctity, of holiness, and that this person is with God.
WRIGHT: Investigators have pored over his life for the past five years looking not just at his promotion of world peace, but also at the moral example he set in public and private. For instance, after that assassination attempt in 1981, Pope John Paul was critically wounded. Later, he sat down with the man who shot him and offered forgiveness. WAUCK: One of the most heroic acts of virtue that exists is forgiveness. And to forgive someone who tried to kill you -- and almost did -- I mean, it doesn't get much more powerful than that.
WRIGHT: Under the Vatican process, heroic virtues aren't enough.
SARNO: For beatification and canonization, the church requires a physical miracle, a healing or some physical reality that can be measured.
WRIGHT: This French nun says she was cured of Parkinson's disease after she and members of her convent prayed to the late pope. At today's mass, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre carried a relic of John Paul, a vial of his blood extracted during his long illness.
But there are also detractors.
(on-screen): So you're not a big fan of Santo subito in this case?
LYNAUGH: No, I have deep reservations.
WRIGHT (voice-over): Joe Lynaugh is one of many Catholics who say the speed of John Paul's fast-tracked sainthood is an insult to the victims of sexual abuse.
LYNAUGH: I guarantee you that the argument will be made that these issues have been settled or have been almost settled because we have beatified John Paul.
WRIGHT: Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., insists the scandal did not diminish John Paul's obvious sanctity.
(on-screen): At the same time, there is a groundswell of people that are saying, "Not so subito."
WUERL: Everybody on this planet recognized that this man, John Paul, was a man of God. He had a close relationship with God. And the church is simply recognizing officially what everybody in their hearts knows.
WRIGHT: People have been pointing out that the fast track to sainthood is really one of the more democratic things in an institution that is almost definitively top down. Keep in mind it wasn't the bishops and the cardinals chanting "Santo subito." It was the people, and the church today is partially ratifying that wish. And now all that remains is another miracle, and people here are praying and waiting for that before John Paul gets declared a saint.
AMANPOUR: Thanks, David, there in Rome. And we'll have more in a moment. Stay with us.
AMANPOUR: It's been a costly week in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon has released the names of 25 servicemembers killed in the past week.
That's it for our program. Join me to continue the conversation on Twitter and on abcnews.com, and be sure to tune in for "World News Tonight" for a full report on the day in Rome, as well as the latest from Libya. We leave you now with the scene in St. Peter's Square today, as the late Pope John Paul II was beatified, bringing him, as we say, one step closer to sainthood.
So for all of us here at "This Week," thank you for watching, and we hope to see you again next week.