Pope John Paul II who famously described gay rights advances such as same-sex marriage as a “new ideology of evil” is to be canonised as a saint, it was announced today.

Pope Francis has authorised a second miracle attributed to the late pontiff, John Paul II, clearing the way for him to become a saint, with a canonisation expected later this year.

In his 2005 book, ‘Memory and Identity’, Pope John Paul II attacked advances on gay rights including same-sex marriage writing: “It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this [same-sex marriage] is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.”

John Paul II has been on a fast-track to sainthood ever since his death. Just six years after he died, he was beatified by his successor Pope Benedict XVI who retired earlier this year.