John Paul II on way to sainthood
2011-05-02 0:00

By Nick Squires | OttawaCitizen.com


Late pope beatified in biggest event at Vatican since his funeral in 2005; search on for second miracle.


Pope John Paul II. Getty Images

The late pope John Paul II was beatified in a three-hour ceremony on Sunday in the biggest event hosted by the Vatican since two million people attended his funeral six years ago.

An estimated 1.5 million people flocked to St Peter’s Square to watch Pope Benedict XVI declare his Polish predecessor "blessed" in a display of religious pomp watched on television and the Internet by millions around the world.

The Pope approved the beatification, the fastest in modern times, after Vatican experts ruled that the "miraculous" recovery of a French nun from Parkinson’s disease was attributable to John Paul’s intercession from beyond the grave. The search is now on for a second miracle that, after scrutiny by doctors and Vatican theologians, would enable the Polish pontiff to be canonized.

John Paul’s millions of admirers remember him for his charisma, his survival of an assassination attempt in 1981 and his pivotal role in challenging Communism during the Cold War.

In an apparent reference to his defiance of Communist regimes and his support for the Polish Solidarity movement, Pope Benedict said his predecessor "turned back with the strength of a titan . a tide that appeared irreversible."

In another tribute, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar general of the diocese of Rome, told the massed crowds that John Paul was "feared by those who regarded him as an adversary."





The ceremony, which began under grey skies but ended in a blaze of sunshine, was attended by cardinals, the representatives of five royal families, and 16 heads of state.

They included Robert Mugabe, the leader of Zimbabwe, who despite being subject to international travel bans was given permission by the European Union to fly to Rome to attend. A Vatican spokesman said Mugabe could not be prevented from attending the ceremony because the Holy See had diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe.

The beatification was seen as an opportunity to repair the Church’s image and raise morale among believers.

Pilgrims from around the world, including a huge contingent of Poles from the late pope’s homeland, waved flags and cheered throughout the ceremony, with some breaking down in tears of joy.

A huge tapestry of a smiling John Paul was unveiled at the front of St Peter’s Basilica as Pope Benedict received a silver reliquary holding a vial of the late pope’s blood. It will remain in the Vatican and become an object of veneration for the faithful.

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics filed into St Peter’s at the end of the ceremony to pay their respects before John Paul’s simple wooden coffin. The first non-Italian pope in 455 years when he was elected in 1978, John Paul II brought new vitality to the Vatican but alienated many Roman Catholics with his conservative social views on homosexuality, birth control, euthanasia and AIDS.

There were also uncomfortable questions about his alleged failure to tackle the issue of pedophile priests, a scandal that has deepened under Pope Benedict’s six year papacy.


Read the full article at: ottawacitizen.com





Related Articles
Pope says Jews not responsible for Christ’s death
Pope’s organ donor card ’invalid’
God was behind Big Bang, universe no accident: Pope
WikiLeaks: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU and ’Christian roots’ enshrined in EU constitution
Pope calm after 6 nabbed in suspected terror plot
"Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican" (Documentary Tour of Vatican state)
Pope sees the Devil Behind Timing of Sex Abuse Crisis ... Exactly!
Pope begs forgiveness for sexual abuse scandal
Pope Benedict silences child abuse "conspiracy theorists" on Portugal visit
Pope blames church’s own sins for sex scandal, not outsiders (Vatican learning the art of PR)
Vatican scoffs at idea of arresting pope in Britain
Letter shows Pope Benedict resisted defrocking molester priest "for the good of the church"
Pope’s immunity could be challenged in Britain
Pope’s preacher: Abuse critique like anti-Semitism
Pope John Paul flagellated himself, new book says
Man who shot Pope released, declares he’s ’Christ eternal’, proclaims Apocalypse
Pope: ’Dubious’ Environmentalism is ’key to world peace’ ?
Footage of Pope attack woman at 2008 Christmas Mass (Same Red Coat?)
Czechs: Pope is irrelevant, nonsensical, and waste of time and money


Latest News from our Front Page

Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North. The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night. A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked. The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough. Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield. Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
2016-04-27 2:23
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July. The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown. The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent. He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are. ... London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race. Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event. Marathon ...
More News »