John Paul II on way to sainthood
2011 05 02

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

Magaluf bar where British girl was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men is shut down after police investigation into video
2014 07 26
Is this what the youth in Britain and Europe is spending their their energy, money, efforts and innocence on? The young girl, pictured, was lured into performing multiple sex acts after organisers offered a free drink although she thought a holiday was on offer* Council officials launched an official investigation after the video went viral Playhouse bar in Magaluf and entertainment ...
Prejudice is a Form of Common Sense - Hard-Wired Into the Human Brain, Says ASU Study
2014 07 26
Contrary to what most people believe, the tendency to be prejudiced is a form of common sense, hard-wired into the human brain through evolution as an adaptive response to protect our prehistoric ancestors from danger. So suggests a new study published by Arizona State University researchers in the May issue of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," which contends that, ...
The State is a Bully
2014 07 24
In the history of Western philosophy and social theory, no really silly idea has been more successful than the theory of the social contract. It is in fact not a theory of the social contract. It is a theory of the political contract. It is the idea, promoted by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that, at some point in ...
NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
More News »