Entries in Beatification (3)


Pope Benedict Beatifies Pope John Paul II at Vatican Ceremony

JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II Sunday at St. Peter's Square before an estimated one million people, declaring the Polish-born pope to be "Blessed" and putting him one step closer to sainthood.

Among the faithful was a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who says she was cured of Parkinson's disease after praying to the pope only months after his death from complications of the same disease. The Vatican certified Sister Pierre's cure as a "miracle" and advanced John Paul's cause. Beatification is defined as one being "blessed," and is the first step in the process of being declared a saint by the Church. A second miracle tied to John Paul is needed before his canonization.

Posters honoring John Paul's life were put up all over Rome ahead of the ceremony. Large television screens showing images of Pope John Paul II were erected along the Via della Conciliazione, the Roman street that leads to St. Peter's Basilica.

Ahead of the ceremonies, the pope's coffin was carried from its resting place in the Vatican crypt beneath St. Peter's and placed before St. Peter's tomb where pilgrims filed past to pay their respects. A vial of John Paul's blood, taken during the last days before his death, was also put on display.

As pope, John Paul II beatified more people than the total of all other popes since the 15th century reign of Pope Sixtus VI, leading some critics to speculate that he was rapidly pushed to sainthood.

Joe Lynaugh of the Catholic movement, Call to Action, opposes John Paul II's potential canonization.

"This will just go down as another disappointment from a church that is unfortunately filled with disappointments these days," Lynaugh told ABC News. "Sainthood, maybe, but let's decide a couple hundred years from now. I'd settle with 10."

Father Thomas Williams, a Catholic priest and professor at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, disagrees.

"This was a response to a grassroots petition rather than a top-down decision," he said. "There was public clamor for Pope John Paul II to be recognized as a saint as soon as he died. The Church merely acceded to the wishes of the faithful. The process began quickly but there were no shortcuts taken in the process itself.”

The Vatican said at least 21 heads of state and 87 official delegations from around the world attended the ceremony, including presidents Giorgio Napolitano of Italy, Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland and Felipe Calderon of Mexico.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


We Are Church Says Beatification of Pope John Paul II 'Controversial'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ROME) -- The International Movement We Are Church released a statement Sunday denouncing the beatification of Pope John Paul II, calling him "controversial" and "contradictory."

The movement, which was founded within the Roman Catholic Church, based their opposition to Pope John Paul II on what they called a "discrepancy between his commitment to reform and dialogue in the world and his return to authoritarianism within the church."  The group also highlighted examples in which they accuse Pope John Paul II of having a "need for hierarchical control" and allowing sexual abuse to go on within the church.

The IMWAC states that beatification should only be measured according to whether or not someone who seeks the "well-being of God's people."

"The International Movement We Are Church believes that beatification and ultimately sainthood should not be measured by whether a 'miracle' can be attributed to a particular person, but rather, whether someone's life truly embodies the values of Christ who sought, not power, but the well-being of God's people.

The Vatican announced Friday that Pope John Paul II would be beatified on May 1, 2011.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pope John Paul II to Be Beatified in May

Photo Courtesy - Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- The pope approved a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II on Friday, paving the way for John Paul's beatification.

In a decree, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the curing of a French nun who was suffering from Parkinson's disease was "miraculous," which is the last step required for the beatification of John Paul.  The declared miracle puts John Paul one step closer towards becoming a saint.

The beatification is scheduled for May 1.  Benedict is expected to preside over the ceremony, which is expected to draw large crowds in Rome.

After the beatification, John Paul will be known as the Blessed John Paul II and will be able to be publicly venerated.  According to the Vatican's chief spokesman, John Paul's body will be moved from the grottos below to the chapel of San Sebastian inside the Basilica.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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