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Entries in PPope Benedict XVI (2)

Sunday
Apr082012

Pope Benedict XVI Delivers Traditional Message of Peace on Easter Sunday

L'Osservatore Romano/Getty Image(VATICAN CITY, Italy) -- Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square in Rome on Sunday among tens of thousands of faithful pilgrims.

The Pope delivered his traditional message of peace, calling on "an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation" in Syria, "peace and stability" in Mali and "the strength needed to take up anew the building of a society which is peaceful and respectful of the religious freedom of its citizens" in Nigeria. He also appealed to Israelis and Palestinians to "courageously take up anew the peace process" and asked that the inhabitants of the Great Lakes Region, Sudan and South Sudan "the power of forgiveness."

When the Pope finished his speech, he offered Easter greetings in more than sixty languages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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Sunday
May012011

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´╗┐







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