Roman Catholic Leader Pope John Paul II Beatified


(RFE/RL) — Roman Catholic leader Pope Benedict XVI today declared the late Pope John Paul II “blessed,” paving the way for sainthood before an expectant crowd of over 1 million at the Vatican.

Some 90 official delegations from around the world, as well as members of five European royal families and 16 heads of state, attended today’s beautification Mass.

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican was packed with crowds eager to express their love for the former pope — the first non-Italian Catholic leader in 400 years and the first to come from Eastern Europe.

Italian pilgrim Federico Martinelli described the event as a triumph for the church.

“It is certainly a great celebration, a great celebration for everybody,” he told Reuters in St. Peter’s Square. “It is also a victory — sincerely speaking — a victory against all the opposition and a great confirmation of the pontificate of John Paul II.”

Pope John Paul II, a native Pole, died in 2005 after a 26-year pontificate.

He is known for his strong stance against totalitarianism — notably communism — and his push for more communication between differing faiths.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

One thought on “Roman Catholic Leader Pope John Paul II Beatified

  • May 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Looks like a corporate degree awarded to a favourite Pope. Personally I like Pope John Paul II but I could not understand the significance of such a ceremony. This certainly calls for asking, “Who may have done a similar ceremony to Lord Jesus Christ”?

    God bless


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