News / Europe

Pope Francis Canonizes Two Predecessors

Poles Celebrate the Making of Their Latest Saint, John Paul IIi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 27, 2014 9:08 PM
Popes John Paul II and John XXIII were canonized in a ceremony at the Vatican that was a first for the Roman Catholic Church in more than one way. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports on how people in John Paul’s native Poland followed the ceremony in Rome.
Related video report by VOA's Jerome Socolovsky.
VOA News
Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, proclaimed two of his predecessors  John XXIII and John Paul II  as saints at a ceremony Sunday in St. Peter's Square.  

Officials say as many as one million people crowded St. Peter's and the nearby streets of Rome for the elevation-to-sainthood ceremony.  

Francis read the formal proclamation at the canonization Mass also attended by emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

It is the first time two former popes have been elevated to sainthood at the same time.

Relics of the two new saints were brought to the altar during the ceremony -- John Paul's blood used in his 2011 beatification, and a small piece of John's skin taken after his body was exhumed for his 2000 beatification. Relics are used to help the faithful venerate.   
 
  • Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he is driven through the crowd after presiding over a solemn canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square, the Vatican, April 27, 2014.
  • Pope Francis greets the faithful as he is driven through the crowd along Via della Conciliazione while celebrating the ceremony for the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, April 27, 2014.
  • Pope Francis kisses a relic belonging to John Paul II during a ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 27, 2014.
  • Nuns wave as Pope Francis is driven through the crowd after presiding over a ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 27, 2014.
  • A statuette of Pope Francis is placed among desserts on sale at a cafe, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 27, 2014.
  • Two people walk in front of images of Pope John XXIII, left, and Pope John Paul II, Guatemala City, April 27, 2014.
  • A group of people wait for the Vatican's telecast ceremony to begin, Crakow, Ukraine, April 27, 2014. (Jerome Socolovsky/VOA)
  • Jacinta Hamilton, 11, came with her family from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Crakow, Poland to celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II. He was a resident of Crakow for twenty years and was the first Slavic Pope in history, April 27, 2014. (Jerome Socolovsky/VOA)

Churches throughout Rome were open Saturday night, filled with pilgrims from around the world who came to witness the canonization of the two 20th century popes.  

The newly canonized popes are widely seen as representing contrasting factions of the Roman Catholic Church.

John, an Italian also known as the "Good Pope" because of his friendly and open personality, died before the Second Vatican Council ended its work in 1965, but his initiative set off one of the greatest upheavals in church teaching in modern times. 

The Council ended the use of Latin at Mass, brought in the use of modern music, and opened the way for challenges to Vatican authority, which alienated some traditionalists.

John Paul continued some of the reforms but tightened central control, condemned theological renegades and preached a stricter line on social issues.

Groups representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests say he did not do enough to root out a scandal that emerged towards the end of his pontificate and which has hung over the church ever since.

Both canonizations have involved some intervention with the normally strict rules governing the declaration of a saint. Francis ruled that only one miracle was needed to declare John a saint, while Benedict waived a rule that normally requires a five-year waiting period before the preliminaries to sainthood can even begin in order to speed up John Paul's canonization.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ali from: Iran
April 27, 2014 1:27 PM
and the Catholics are wondering why people are fleeing the embrace of the catholic pedophiles...!!! what a grotesque sham..

you had better submit to the Prophet, before the sword falls on your heads.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs