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Vatican: Only Successor Can Make Pope a Saint

From left, British Cardinal Cormac Muphy-O'Connor and U.S. Cardinals Theodore Edgar McCarrick, Edward Egan and Justin Francis Rigali attend Mass at Vatican
The Vatican says only the next pope can decide whether the late Pope John Paul II should be made a saint.

Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the statement Saturday at a news conference at the Vatican. He also said Roman Catholic cardinals meeting here have agreed not to talk to the news media before they go into a closed-door conclave to choose a new pope.

The spokesman said there will be 115 cardinals at the conclave when it starts April 18, following a nine-day period of official mourning. There are 117 cardinals under the age of 80 as required by Church law, but two are too sick to travel.

Rome is returning to normal after hosting the world leaders and pilgrims who jammed St. Peter's Square and the surrounding streets to pay their last respects to Pope John Paul.

Italian officials say some 1,000 special trains were put into service the past week, including 200 on Saturday to keep the movement of pilgrims smooth.

The city's mayor said the influx of visitors doubled Rome's population of 2.6 million. He announced Rome's main railway station will be renamed for Pope John Paul.

Officials say the basilica where the pontiff was laid to rest reopened on Saturday. However, the crypt where he was buried will remain closed to the public until Monday or Tuesday.