The Barrie Examiner
Philip Pullella and James Mackenzie, REUTERS
Sunday, April 27, 2014
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in front of more than half a million pilgrims on Sunday, hailing both as courageous men who withstood the tragedies of the 20th century.
Cheers and applause rang out across St Peter’s Square after the historic double papal canonization as many in the crowd fixed their gaze on huge tapestries of the two popes on the facade of the basilica behind Francis.
“We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church,” Francis said in his formal proclamation in Latin.
Relics of each man – a container of blood from John Paul II and skin from John XXIII – were placed near the altar. …
Groups representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests also 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.
The controversy did nothing to put off the rivers of Catholic faithful.
“I think that they were two great people, each of them had their own particular character, so they deserve what is happening,” said Leonardo Ruino, who came from Argentina.
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