By Josephine Mckenna | Religion News Service, Updated: Sunday, April 27
VATICAN CITY — Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, who presided over enormous changes within the church and across the world, were proclaimed saints on Sunday (April 27) before a crowd of nearly 1 million people in an historic ceremony celebrated by Pope Francis with his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Around 100 heads of state and government leaders, including the King Juan Carlos of Spain and controversial Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, joined the pilgrims who crammed into St. Peter’s Square under gray and dreary skies. Thirty Jewish leaders were among the official delegations who took part at the Vatican. …
Survivors of clerical sexual abuse have criticized John Paul’s canonization, claiming he did not do enough to clamp down on accused abusers, punish the bishops who protected them or protect minors.
The Survivors Network of Abuse by Priests (SNAP) said John Paul’s sainthood sends a “dangerous signal” for the church. “It’s time for the Vatican to stop honoring those who enabled wrongdoing,” said Barbara Blaine, president of the SNAP, which represents 18,000 victims from around the world.
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