THE 21ST-CENTURY ‘SAINT’ YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE REMARKABLE LIFE AND DEATH OF A KOREAN MISSIONARY IN SUDAN PAGE 9
February 25 2011 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Vatican plans three-day celebration for the beatification of John Paul II
BY ED WEST
POPE JOHN PAUL II’S remains will be displayed at the Vatican for his beatification on May 1, it has been announced.
Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the beatification Mass at 10am in St Peter’s Square, the Vatican said, after John Paul II’s wooden coffin is exhumed from the crypt below St Peter’s Basilica.
Three days of celebrations will begin the night before the beatification with a prayer vigil in the open space of the Circus Maximus, the site of the martyrdom of St Peter.
Organised by the Diocese of Rome, the vigil will be led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general for the diocese. Pope Benedict XVI will take part through a live video link. Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster will be among the British bishops in attendance.
The second phase is the beatification ceremony itself. Immediately after the Mass the faithful will be able to pray before Pope John Paul II’s remains, which will be set in front of the main altar inside St Peter’s Basilica. The veneration “will continue until the flow of faithful ends”, according to the schedule.
Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the late pope’s remains will be in the coffin in which he originally was buried and will not be visible.
This will be followed by a Mass of thanksgiving the following day at 10.30am in St Peter’s Square, after which Pope John Paul II’s remains will be re-interred in the side chapel of St Sebastian in St Peter’s Basilica in a private ceremony. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, will preside at the Mass.
The Vatican has warned people not to buy counterfeit tickets for the May 1 ceremony which is free and open to all.
The Prefecture of the Papal Household has issued a draft pro
Visitors walk past the St Sebastian chapel in St Peter’s Basilica where Vatican authorities say Pope John Paul II’s remains will be re-interred AP Photo gramme for the beatification, describing it as “a great ecclesial event”. The office in charge of organising audiences issued a statement which said that “tickets are not needed to attend the beatification ceremony”.
American Archbishop James Harvey, prefect of the papal household, which organises the non-liturgical side of papal events, also issued a statement emphasising that the ceremonies were free.
The archbishop’s statement, distributed in six languages, said he had been “informed of the existence of unauthorised offers by some tour operators, especially on the internet”, claiming that for a fee they could help people get tickets to papal events, particularly the beatification Mass. “For the beatification Mass of Pope John Paul II, as made clear from the outset, no tickets are required,” the archbishop said.
For events that require tickets, such as the Pope’s weekly general audience, the tickets “are always issued free of charge and no person or organisation can request any kind of payment”, a statement said. Mgr Guido Marini, the master of ceremonies for papal liturgies, said: “It is very important to make as clear as possible that no tickets are needed, to attend the beatification of John Paul II.”
It is expected that hundreds of thousands of people will crowd around St Peter’s Square for the occasion, with Cardinal José
Saraiva Martins, the retired prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, suggesting that the Church is expecting at least 2.5 million people.
John Tangney of Tangney Tours, the British tour operator, said his company would not be bringing any groups over because “all the accommodation was booked up by local tour operators who obviously were given a heads-up about possible dates”.
“It wasn’t worth being involved because travel companies in Rome have doubled their prices and the Poles are paying those prices,” he said. “This is going to be massive in Poland.”
He added: “There’s a possibility that the body of John Paul II, if uncorrupted, will go on display after the beatification, and in that case we will certainly organise groups to go over there.”
Mgr Marini said: “The beatification ceremony will have the same characteristics of every beatification ceremony, so during the Mass there will be the proclamation of the newly Blessed, and a brief summary of the life of John Paul II will be read.
“The Pope will solemnly proclaim the newly Blessed, then there will be the unveiling of the image, which will hang in front of the Basilica, from the central balcony, and then also the veneration of a relic that will be taken at the time. These are the various phases of the rite of beatification, inserted within the Eucharistic celebration.”
Meanwhile, Mgr Sławomir Oder, the postulator for the Cause of John Paul II, is looking beyond the beatification toward the canonisation of the late Roman pontiff. He has issued a call for reports of any miracles that could be attributed to the intercession of John Paul II, which would pave the way for canonisation.
The Church has already accepted one miracle, that of a 49year-old French nun miraculously cured of Parkinson’s disease months after John Paul’s death after she and her fellow nuns prayed to him. The second miracle required for canonisation must occur after the beatification ceremony.
After the first approved miracle George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II, wrote: “John Paul II’s life was a life of miracles – a life in which radical openness to God’s grace opened channels of grace for others.”
Church confident of paying off final bill for papal visit to Britain
BY MARK GREAVES
THE PAPAL visit cost the Catholic Church in Britain just over £10 million, it was announced last week.
The figure is £3 million higher than initial estimates but only marginally more than the Church’s forecast in September, just before the Pope was due to arrive. The state paid £6 million, not including security costs.
The biggest expenses of the Pope’s visit were £4.4 million for the beatification Mass at Cofton Park and £3 million for media centre facilities, paid for by the Government.
The Hyde Park vigil cost £1.2 million, while the education event at St Mary’s, Twickenham, cost £385,000. “Venue location and research costs”, which would have been inflated by the change of venue from Coventry Airport to Cofton Park, amounted to £103,000.
About £3.8 million was paid directly by the Church,
and the remaining £6.3 million was paid by the Foreign Office on the Church’s behalf. The money is due to be paid back to the Government by March 1. The outstanding debt will be passed to the dioceses, which will have until October 2012 to pay them off.
Mgr Andrew Summersgill, papal visit co-ordinator, said the money left over is likely to be “in the hundreds of thousands”. He explained that much of the cost had been met by a substantial dividend paid out by Mutual, an organisation set up to provide insurance cover for dioceses.
Mgr Summersgill also said that the cost of the beatification Mass was high because of traffic management – all pilgrims had to get there by coach – and because the stage had to be built from scratch. Other expenses disclosed by the Government were £45,000 for helicopter transport and £19,000 for a dinner.
Editorial Comment: Page 13
Price of Herald to increase next week
Teenage pop star says he opposes abortion
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE CATHOLIC HERALD will increase its cover price next week from £1.20 to £1.50.
The price rise will take effect in the March 4 issue and is a response to rising production costs. It also aims to ensure that the paper can continue to offer a high standard of journalism.
Subscription rates will rise from £62 to £75. Copies bought in the eurozone will cost €1.80 rather than €1.50.
New contributors will be introduced in next week’s issue and all the changes will be explained in full.
The paper’s 20 broadsheet pages will continue to offer in-depth news and features and our website, CatholicHerald.co.uk, will carry on breaking news stories, providing extra comment pieces and up-to-the-minute video coverage of big events, and all for free.
BY ED WEST
TEENAGE singer Justin Bieber has made headlines by speaking out against abortion, suggesting it is just “like killing a baby”.
In the interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the world-famous 16-year-old singer, currently the most Googled person in the world, not only said he did not “believe in abortion” but also suggested that abortion might not be justified on the grounds of rape.
“I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason,” he said: “I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”
Asked whether a person should wait until marriage to have sex, Bieber responded, “I don’t think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them.”
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