Pope Francis proclaimed his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints at a historic ceremony Sunday in the presence of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square.
"John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries," Francis said before some 800,000 people, according to The Associated Press.
A reigning pope and a retired pope were together in a Mass in public for the first time. Also unprecedented was the concurrent canonization of two former popes. more >>
The miraculous healings and apparitions of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII were recently described at a news conference by first-hand witnesses, three days before their joint canonization.
Speaking at a conference at the Vatican on Thursday, Floribeth Mora Diaz said that some people thought she was crazy to believe that John Paul II helped heal her brain aneurysm in May 2011, six years after his death. She described it, however, as a "blessed craziness, because I'm healthy," Catholic News Service reported.
The Costa Rican woman is said to have gone through an "inexplicable recovery" thanks to the Polish pontiff on the day of his beatification, which the Vatican said was a double miracle since not only was she healed, but the faith of her family had been restored. more >>
Swedish megachurch leader Ulf Ekman who formerly led the Word of Life charismatic church in Uppsala explained his decision to convert to Roman Catholicism, and revealed that he was "bombarded with questions" by his congregation, some of whom understood his decision, and some who didn't.
"Well, it became very quiet. And when it becomes quiet in a charismatic church, then you know people are thinking. When I'd finished there was actually spontaneous applause. That surprised me a lot and many, many people came up to me afterwards," Ekman said in an interview with Catholic Herald.
"Then, the day after, we had a question-and-answer session. I stood for two hours and they bombarded me with questions about Catholicism. The rest of the week all our pastors were ready to help people and answer questions. Every night there were sessions for that. So there has been a mixed feeling. Some understand. Some don't understand at all." more >>
The Roman Catholic Church is set for major celebrations around the world to mark the canonization of popes John Paul II and John XXIII on Sunday.
The Vatican discussed their sainthood during a Tuesday press briefing, saying, "Father Giovangiuseppe Califano, the postulator for John XXIII, said as a 15-year-old seminarian Angelo Roncalli was already making resolutions that were intended to help him become a saint for real. He said Pope John's sainthood was characterized by a deep humility and he was both a shepherd and a father," according to Vatican Radio.
"Roncalli, he continued, opened new horizons to the Church by convening the Second Vatican Council and was a capable communicator who by using simple every-day expressions succeeded in entering immediately into the hearts of people. Father Califano went on to explain how the words 'obedience and peace' were not just Roncalli's episcopal motto but were at the root of his sainthood as they characterized his life at the service of the Church." more >>
A number of religious groups have backed British Prime Minister David Cameron's claims that Britain is a "Christian nation" after a group of U.K. intellectuals argued in a letter that such views cause division and harm in society.
Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod, the highest governing body of the Church of England, said she was glad that Cameron had the "confidence" to talk about his faith, and pointed out that the U.K. had "historically and culturally" been a Christian country for "many hundreds of years," according to BBC News.
Muslim Council of Britain Secretary General Farooq Murad said that no one could that deny that the U.K. remains a Christian country. more >>
Josie Cunningham, a pregnant 23-year-old model and mother of two has caused furor across the United Kingdom after confessing that she intends to abort her unborn child so she can become famous with a spot on popular reality show "Big Brother."
After thousands reacted in an online protest against the model's confession in the Sunday Mirror, however, sources with the show say executives at Channel 5 which produces the reality show now believe the model could be the show's Kryptonite.
"Josie is deluded if she thinks this will improve her chances of signing up, which were slim to non-existent to start with," a source told the Mirror. "How can we work with her — or pay her — if she admits having an abortion to achieve that? It would be a minefield." more >>