Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification
Pope John Paul II in Berlin, Germany, in 1996. He will be beatified in Rome on Sunday.
April 26th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Sainthood explained: Understanding John Paul II's beatification

By John L. Allen, Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst

Rome (CNN) - The beatification of Pope John Paul II this Sunday will probably be the biggest event in Rome since his death in April 2005, with at least 300,000 people expected to turn out for the ceremony and more than 2 million to take part in beatification-related activities in Rome, including a vigil service on Saturday in Rome’s Circus Maximus and visits to John Paul’s tomb.

Beatification is the next-to-last step in the sainthood process. It means the candidate can be referred to as “blessed,” and that one miracle has been confirmed in his or her name. Another miracle is required for canonization, the formal act of declaring someone a saint.

Here are more questions and answers about the process – and about John Paul II:

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Italy • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

April 26th, 2011
09:41 AM ET

Religion, race could influence end-of-life spending, study shows

Imagine you’re in the hospital with cancer. Would you rather spend everything you have to potentially live longer, or just forgo the costly medical treatment? Your answer to that question might be influenced by your race.

A study published Tuesday in the journal Cancer finds that 80% of African Americans were willing to spend all their resources to extend life, but for white people the number is just 54%.

Differences in religious belief can be subtle, but significant to the findings. When asked how much longer they think they have to live, patients picked one of these four answers: less than five years, more than five years, “I don’t know,” and “In God’s hands.”

Those who answered “In God’s hands” were by far the most likely to exhaust finances on life-prolonging treatment. However, even within this group of religious individuals willing to spend more on treatment – blacks were still more likely than whites to spend.

Read more about the study on CNN's health blog, The Chart

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death • Faith & Health

April 26th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

Opinion: Why I believe in God

Editor's Note: LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com. Watch him Tuesday on "CNN Newsroom," 9 a.m. ET.

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) - I would like to share with you a little story explaining why I believe in God.

I understand such a conversation may be an automatic turnoff to those of you who do not believe in a higher power, but I assure you there's a nugget in this story for everyone. After all, when you get right down to it, we all believe in something.

My story begins with a little restaurant off Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids called Rose's. It's not too fancy and a little pricey, but the location's good and the pizza's better. Over the years I must've eaten there at least a hundred times. But on this one particular day, something strange happened on the way to Rose's - I couldn't find it.

Read LZ Granderson's column on why he believes in God

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • God • Opinion

My Take: Should Christians spend a fortune on weddings?
Unlike William and Kate, the author did not have the Westminster Abbey choir perform at her wedding.
April 26th, 2011
08:55 AM ET

My Take: Should Christians spend a fortune on weddings?

Editor's Note: Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is ordained in the Episcopal Church and has taught a variety of educational institutions, including Yale University. She is also the author of "God and Harry at Yale: Faith and Fiction in the Classroom."

By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

In my last Belief Blog post, I expressed concerns about the cost of the upcoming royal wedding to taxpayers. Two days later, a friend e-mailed me (and I paraphrase):

You are in no place to criticize expensive weddings. You wear a diamond the size of a kiwi, the caterer served lobster profiteroles, a bagpiper led everyone in a procession from the church to the catering hall, and your whitened teeth looked as unnatural as Eva Longoria’s.

Though personal finances and not taxpayer dollars paid for our wedding, her words exhumed the Dr. Faust-style angel-devil debate between Danielle the Priest and Danielle the Bride that dominated my engagement. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Opinion • United Kingdom

About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.