May 1st, 2011
10:02 AM ET

Pope John Paul II declared 'blessed' before huge crowds

Vatican City (CNN) - Catholic faithful from around the world poured into Rome on Sunday as the Catholic Church declares Pope John Paul II "blessed," a step below sainthood.

There were cheers as Pope Benedict XVI personally beatified his predecessor, and a huge tapestry protrait of John Paul II was unveiled, showing him as the healthy, vigorous and relatively young man he was early in his papacy.

A vial of John Paul II's blood was placed before the crowds, which were expected to be the largest in the Vatican since the late pope's funeral in 2005.

Read the full story of the pope's beatification

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. S Anderson

    Is this how the new testament started by some set of people just deciding that a prophet/church official/pope etc.

    Somehow did miracles.

    How come these miracles that the pope is supposed to have carried out....were not miracles until after he died......

    Faith is a good thing.....I think

    May 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  2. DetDan

    If there was a god things would be very, very, very different.
    These criminals hiding behind masks of religious authority only deserve prosecution. Some dead guy is dead. So what? He was a liar and child-molester. Why call him a saint? Because the insane people who call themselves Catholics want to forget about all the evil done by their church.

    May 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  3. tallulah13

    The headline makes it sound like he sneezed.

    May 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • airwx


      May 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  4. Pete

    I'm appalled at the catholicssss for honoring such scccuuum. The destructionnnn to children's live's. That's what CNN ought to be covering.

    May 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  5. Obviously

    Despite the fact that religion is obviously untrue, the majority of humans believe in some version of it. That tells you a lot about the human race, and why there is still war and torture and oppression and greed and bigotry.

    If you are stupid enough to believe in something that is totally lacking in evidence, then there is no way that you can be enlightened with the most compelling evidence or logic. As Eric Idle once said of religious nutters "When your stupid, there is nothing that can be done."

    May 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Obviously

      "That tells you a lot about the human race, and why there is still war and torture and oppression and greed and bigotry."

      Humans cause these things...not religion.

      Since you claim that most of humans are wrong for believing in "something"..rather than nothing... then state your C.V. that qualifies you to make that statement.

      May 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Humans cause these things...not religion."

      Hmmm... Isn't that a bit like saying: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."?

      Wouldn't less people be killed, if there were no guns?

      You said: "Siince you claim that most of humans are wrong for believing in "something"..rather than nothing... then state your C.V. that qualifies you to make that statement."

      Since you are making the extraordinary claim that "something" exists, the burden of proof is on you. Without proof, I'm ent!tled to my skepticism. If I claimed I have fairies living in my left shoe, wouldn't you ask me to prove it?

      Believers want their faith and belief to be equal to actual evidence. They are not. People in Jesus' day believed the world was flat. They were wrong. Faith and belief, without evidence, is worthless.


      May 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • airwx

      Hi David. No, the implication remains in the motivation behind an action, not the methodology, so there is no Hmmm to my point. Many wars have been started behind a facade of religion, but the motivation was often if not always human inspired.

      And my request for a CV is not a statement on my part of an extrodinary claim, therefore the burden remains on the maker of the statement.

      Consider....science tells us our universe contains 251 Hubble Spheres of volume. Our visible universe only occupies one Hubble Sphere. There is no evidence for what exists in the other 250 units of volume, but I have faith that the scientists who make that claim are correct. By your definition, that makes my faith worthless.

      May 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Obviously

      Nonsense, airwx. The evidence for what is not seen in the universe is extrapolated from the large amount of evidence which is seen. That makes it an estimate, not faith. That puts it in a totally different category than religious faith, wherein there is utterly no evidence whatsoever to support the extrapolations it creates.

      I do wish people like you would stop playing disingenuous semantic games with the words "faith" and "theory", because those games always try to hide the fact that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever supporting your position.

      I won't bother to respond to your earlier "Since you claim that most of humans are wrong for believing in "something"..rather than nothing" statement, as I did not say that – you did, and put it into my mouth. Straw man arguments are also disingenuous.

      You do not argue honestly.

      May 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • airwx

      Since science can only provide proof that meets sceptical analysis for 23% of the visible universe, that leaves 77% unproven. Extrapolation notwithstanding, there is still a lot that science can't prove and will never prove. That goes for everything beyond the visible into the unseeable. (due to the speed of light/distance issue) Please note that I never compared theory to faith...I don't know where you reached that conclusion.

      Your statement, "Despite the fact that religion is obviously untrue, the majority of humans believe in some version of it. "
      For a majority to believe in "religion" ( a something) rather than no "religion" (nothing) is not putting words in your mouth. It is a simple restatement. That is not a straw man.

      Consider what you call evidence. You hear what scientists (myself included) tell you we have learned through our work. If enough of us tell you the same thing you accept it as fact or theory as the case may be, yet how often do you replicate our work to test the veracity of our statements? If you are truely sceptical...you would. Otherwise, you take our word on faith.

      Just something to consider....we have constantly improved our means of experimentation and devised new products over the last 120 years. Back then it was suggested that the Patent offiice could be closed as "Everything that can be invented has been invented". You may see things discovered that will require you to change your thinking...just as my thinking was changed. Peace

      May 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Obviously

      You just won't argue honestly, will you.

      Again you apply straw man arguments. Your whole third paragraph pretends to know and say what I think (incorrectly). I will not be sucked into such dishonest tactics. Your "simple restatement" significantly changes the emphasis and intent of what I said into something I did not say. That is by definition a straw man argument. Arguing what you wished I had said is an old and dishonest political trick.

      So you are a "scientist" whose firm belief is in something for which there is absolutely no scientific evidence. Worse, you play dishonest deconstructive games with areas of science on much firmer ground than your non-evidenced faith, then pretend that your status as a scientist somehow legitimizes your totally unevidenced opinions. Weird.

      May 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    The Pope is all that there has been on this blog for days. Fine if you happen to believe or care. I am a 4th degree born again Evangelical (I was born again 4 times, just to be sure), and have no interest in this silliness.

    CNN didn't make this big of a deal when Billy Graham or Oral Roberts or Jerry Falwell died. Billy was god's own quarterback! They also took little notice when Pat Robertson lost his mind.

    Oral, once saw a 900 foot tall Jesus. He performed countless undoc_umented healings. His son Richard is still carrying on... Still accepting seed faith money from the poor and desperate. Amen!

    Jerry Falwell identified the Teletubby character Tinky Winky as being a gay role model. Can we ever repay this debt, to this giant of a man?

    Equal time for all crackpots, I say! It's what Jesus would do!


    May 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Finger Puppet

      You need to try again. The fifth time might be the charm. You never know when it might "take". These people keep reenacting an ancient execution, which they assert to be a "once for all", "sacrifice". If THAT makes any sense, a fifth try on your part would be just as logical.

      May 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. Muneef

    [26:69] Narrate to them Abraham's history.

    [26:70] He said to his father and his people, "What is this you are worshipping?"

    [26:71] They said, "We worship statues; we are totally devoted to them."

    [26:72] He said, "Can they hear you when you implore?

    [26:73] "Can they benefit you, or harm you?"

    [26:74] They said, "No; but we found our parents doing this."

    [26:75] He said, "Do you see these idols that you worship.

    [26:76] "You and your ancestors.

    [26:77] "I am against them, for I am devoted only to the Lord of the universe.

    [26:78] "The One who created me, and guided me.

    [26:79] "The One who feeds me and waters me.

    [26:80] "And when I get sick, He heals me.****

    [26:81] "The One who puts me to death, then brings me back to life.

    [26:82] "The One who hopefully will forgive my sins on the Day of Judgment.

    [26:83] "My Lord, grant me wisdom, and include me with the righteous.

    [26:84] "Let the example I set for the future generations be a good one.

    [26:85] "Make me one of the inheritors of the blissful Paradise.

    [26:86] "And forgive my father, for he has gone astray.

    [26:87] "And do not forsake me on the Day of Resurrection."

    [26:88] That is the day when neither money, nor children, can help.

    [26:89] Only those who come to GOD with their whole heart (will be saved).

    [26:90] Paradise will be presented to the righteous.

    [26:91] Hell will be set up for the strayers.

    May 1, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Rational

      [26:92] But we really must work harder on PR in The Vatican
      [26:93] Because Pippa's bum was the weekend highlight.

      May 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  8. Pope On A Roap Soap

    JPII for your shower. Pope On A Roap Soap Get it now in time for scenthood.

    Get na ked and slippery with John Paul. Take the pope anywhere you want him to go. He'll be the envy of priests everywhere. Kids will love it. Special long-dead papal BO scent.

    You can't beat-ify our price. Only 4.99/100mg. Available at WalMart and other fine retailers.

    May 1, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  9. God

    Yer all well come. sure dat JPII deserves to get beat. sorry ain't hearing your prayers lately mucho. my old hearing ain't so good. I been missing lotsa prayers lately like from all those folks dying in my tornadoes and suenamis and all that. And from all those parents of kids dying of cancer and all. Guess I'm a bit deaf.

    Busy too. but never miss a good sainting party. Party dresses and hats an all. You go.Beat on, JPII.

    May 1, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  10. Ben Dover

    The earth is 4.5 Billion years old per radiometric dating. Dinosaurs existed. Evolution is both a scientific theory AND a fact. God is a myth. Miracles are a total fabrication. The catholic church protects pedophiles and stops access to birth control and abortion.

    May 1, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • RightturnClyde

      Well it is impossible for anything to be BOTH a theory and a fact. A theory is another word for myth (you did not realize that right?) So you are anxious to condemn "myth" but you want to posit "theory" as fact. What that tells me is that you have not learned to think. You are a "pop" culture follower but do not understand the words you are using and the things you are adamantly for and against. Well that is OK .. you are not along. A theory is not a fact. It is a theory. Much of "science" is mere theory and gets over turned daily .. what was supposed as true yesterday is frequently refuted as false today.

      May 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Ben Dover

      rightturnclyde, it's obvious you have no scientific background based on your doltish comment. Look it up, clown. "Gravitational THEORY" or didn't you get the memo? A few words need to be said about the "theory of evolution," which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, "theory" often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, "theory" means "a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed." as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. None too sharp, are you? LOL

      May 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  11. Reality

    And it is all vitiated by the fact that there never was nor ever will be any physical resurrection of human bodies i.e. no Resurrection, no Christianity and therefore worthless time spent beatifying anyone.

    May 1, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • RightturnClyde

      I don't think you understand the faith and it would take a lot more than a posting to explain it.

      May 1, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • Ben Dover

      There is nothing to understand. It's all a myth. There are no miracles. The catholic church is the biggest scam and their harbor pedophiles.

      May 1, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Sam

      This guy is a fool, as are all that laugh and join along with him. What garbage did they teach you in school chum?

      1 Corinthians 1:18

      18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

      1 Corinthians 1:21-25

      21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
      22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
      23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
      24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
      25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

      May 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Maybe


      Re: Corinthians
      Why do you believe the ranting, raving, misogynistic, misanthropic martinet, Paul of Tarsus?

      May 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • gerald

      Thus saith reality so it must be true.Well then I guess you have us all convinced. No point you posting anything on these boards then I guess. Thanks for the truth. Bye.

      May 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  12. RightturnClyde

    Roman Catholic beatification and sainthood are so irrelevant today. Oh my, how anachronistic .. together with meatless Fridays, mortal-venial, absolution, rosaries, litanys, chants, incense, stations, patron saints, candlemas, holy water ... it all harkens back to the Dark Ages and werewolves and demons. Sixty years ago it was still practiced but it was pretty much ended by Vatican II (1963) (which was a last gasp at reviving a waning rite).

    May 1, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Finger Puppet

      I also don't buy any of it, but to say it's "irrelevant" seems questionable, especially in light of the many thousands who watched and were in attendance in that round "square" in Rome.

      May 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      Puppet - OK .. tell how it is relevant. How does it relate to the millions who watched (while munching potato chips and drinking Coke and sitting on their couch). How did it relate to them? How does "beatification" fit into the over scheme of meatless Fridays, mortal-venial sins, absolution (of sin), (saying) rosaries, (praying) litanys, (singing ) chants, (burning) incense, (doing) stations, (begging) patron saints (for favors), candlemas (blessings) , (sprinkling) holy water ...how have the Dark Ages (700 AD to 1300 AD managed to be relevant today (are there werewolves and demons?). Sixty years ago it was still practiced (in N. America) but mostly ended by Vatican II (1963) ... BUT MAYBE I WAS WRONG .. so go ahead explain how it is relevant to YOU today...

      May 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Kayla

    If you want another place to watch the mass without commentary xt3.com is streaming it live as well. Ora pro nobis Blessed John Paul the Great

    May 1, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • sheila

      wow thanks

      May 1, 2011 at 6:11 am |
  14. bb

    In Catholic parlance, John Paul didn't "cure" the nun, he "interceded on behalf" of the nun with Jesus, who cured the nun. It's an important distinction because the former implies he has healing powers, which he does not, and the latter, that he has "street cred" with god. Catholics fervently believe that certain people have more sway in the spiritual realm for acts on earth. This is a belief not shared by non-Catholic Christians. Thus one of the reasons for the split. Here in Poland, though, the Pope is revered just slightly less than Christ at the moment, so there is a bit of idolatry in place. But in time that will fade.

    May 1, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • Ben Dover

      So, the church makes more claims of things that never happened. Good to know. Oh, and the shroud of turin? It's less than 600 years old. Another failed myth, just like god and miracles.

      May 1, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  15. Dave

    I was r*p*d by a priest when I was a child in 1991. I lived with this horrible secret for 19 years before I told a soul. I tried to get the sick pedophile put behind bars. Guess who lied and slandered me in the press? Guess who not only hired one $600 dollar-an-hour lawyer but when that one was failing hired Anita Ashley (an ex-judge and wife of a congressman)? The catholic church did that is who. Now I don't know how much PJ2 knew about this stuff but the catholic church is still up to it's old evil games.

    May 1, 2011 at 5:41 am |
    • Dave Johson

      I felt your pain but I think you're crying wolf.

      May 1, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  16. sheila

    At the beginning of CNN's broadcast, one commentator pronounced the Pope's name with the English W (like in week) instead of the Polish W which sounds like the V (in velvet) CNN is just getting the whole thing WRONG

    May 1, 2011 at 5:41 am |
  17. george dazet

    John Allen, the senior CNN vatican correspondant, as he says at the annual religious congress in Anaheim, the only CNN Vatican correspondant, has missed the boat on a very important reason why the beatification is being held on this Sunday. Saint Faustina, also from Poland, is the catalyst of the devotion to the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ. John Paul II embraced this devotion openly, yet there is no mention of it. Today, the first Sunday after Easter, is Divine Mercy Sunday. This is why the beatification is today instead of any other Sunday of the year. CNN, John Allen, Jim Bitterman, you all missed the boat by not share this information as part of this ceremony.

    May 1, 2011 at 5:34 am |
    • Inspector Clouseau

      @george dazet
      i always thought "Dominica in Albis" was a more poetic, appropriate way to approach this Sunday.
      But for an inst-i-t-ution that selectively cherry picks which "traditions" it will honor, it's the expected thy chose the themes "du jour". My family "saw the light" back when they jettisoned their entire cultural heritage back in their purges of the 1960's.

      May 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  18. doctore0

    Magic is real, pope now uber wizard; Praise the lard
    Ugga bugga

    May 1, 2011 at 5:29 am |
    • Quack

      @Doc. I think you've had missed your meds again. I told you to take it on time. Look at you, you're getting delirious.

      May 1, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • Al

      I especially like the ugga bugga part.

      May 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  19. CC

    I agree. The CNN live coverage is horrible. The commentators keeps talking during the service. They even cut the Pope talking during the service to show an interview. I am so appalled by this coverage, I emailed a complaint about it. Why bother covering this occassion live if all they'll do is talk during the event?

    May 1, 2011 at 5:23 am |
    • DD

      I second the motion, CNN is horrible!

      May 1, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • Pete

      Yes, CNN should be covering the popes crimes against humanity

      May 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  20. sheila

    II am appalled by CNN coverage. An absolutely historical and beautiful event ruined by the idiotic chatter of the commentators. There are millions of people across the planet who want to see and hear this event. Can't you refrain from your senseless talking. The Royal Wedding got that respect.

    May 1, 2011 at 5:06 am |
    • HeidyC

      Totally agree with you... upsetting really..

      May 1, 2011 at 5:13 am |
    • Gary

      Yeah...whatever.... It's obvious the church is rushing this through to help people ignore the child abuse issue. Benedict wants people to like him so he won't have to go to trial.

      Doesn't matter....this is ridiculous and wrong. Lying to people and telling them about hell and sin, blah blah blah is wrong

      May 1, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • adrian watts

      It is beyond my comprehension why the Pope would invite Robert Mugabe to the beatification ceremony for Pope John Paul II...shame and more shame on the Catholic Church for inviting Mugabe and turning your backs on all those who have suffered and died under his corrupt rule. What would Jesus do? Comfort the oppressed and stand against the oppressor.

      May 1, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • TheBenedictine83

      The problem with Robert Mugabe being there is that they may really have no choice but to let him be there. The alternative of being snubbed – he'd take it his anger on some innocents in his nation. Then how would you feel, you who complain about him being there? Such are the ways of diplomacy – sometimes you have to accomodate the guest that no one wants. It is NOT an endorsement of his policies or "siding with an oppressor". He announced he was coming, the Vatican did not like it, but figured they had better allow it for the sake of the innocent.

      May 1, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • TheBenedictine83

      The child abuse scandal is not going away,and the Vatican knows it. To say that they are having a beatification to get people's minds off of it is an ignorant and offensive statement to make. No, the Church is dealing with the abuse through the reforms implemented by Pope Benedict XVI in 2001, and absolutely NO valid evidence can be shown that there was a widespread cover-up at the Vatican level, other than innuendo and incorrect conclusions made over certain directives. As well, the bishops on the local level MUST do their part to bring justice to victims and punish the guilty, or else the reforms will be completely ineffective (as a recent evaluation of the US Bishop's Reforms from 2002 have shown).

      Meanwhile the local DA's and criminal courts have to do their jobs to convict the actual guilty, including any bishops who wilingly covered up the offenses. The Philadelphia case is a good place to start, though I fear that some innocent priests have been charged along with the guilty and the woman judge in charge has an Anti-Catholic bias that should lead her to be removed from the trials.

      May 1, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Ben Dover

      That POS, along with the current pope is/was a thief and a protector of pedophiles.

      May 1, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Inspector Clouseau

      Agree with many of your points. In addition, I feel, as a parent, it was MY job, to make absolutely sure that my boys were safe, always, everywhere. I didn't care what kind of "collar", (Roman or otherwise), anyone was wearing, I made sure no one was in a position to do anything inappropriate to them, and that included a frank discussion of all possibilities with them, so they understood that there were pedophiles, and that it was OK, indeed expected, that they would come to us if someone "tried something", or made them uncomfortable in any way, no matter who they were, and that they could say "no" to anything they didn't like or understand. It's fine to place all the blame on others, but maybe some of it would have been mine to bear. Am very glad I had assertive kids and it never happened. We teach people how they must treat us.

      May 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Pete

      I'm appalled at the catholics for honoring such disgust. The ddddestruction to children's live's. That's what CNN ought to be covering.

      May 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
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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.