April 26th, 2011
10:41 AM ET
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:
February 21st, 2011
02:21 PM ET
(CNN) - The Vatican is warning people who plan to travel to the beatification of Pope John Paul II to look out for scammers claiming to sell tickets for the ceremony.
"It is very important to make as clear as possible that no tickets are needed to attend the beatification of John Paul II," said monsignor Guido Marini, master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, according to Vatican Radio.
As in life, John Paul is drawing huge crowds after his death. Two million pilgrims are expected to flock to the Vatican for the special Mass, which will be presided over by Pope Benedict XVI and take place in St. Peter's Square on May 1 - the first Sunday after Easter.
February 21st, 2011
07:41 AM ET
CNN's Diana Magnay takes a look at how Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi could lose the Catholic vote.
December 13th, 2010
11:41 AM ET
Relations between the Vatican and Ireland deteriorated sharply as the Holy See appeared to ignore a commission looking into complaints of physical and sexual abuse of children by Irish priests, according to U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
One cable from earlier this year says the Vatican was angered by the way the Murphy Commission - which was looking into the how complaints of abuse had been handled by the Church and Irish government - sidestepped normal diplomatic channels.
The commission had written directly to the Vatican to seek information and requested a meeting with the Vatican's representative in Ireland. The Vatican envoy did not respond, according to the cable.
November 19th, 2010
11:12 AM ET
Victims of clerical sexual abuse planned rallies in Rome on Friday as cardinals held a day of reflection and prayer on the issue.
Members of the group SNAP (The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) planned to hold signs and hand out flyers urging Roman Catholic cardinals to stop making symbolic gestures about abuse and instead meet with victims and give case files to the authorities.
"SNAP members believe that genuine reformers solicit outside help, rather than merely meeting with one another," the group said in a news release. "They want church officials to turn over files and cases to independent authorities in government and law enforcement."
October 4th, 2010
10:45 AM ET
The Vatican's official newspaper strongly criticized Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday, calling it "deplorable" that he tells blasphemous, anti-Semitic and sexist jokes.
The editorial came a day after the Italian Catholic bishops' newspaper said Berlusconi needed to show more respect.
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.