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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pope John Paul II: Three Years On

Under the headline Pope Benedict praises 'supernatural' John Paul II The Times reports on Pope Benedict XVI`s mass in St Peter's Square, marking the third anniversary of John Paul's death

"[T]he Pope said: "Among many human and supernatural qualities, he had an exceptional spiritual and mystical sensibility."

Pope Benedict, who shortly after his election put John Paul on the path to sainthood by waiving the five year waiting period before a beatification cause can be opened, said: "We relive with emotion the hours of that Saturday evening when the news of his death was announced to the great crowd which filled St Peter's Square ... Let us give thanks to the Lord for having given to the Church this faithful and brave servant." ...

The Vatican is reported to be considering moving John Paul's tomb from the crypt of St Peter's to the Basilica above, and may exhume the body for display to pilgrims in a glass casket after beatification is approved. However, Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said that "no decision on the matter will be made before beatification".

Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that the tomb of John Paul could be moved to a chapel on the right hand side of the Basilica, near the entrance and next to the chapel containing Michelangelo's statue of the Pieta.

Cardinal Saraiva Martins said that a glass casket "would be a way to make him closer and more visible to the thousands of faithful from all over the world who come every day to pray at his tomb". His face would be covered with a wax mask, "as has been done with other saints". "