“A role model”

Pope Benedict XVI. on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of John Paul II's death. honored the life's work of his predecessor. Even in the long phase of illness towards the end of his life, he endured suffering until the end with unshakable certainty of faith, he said on Monday at a memorial mass.

Without reservations or calculation, the Polish-born pope has placed his person at the service of God – and has thus become a "companion of the people of today. The mass in St. Peter's Basilica was attended by the cardinals, bishops and prelates of the Roman Curia, but also by numerous pilgrims from Poland. At its head was the Pope's former private secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow. No indication was given by Benedict XVI. in his address on the ongoing beatification proceedings for John Paul II. He had initiated it with a special permission a few weeks after his death. At the local level in Rome and Krakow, the procedure had already been completed after two years. Vatican investigation also concluded positively after two years. In December 2009, Benedict XVI. awarded his predecessor the "heroic degree of virtue. However, proof of a miraculous cure is still required before official beatification can take place. Observers expect beatification in 2011. Who John Paul II. Benedict XVI said that those who had known him and met him had been able to sense how alive in him was the certainty of God's goodness. from. This certainty became especially clear in the last phase of his life, when his physical strength began to fail. His illness and weakness would never have affected his "unshakable faith, his luminous hope and his fervent love". John Paul II. he had "worn himself out for Christ, for the Church, for the whole world: He lived his suffering to the last moment for love and with love". John Paul II. has always remained a son of his Polish homeland as well, Benedict XVI said. He was "a great Pole. His countrymen could be proud of his life and work, said Benedict XVI. in Polish. At the same time, they themselves must be faithful witnesses of faith, of the hope of love, "like John Paul II. has constantly taught us". The Vatican newspaper "Osservatore Romano" also paid tribute to John Paul II. He was a pope "against the tide of time," says commemorative article in Tuesday edition. With his travels, his contribution to the overthrow of communism, but also his reconciliation with Judaism, he had found worldwide renown. It would be wrong, of course, to see a contradiction between the Pope from Poland and his successor, the paper writes. Like Benedict XVI. his predecessor was committed to the tradition of the Church, especially in matters of marriage, family and sexual morality. It had stuck to the unchanged family values and had rejected other forms of cohabitation such as "homosexual marriage. He had opposed abortion and euthanasia with all vigor.

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Christina Cherry
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