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Papal canonizations

Rome official: Retired pope to attend canonizations; spokesman cautious

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Retired Pope Benedict XVI is expected to attend the canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II on Sunday, said Msgr. Liberio Andreatta, head of the Vatican-related pilgrim agency, Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi.

"Never before have there been two popes canonized and two popes living," he said at a news conference Wednesday in Rome to discuss final plans and preparations for pilgrims. "You can imagine their emotions."

What does Pope Francis think of the upcoming canonizations?

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Rome is preparing for the double canonization ceremony of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II on April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday. I wonder what Pope Francis really thinks of these papal canonizations. Elaborate celebrations of saintly elevation seem somehow incongruous with two main themes promoted by our current pope: being a poor church for the poor and being a more humble church, especially among her leaders.

Sainthood rites for John Paul II, John XXIII to be beamed around the world

While millions of pilgrims are expected to attend the Catholic church's first double canonization at the end of April, the Vatican is preparing its most ambitious TV and social media campaign for the millions who don't make it to Rome.

City officials are expecting more than 5 million people to attend the ceremony when Pope Francis declares his predecessors Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII saints in St. Peter's Square on April 27.

'Pope's maestro' to conduct Washington concert to mark canonizations

American conductor Sir Gilbert Levine will conduct an orchestra and two choirs in a May 5 concert in Washington to celebrate the canonizations of two popes, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.

Levine is often called "the pope's maestro" because of his nearly two-decade friendship with Blessed John Paul.

Titled "Peace through Music 'In Our Age,' " the concert at Constitution Hall will be presented on PBS and televised throughout the world. It will be offered a week after Pope Francis canonizes the former popes during an April 27 Mass at the Vatican.

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September 12-25, 2014

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