Rome, world prepare for beatification of Pope John Paul II
As the countdown continued for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, church and civil authorities put the finishing touches on logistical plans to handle potentially massive crowds at the main events in Rome. Meanwhile, Vatican officials were heartened at the massive response to online projects designed to make the beatification a universal experience. Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Square May 1. Because no tickets are being handed out for the liturgy, no one really knows how many people to expect. Estimates range from 300,000 to 1.5 million, and crowd control barriers will be set up for blocks around the Vatican.
Pope John Paul II's May 1 beatification in the Vatican will be filmed with 3D television cameras. It will be the first time in the history of the Church that a liturgical celebration with the Holy Father is filmed with this technology.
He spent many intense days working together with John Paul II, sleepless nights en route to the most remote countries, travelling with him on numerous Visits. He shared the same passion for the mountains and the same yearning for the freedom of peoples, he participated in his missionary concern, as a close collaborator prior to the Synod of Bishops, then as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Cardinal Jozef Tomko is a valuable and clear witness of the Pontificate of Karol Wojtyła. In this interview he retraces the main stages of his friendship with the Polish Pontiff. The following is a translation, which was given in Italian.