PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The late Pope John Paul II will be beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI during ceremonies Sunday morning at the Vatican.
Philadelphia’s archbishop, Cardinal Justin Rigali, will be there.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, before being assigned to Philadelphia, was a senior Vatican aide for years, having served Pope John Paul II throughout his papacy.
“I was blessed, it was a marvelous experience to be there in Rome, to see him week after week, for years to be associated with him, to travel all over the world with him. And, at the same time, to listen to what he was saying to the world all during that time,” said Cardinal Rigali.
Rigali says Pope John Paul II took up the cause of the human person from the fetus in the womb to the sick and senior citizens, and he fought for human rights throughout his papacy.
He says it was John Paul’s call for a non-violent struggle against Communism in eastern Europe that led to its downfall in his homeland of Poland and nearby countries.
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio