San Franciscans Celebrate Historic Day For Pope John Paul II

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Many Catholics showed up at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco on Sunday to mark the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Natives of more than 20 nations gathered outside the cathedral, with many waving Polish flags in honor of Poland’s Pope John Paul II.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The Bay Area Polish community was especially proud of the moment as the beloved former pontiff moved a step closer to possible sainthood.

But not everybody celebrated the beatification as members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, were out to protest the move.

“This is merely a publicity action to regain some of their good name that they’ve lost because of the thousands or tens of thousands of victims of clergy abuse,” said Tim Lennon with SNAP.

John Paul’s beatification, the fastest in modern times, has triggered a new wave of anger from sex-abuse victims because much of the criminality occurred during his 27-year watch.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome early Sunday morning. Some 1.5 million people gathered in and around St. Peter’s Square for the ceremony.

Beatification is the first major milestone on the path to possible sainthood. A second miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession is needed for him to be canonized.

Pope John Paul II passed away in 2005.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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