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Sir Michael Wilshaw Freddy Gray James Le Fanu ‘Poor children must

We’re a nation of not be left behind’charity show-offsfor the soul INTERVIEW, PAGE 7 COMMENT, PAGE 12 CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20

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 No. 6653 April 4 2014 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)

Vatican: do not be afraid to head to Rome for papal canonisations

If you can’t join the crowds you can follow ceremony on smartphones, Twitter and even 3D televisionBYMADELEINETEAHANFrLombardiconfirmedthatthePopeEmeritusmayattendthecanonisations.Hesaid:“Heisinvited.Butthereisstillamonthtogo.We’llhavetoseeifhewantstobepresentandfeelsuptoit.”

THE VATICAN has urged Catholics across the world not to be afraid to attend the historic joint canonisation of popes John XXIII and John Paul II in Rome this month.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Vatican spokesman Fr Fred- erico Lombardi said: “We hope many people will come and we are making preparations to welcome them. We invite people to come to Rome with trust and serenity without excessive fear.

“If people filled St Peter’s Square and Via della Conciliazione back to the Tiber River, we calculate there would be between 200,000 and 250,000 people. Forecasts, including by city of Rome officials, that mention millions of pilgrims trying to attend the event appear exag- gerated. Come to Rome. Don’t be afraid.”

The canonisations will take place at a 10am Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, and will be preceded by a recita- tion of the Divine Mercy chaplet in St Peter’s Square.

There are no tickets but spaces will be reserved for officials, government dele- gations, bishops and priests. Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII are the first popes to be canonised for 60 years. In 1954 Pope Pius X was declared a saint and before that the last papal canonisation was of Pius V in 1712.

The first papal canonisations of the new millennium will be shared with the world via the social networking site Twit- ter, and on Facebook, smartphone apps and YouTube. There will also be a desig- nated website,, and the canonisation Mass will be broadcast in 3D by Sky.

At the press conference Vatican official Mgr Walter Insero said the beatification of John Paul II had underlined the impor- tance of global media coverage. Floribeth Mora Diaz saw the beatification Mass on television. After discovering she had an aneurysm on the brain, she prayed to John Paul II. Her miraculous recovery has enabled the canonisation of the Polish pope.


A CATHOLIC blogger has said she was spat at after expressing her opposition to same-sex marriage on the BBC’s Ques- tion Time programme.

Caroline Farrow, who is a member of Catholic Voices, a group set up to defend the Church in the public square, was in the audience of the panel debate in Brighton when the subject of gay marriage came up.


A poster promoting the double canonisation on April 27, produced by the Diocese of Bergamo. Blessed John XXIII was born in the diocese in 1881


Blogger ‘spat at’ after debating same-sex marriage on television jeered as she explained that marriage was a child-centred institution and, when asked, argued that children were best served by stable, heterosexual marriage. by the reaction of the audience. “You would have thought that there was some magnanimity in victory,” she said. “The thinking is ‘how dare they not approve?’ They have the legis- lation, why should they care what I think? They know that taken the place of a friend for the programme and intended to ask a question about the burning of foetal remains at hospitals and did not expect the subject of same-sex marriage to come up. But when a fellow parishioner at St Mary Magdalen’s church asked a question about the subject, David Dimbleby asked if anyone else opposed the legis- lation. Mrs Farrow said: “I thought: ‘I can’t just sit on my hands.’”

She said: “I didn’t hate on anybody. I didn’t say anything deeply offensive or even vaguely offensive. I find it strange that something simple and straightforward – that a child should have a biological father and mother – should be jeered at.”

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Mrs Farrow said she had The mother-of-four was She said she was shocked Afterwards, she said, she was spat at by a group of young people in the car park of the venue, Brighton University.Continued on Page 2



tolic palace, at the request of both parties. BY CAROLINE ZABOREK was reportedly escorted away. But he eventually met



ACTOR Russell Crowe had a long-awaited meeting with Pope Francis at the Vati- can last month, followed by a meeting with the Archbishop of Francis. He said after- wards: “I’ve never felt any connection with any previous pope, but I


Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were due to be received at 3pm Rome time during a trip described by one official as an “official, informal visit”. The audience will take place in the Pope’s study, rather than in the apos-

THE QUEEN was due to meet Pope Francis yesterday, the fifth time she has been received by a pope in Rome. The trip was originally due to take place last year but was postponed for health reasons, and Her Majesty will also visit Italian president Giorgio Napolitano. She has visited three previous popes in Rome, first as Princess Elizabeth in 1951 when she was received by Pope Pius XII, by Blessed John XXIII in 1961 and by Blessed John Paul II in 1980 and 2000. She also met Blessed John Paul and Bene- dict XVI on their respective visits in 1982 and 2010.






This year marks the cente- nary of the re-opening of diplo- matic relations between Britain and the Holy See.

Mr Crowe, who plays the title char- acter in the biblical epic Noah, origi- nally reached out to Pope Francis via Twitter asking him to bless the film. He then tried to meet him at a general audi- ence but was told it would be disruptive and


Canterbury this week. really like this guy. I like what he









says... he’s chang- ing the tone of the way you regard to Pope and I think it is a magnificent thing. I was really privileged and humbled to

be in that envi- ronment.”

Editorial comment: Page 13

On the evening before the canonisa- tions 11 churches near the Vatican will be open all night for prayer, meditation and Confessions. St Mark the Evangel- ist in Campidoglio will be open espe- cially for pilgrims who speak English and Italian. The Church of the Gesù

will host Spanish and Italian speakers.

Divine Mercy Sunday always falls on the first Sunday after Easter and is based on the devotion to the Divine Mercy, promoted by St Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who reported visitations from Jesus. She was canonised by Blessed John Paul II in 2000.

Fr Lombardi said that the popes’ tombs in St Peter’s Basilica would not be disturbed but following the Mass their inscriptions would be changed from Blessed to saint.

During the ceremony relics of each pope will be presented. The vial of Blessed John Paul II’s blood that was presented at his beatification will be used. It will be encased in a reliquary featuring a silver sculpture of olive branches.

An identical reliquary has been made for the relic of Blessed John XXIII, a bone fragment removed from his remains when his tomb was opened in 2001.

Cardinal Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome, told reporters the diocese was focusing on a spiritual preparation for the canonisation of “two pontiffs, two bish- ops of Rome, who lived and experi- enced their faith, becoming messengers of the Gospel, but also of great humanity”.

In Blessed John XXIII’s home province of Bergamo churches are mark- ing the occasion with almsgiving, includ- ing the donation of £600,000 to a school in Haiti in honour of a pope renowned for his charitable deeds. The priests of Bergamo diocese have decided to donate a month’s salary to struggling families in honour of the canonisation.



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