The canonisation of Pope John XXII and Pope John Paul II is a momentous occasion for the Catholic Church worldwide, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said.
Speaking ahead of the canonisation ceremony that takes place in Rome on Sunday 27 April 2014, Archbishop Hart described both former pontiffs, Angelo Roncalli and Karol Wojtyla, as models of holiness.
“Both men lived their lives with God experiencing God’s loving mercy and forgiveness. Their holiness is their greatest gift to the world, which reminds us that we too are called to live holy lives, to be saints.”
“Pope John Paul II had a special place in his heart for Australia. I remember his first visit here in 1986 and again in 1995 for the beautification of Mary MacKillop when he bid us farewell and asked God to protect our country and advance Australia Fair.”
“As one of the longest reigning popes, Pope John Paul II lived simply and carried out his ministry with grace and mercy. A fascinating intellect, he understood the challenge of forgiveness, healing and bringing about peace in the world.”
“Similarly Pope John XXIII, during his tenure between 1958-1963, made significant advances in ecumenical relations creating the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity.”
“Pope John XXIII advocated for reunion with separated Christians and for world peace. It was his intention to be a pastoral pope since all other human gifts and accomplishments can enrich pastoral work but not replace it.”
The canonisation of both men on the same day highlights that holiness is the most ultimate gift we have and we pray for both saints on this momentous occasion in our Church.
The ABC Radio Religion and Ethics Unit will broadcast live coverage of the canonisation ceremony on Sunday 27th April on ABC News 24, with producer Noel Debien joining Kirsty Aiken in studio and religious commentator and journalist, Paul Collins from Canberra.
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