- Russell Pollitt
Hotels in the Eternal City are booked out this week and city officials expect up to one million people to gather as Pope Francis canonises Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on Sunday 27 April. The mass which will be celebrated for the canonisations is scheduled to take place in St. Peter’s Square outside the Basilica, where the mortal remains of the two men rest. Thousands are expected to watch the proceedings on big screens which will be erected in Rome while millions more will follow on television around the world. Why would people spend money travelling across the globe to Rome? What is the Church actually doing when it has a canonisation? Why are these two men being canonised and does it really have any meaning today? By RUSSELL POLLITT.