|Mass in St. Peter's Square (photo by Ruth L)|
Though the Vatican can't guarantee that posthumous outcome, it is raising a large hue and cry to ensure the public isn't duped. The beatification mass will take place in St. Peter's Square on May 1, and anyone who shows up is welcome to stay and pray at no charge. Its expected that 2 million of the faithful will show up, so video screens will be set up in neighboring squares to accommodate the overflow. Pope John Paul's remains will be placed in St. Peter's Basilica right after the ceremony where the faithful will be allowed to view the closed coffin (its usually kept under a marble slab). Other beatification events (there will be three days of celebrations) are listed here.
From the Eternal City to Sin City
Purgatory, but not hell, now awaits the Execs at the MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas (I'm assuming, obviously; I don't have the inside track on celestial tracks). Word came at the end of last week that they've removed the $20 a day fee that they were trying to require for guaranteeing a non-smoking room. Let's hope they'll also be refunding the already-charged fees for those folks trying to escape the smoke.