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Tight security at Vatican for beatification

April 29, 2011

Security will be tight at the Vatican during the beatification of Pope John Paul II, but officials have indicated that there are no particular reasons for concern.

"There are no specific threats, but these are major events," said Italian police chief Antonio Manganelli. "So we have a duty to strengthen intelligence, information, territory checks, surveillance and protection services."

More than 50 world leaders are expected to attend the ceremonies, adding pressure on the security team. But Manganelli assured reporters that Roman officials are prepared--and have experience coping with the demands, most notably from the funeral of John Paul II in 2005.

Early on Saturday afternoon, April 30, all access to St. Peter's Square and the surrounding streets will be restricted. Vehicular traffic will be stopped until after the beatification ceremony. Pilgrims attending that ceremony will be able to enter St. Peter's Square early on Sunday morning.

Weather forecasts call for some showers over the weekend, but organizers still anticipate that 1 million people will attend the beatification and the prayer vigil on the preceding evening.


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