300,000 expected for each public event at beatification of John Paul II
March 29, 2011
Vatican planners are expecting at least 300,000 people each of the public events surrounding the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1.
Organizers say that earlier estimates, predicting that up to 2 million could attend the ceremonies, were based on the total crowd figures for the 2-week period in 2005 between the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Cesare Atuire, the director of the Vatican’s office for pilgrims, observed that if 300,000 people attend each of the events in the 3-day celebration for the beatification, the total crowd figure will approach 1 million. And that figure is likely to move higher, he said.
Denying reports that all of Rome’s hotels are fully booked for the time of the beatification, Father Atuire said that pilgrims could still find rooms. “The city can manage any number of faithful,” he claimed.